After a long day of treating patients your office manager hands you an official looking letter and solemnly says, “You need to read this right now.” You recognize the letterhead of the Texas Medical Board (TMB) immediately. Your stomach drops as you realize the letter states that a complaint has been filed against you and the TMB has launched an investigation into the allegations.
Upon receiving the letter, you may feel angry or bitter. You do all you can to help your patients and having your medical practices questioned may feel offensive. You may feel scared knowing that your license to practice medicine is now at risk. You may even feel that the complaint against you is meritless, making you want to simply ignore the letter.
You’re Facing the Texas Medical Board. Now What?
While your feelings are valid, we encourage you to approach the complaint with a business mind: do what the TMB asks of you, immediately hire a medical license defense attorney to defend you, respond in a timely manner to any deadlines, and respond in a factual way, keeping your emotions out of your interactions with the Board.
Take the Complaint Seriously
Even if you believe the complaint to be baseless or unfounded, take the complaint seriously from the start. Respond to the Board complaint with the appropriate level of concern and attention. Do not ignore the complaint hoping it will go away or that the Board will find in your favor even if you do nothing. Understand that the Board is not on your side. Their function is to protect the public, not to help you defend your license.
Hire an Attorney Immediately
Do not delay in hiring an attorney to defend you against the allegations made in the complaint. In fact, we urge you to hire an experienced medical license defense attorney as soon as you are notified of the complaint filed against you. First, our firm believes that immediately consulting an experienced license defense attorney to review allegations of misconduct helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case. Second, a strategic, well-crafted initial response to the complaint is critical to your defense and the ultimate outcome of your case. To better understand the importance of taking immediate steps to defend yourself and your license, read about some of our case results here.
Understand the TMB’s Enforcement Process
When you are facing allegations of misconduct and are under investigation by the TMB, it is important for you to understand the Texas Medical Board’s Enforcement Process and what disciplinary action it has the power to impose based on the allegations.
Notify Entities that Must be Notified
Under your malpractice insurance policy, you may have a duty to notify the insurer of a pending TMB complaint. Failure to provide timely notice of a formal complaint to your malpractice insurer may jeopardize insurance coverage. Also, check your policy for defense coverage because your policy may provide or pay for legal counsel to represent you before the Board.
Under your employment contract, partnership agreement, or other agreements, you may have a duty to inform a superior or someone else about a TMB complaint lodged against you. If so, make sure you timely notify the entities that must be notified.
Gather Relevant Information
Gather the information relevant to the complaint made against you. Include patient medical records, medical notes, prescription records, any documents provided to the patient by your office, and any other evidence pertaining to the allegations. Also, make detailed notes of everything you remember about the situation or incident. Your notes can help guide you and your attorney to reconstruct what happened and to build a successful legal strategy.
Defend Yourself Against the Complaint Filed with the Texas Medical Board
Allegations of medical misconduct need to be faced head-on and defended against from the start. Your right to practice medicine in Texas and your livelihood are at stake. As soon as you are notified that a complaint has been filed against you with the TMB, contact the experienced medical license defense attorneys of BERTOLINO LLP.
We know how to navigate the TMB’s complaint process. We are prepared to represent you at any legal hearing or proceeding regarding your professional license, including:
- Temporary Suspension Hearings
- Informal Settlement Conferences (ISC)
- Show Compliance Proceedings
- State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) Proceedings
BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. Our firm has consistently won significant cases for doctors, nurses, lawyers, architects, pharmacists and other professionals dealing with issues that could jeopardize their ability to work.
If you are facing disciplinary action from a professional licensing board, contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.