Sanctions from the Texas Medical Board (TMB) can result in a range of disciplinary measures, from license revocation to administrative fines. The TMB may have notified you that you are the subject of an investigation or already determined that you have violated the Texas Occupations Code. No matter what stage your case is at before the TMB, you are likely to benefit from legal advice from the medical license defense attorneys of Bertolino LLP.
TMB Regulation of Medical Professionals
The Texas Medical Board regulates various medical professionals, including:
- Physician Assistants (PAs)
- Medical Radiological Technologists (MRTs)
- Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCPs)
- Medical Physicists
- Surgical Assistants
The TMB has the jurisdiction to investigate and discipline these medical professionals concerning any violations of the Texas Medical Practice Act or TMB Rules. If the TMB finds that a violation of the law or rules has occurred, the appropriate disciplinary action depends on the severity and frequency of the violations. The TMB will also consider the individual’s history of disciplinary actions.
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Factors that Impact Potential TMB Sanctions
State law requires that the TMB consider specific factors in determining what sanctions are appropriate in a medical professional disciplinary case. These factors include:
- Whether you are being disciplined for multiple violations of the law and rules
- Whether you have a history of previous disciplinary actions
- Whether the violation relates to patient care or merely administrative matters
Typically, a single, first-time administrative violation will result in an administrative penalty or fine. In contrast, multiple violations, a history of past violations, or violations related to patient care will result in harsher penalties.
The Texas Medical Board and Administrative Penalties
Under Texas law, administrative penalties may not exceed $5,000 per violation. However, each day a violation occurs or continues is a separate violation under state law. As a result, administrative penalties for repeated or continual violations can easily exceed $5,000. Under Tex. Occ. Code § 165.003(b)(1)-(6), in deciding the amount of the administrative penalty to assess in a disciplinary proceeding, the TMB must consider:
- The severity of the violation, including
- The type, factual circumstances, and seriousness of your actions, and
- The danger or risk of danger that your actions created for the health, safety, and welfare of the public
- Any financial losses caused by your actions
- Any history of disciplinary violations
- The amount is sufficient to prevent you from committing future violations
- Any efforts that you took to remedy the violation, and
- Any other relevant circumstances
If the Board determines that you have violated the law or rules and should be subject to an administrative penalty, you will receive notice of the board’s order. This order will contain the nature of the violation and the amount of the penalty.
You then have the right to take specific actions concerning the TMB order within 30 days of its date. More specifically, you can:
- Pay the penalty
- Pay the penalty and file a petition for judicial review of the violation, the penalty amount, or both
- Stay enforcement of the penalty by paying it to the court to be placed in an escrow account or giving the court an approved supersedeas bond
- Request the court to stay enforcement of the penalty by submitting an affidavit to the court and the TMB executive director that you are financially unable to pay the penalty or obtain an approved supersedeas bond
The court then will review your case and determine whether the violation occurred, whether the violation warranted the penalty, either, or both.
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Remedial Plans and Agreed Orders
Most TMB complaints and investigations end in dismissing the complaint or adopting an Agreed Order or Remedial Plan. These documents outline violations against the medical professional, but their effects are very different.
A Remedial Plan is a corrective action but not a formal disciplinary action. The TMB uses a Remedial Plan to address minor administrative violations in most cases. Remedial Plans do not involve the payment of administrative penalties or any revocation, suspension, limitation, or restriction of your license.
On the other hand, An Agreed Order is a disciplinary action that contains formal disciplinary sanctions. It could contain sanctions such as revocation, suspension or other encumbrances.
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Types of Disciplinary Action in TMB Cases
Aside from administrative penalties, you can also face various other sanctions due to violations of the Texas Medical Practice Act or TMB Rules. These sanctions may include:
- Issuing a public reprimand
- Restricting you from treating some types of patients or performing some types of procedures
- Requiring additional training or education
- Requiring you to have a chart or practice monitor
- Reappearing at future compliance hearings before the TMB
- Abstaining from alcohol and drug use
- Undergoing drug testing
- Participating in substance abuse, rehabilitation, or behavioral health programs
- Referring you to the Texas Physician Health Program
In addition, you could face a temporary suspension of your license. Reinstatement of your license could be contingent on you completing various other conditions, such as those listed above. In the most severe cases, you also could face revocation of your professional license.
Defend Yourself Against Disciplinary Action by the Texas Medical Board
When facing disciplinary proceedings with the Texas Medical Board, you could suffer severe repercussions to your personal and professional life. However, you can take steps to defend yourself by contacting a medical license defense lawyer at Bertolino, LLP, for advice today. Make an appointment by calling (512) 476-5757 or contact us online at https://www.belolaw.com/contact-us/ to see how we can help.