When the Texas Medical Board revokes your Physician Assistant license, it changes everything. Your career is over, your reputation is significantly damaged, and years of education and training are wasted. If you are facing allegations that could jeopardize your license, call Bertolino LLP. Our lawyers are here to protect your hard work and livelihood.
Violations that Can Jeopardize Your Physician Assistant License
The Texas Medical Board oversees your licensing matters. If a formal complaint has been made, it can lead to a range of disciplinary actions. However, revoking your professional license is the most extreme. The most common violations that can jeopardize your license are considered the worst infractions a physician’s assistant can commit.
Depending on the crime, a conviction can put your physician assistant license at risk. A minor traffic infraction may not result in the suspension of your license. However, being convicted of a serious misdemeanor or felony may.
White-collar and violent crimes usually lead to your professional license being revoked, including:
- Illegal drug possession, distribution, or trafficking
- Sex crimes
- Murder or manslaughter
- Armed robbery
- Bank fraud
Licensed physician assistants must maintain a clean record.
Fraud encompasses a wide array of illegal and dishonest activities. When a physician assistant intentionally misrepresents the truth or conceals important information, it may be considered fraud. Examples of fraud in the healthcare industry include:
- Misrepresenting dates of service
- Accepting kickbacks or bribes
- Unnecessarily prescribing medication
- Billing for services not rendered
- Diverting legal prescriptions or illegal uses
Recently, the Department of Justice brought criminal charges against 138 licensed medical professionals for a national fraud scheme worth $1.1 billion.
Insurance fraud specifically pertains to the falsification of information in an attempt to have the insurance company pay unauthorized benefits. For example:
- Billing the insurance company for services not rendered
- Falsifying a patient’s diagnosis to bill for unnecessary procedures
- Billing each stage of the procedure instead of as a whole
- Waiving patient copay and deductibles to overbill the insurance company
Innocent mistakes are not considered healthcare insurance fraud. Instead, the act must be intentional.
Illegal Drug Prescriptions
Physician assistants in Texas are authorized to prescribe medications. However, if they abuse their power and prescribe medication unlawfully, the Texas medical Board can pursue revocation of their license. For example, it may be prohibited for a physician assistant to:
- Prescribe medication to family members
- Overprescribe narcotics
- Self-prescribe medication
A physician assistant has a duty to use their access to prescription drugs properly.
Substance or Alcohol Abuse
Addiction is a problem facing millions of Americans. However, healthcare workers cannot perform their job while impaired. If a physician assistant is suffering from a drug or alcohol abuse problem, it can lead to serious and harmful errors.
Professional misconduct is a vague term used to describe a range of behaviors. Some of the most common reasons physician assistants are reported include the following:
- Mistreating and verbally abusing other members of the facility
- Having a sexual affair with a patient
- Failing to follow the codes of conduct set by the facility
Physician assistants are held to a higher standard of ethical and professional behavior. Failing to act in an accepted and appropriate manner can cause the medical board to review your behavior and consider revoking your physician assistance license.
Like doctors, physician assistants have a duty of care to their patients. The medical board considers a sexual relationship between a healthcare provider and a patient to be unethical. For instance, even a consensual relationship can:
- Exploit the patient
- Compromise the judgment of the physician’s assistant
- Undermine the goals of the patient
Patients are often in a vulnerable position. Refraining from any sexual contact is critical.
Gross Incompetence and Malpractice
Physician assistants undergo years of education and training before they are charged with the well-being of others. While medical errors can happen, there is a significant distinction between a mistake and malpractice. Negligence involves a failure to provide a reasonable duty of care to the patient. An example of negligence may be prescribing a medication that the patient is allergic to or administering the wrong treatment. Proving malpractice or gross incompetence relies on what other physician assistants would do in similar circumstances.
A physician’s assistant license defense attorney from Bertolino LLP can stand up for your rights and help you through this difficult time.
Can I Appeal If My Physician Assistant License Is Revoked?
Appealing the Texas Medical Board’s decision to revoke your license is a long and challenging process. However, you may have legal grounds to file an appeal and fight to keep your license.
What Grounds Can I Appeal on?
You must have a good-faith reason to appeal a decision by the Texas Medical Board. Feeling the decision was unfair or too harsh is not a valid reason. You also cannot appeal on the basis that the allegations against you were false. The appeals process was not designed to act as a secondary hearing. Instead, a professional license defense attorney will need to appeal on one of the accepted grounds, including:
- Erroneous evidence: The evidence against you must be substantial and accurate to revoke your physician assistant license. If the licensing board’s ruling clearly goes against the evidence, you may have grounds for an appeal.
- Arbitrary ruling: The licensing board must make their ruling based on the evidence presented at the hearing. However, you may be able to file an appeal if the decision was based on something other than the evidence. For example, the board ruled against you due to bias.
- Errors in the procedure: Revoking a physician assistant license is not taken lightly by the Texas Medical Board. There are strict procedures to follow. If the board fails to conduct a proper investigation or there are procedural errors during the hearing, you may have grounds to appeal their ruling.
- Lack of substantial evidence: The evidence presented at the hearing must be extensive and compelling. If the evidence against you fails to support the allegations of wrongdoing, a physician assistant license defense lawyer may file an appeal on your behalf.
At Bertolino LLP, our Texas physician’s assistant license defense attorneys can significantly impact the outcome of your hearing and appeal.
What Is Supersedeas Relief?
Appealing the Texas Medical Board’s Decision to revoke your license can take time. Navigating the complex appeals process may take several weeks to several months. In the meantime, supersedeas relief may help you maintain your livelihood while you await the board’s decision.
Supersedeas relief is designed to allow medical professionals to continue to practice during the appeal process. A Texas physician’s assistant license defense lawyer will need to issue a request to the Texas Medical Board. If granted, your license will be temporarily restored.
How a Physician Assistant License Defense Lawyer in Texas Can Help
When your reputation and career are at stake, it is important to turn to the right legal representation. A physician assistant license defense attorney in Texas can help fight the allegations of wrongdoing, reinstate your license if it is revoked, or file an appeal. Contact our client relations coordinator to schedule a consultation today.