Doctors and surgeons must adhere to rigorous professional standards in Texas and throughout the U.S. These rules and regulations exist to protect the well-being of patients and the rights of medical practitioners.
If your standard of care or professionalism is being challenged by the Texas Medical Board or the Texas Physician Assistant Board, having an experienced medical license defense attorney on your side is critical.
Call us today, and an experienced Bertolino LLP medical license defense lawyer will meet with you to discuss the details of your case.
Our Licensing Lawyers Represent Doctors Throughout Texas
The number of complaints filed with the Texas Medical Board has dramatically increased over the past several years. Such complaints include:
- Charges of inadequate health care
- Allegations of illegal drug use
- Breaches in the standard of care
- Inappropriate relationships between doctor and patient
A complaint letter can be filed by hospitals, patients, other doctors of medicine, or the board itself.
Without a strong response, the consequences may impact your medical career and your license. Before the Texas Medical Board begins its investigation, you will receive a letter detailing the nature of the complaint.
Do not respond to the letter without consulting with an experienced medical license attorney. Our highly accomplished administrative law attorneys will work with you to:
- Respond to the allegations of misconduct.
- Prepare a defense on your behalf.
- Collect evidence that may help to clear your name.
You should expect your healthcare license attorneys to interview your colleagues and other fact witnesses, review relevant medical records, and call upon experts who can testify on your behalf. When every detail matters, your experienced attorney will work tirelessly to assemble a solid and successful legal case.
Your Physician License Can Be Challenged By Any Number of Complaints
The Texas State Medical Board will prioritize and sort the complaints they receive. And, like most medical decisions, those that pose the greatest threat or risk to patient health will be bumped to the front of the line.
For example, complaints are fast-tracked due to drug or alcohol abuse allegations or if a physician is reportedly involved in an inappropriate relationship with a patient.
Some of the most common complaints against a physician include:
- Inadequate medical documentation
- Fraudulent billing practices, including upcoding, duplicate charges, or charges for services that were never rendered
- Non-therapeutic prescribing of a controlled medication, including opioids
- Failure to properly monitor a patient on a controlled medication
- Failure to properly diagnose or treat
- Failure to properly supervise another medical professional during patient care or treatment
- Unprofessional conduct, including inappropriate behavior around or towards staff members, colleagues, or patients
- Substandard medical care or patient abuse
- Medical negligence
- Accusations of misconduct
- Failure to respond to patient or hospital during an emergency
- Failure to use proper diligence in the generally accepted manner
- Criminal conduct, including prescription drug fraud, violations of Anti-Kickback Fraud & Abuse laws, DUIs, positive drug tests, and defrauding the government using Medicaid or Medicare
- Violations stemming from the chain of patient care
In recent years, medical errors have been studied under greater scrutiny. When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) failed to recognize medical errors as a cause of death, Johns Hopkins Medicine created a comprehensive study to portray patients’ causes of death accurately.
Their data reflects that 10% of all U.S. fatalities can be attributed to medical errors, becoming the third-highest cause of death.
Recent Statistics Show Trends in Physician License Complaints
Medical errors do not always stem from negligence and are not always subject to a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, individuals can use medical errors to file a complaint with the Texas Medical Board.
Administrative complaints range from criminal actions to negligence, though some do not fit into a specific category.
“Unprofessional conduct” has become a generalized phrase involving various acts. In the last reporting year, MDLinx stated that 50% of complaints against physicians were due to unprofessional conduct. Only a few formal complaints are followed closely by a medical malpractice lawsuit.
According to a study entitled, Communication Gaffes: A Root Cause of Malpractice Claims, only 1-2% of alleged medical negligence become medical malpractice lawsuits.
Various other studies stated:
- Forty-one percent of patients have claimed they are the victims of medical negligence
- Between 80% to 90% of malpractice claims are dismissed, according to a study published in the National Library of Medicine (NLM)
- An estimated 4,000 physicians are subjected to disciplinary action from state boards each year, according to another NLM-published study.
- Psychiatrists make up the majority of physicians facing disciplinary charges at 12.8%
- Thirty-four percent of charges are related to sexual misconduct by a psychiatrist
- Finally, a Texas study of medical license revocation found that physicians have a greater chance of having their license revoked for complaints to the medical board the longer they have practiced medicine.
Disciplinary Actions Resulting from Complaints Against Physicians
Facing a medical board complaint is overwhelming. If you are dealing with a formal complaint, it may be one of the most stressful processes in your career. The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) oversees and interferes in any improper, incompetent, or unprofessional reported conduct.
According to a comprehensive FSMB study, technological advances have led to greater accuracy in identifying unprofessional conduct and responding with the appropriate disciplinary action,
Over the last decade, an average of 4,000 physicians a year receive disciplinary action. The number jumped to nearly 9,000 disciplinary actions in the last reporting year. An analysis of the top disciplinary actions taken that year by state medical boards saw:
- Licenses were revoked in 264 cases: A revoked license prohibits a physician from practicing medicine within the state.
- Five hundred and seventy physicians chose to surrender their license: If a physician willingly surrenders their license, it will not be renewed, restored, or reinstated.
- Seven hundred and sixty-four physicians were placed on probation: Physicians on probation will have their license monitored, practice under supervision, or be prohibited from performing specific medical procedures.
- Licenses were suspended in 796 cases: Suspended licenses are reinstated once the medical board completes a disciplinary investigation, or the physician fulfills the requirements they set.
- Quality-of-care complaints led to 869 continuing medical education (CME) requirements: Generally, CME requirements are issued when the problems stem from the physician’s standard of care or treatment skills.
- Conditions set by the board were imposed in 887 cases: Conditions are subject to the board’s discretion and vary widely with each complaint.
- Eight hundred and ninety physicians were fined for unprofessional conduct: Unprofessional conduct can range from sexual misconduct to poor record-keeping.
- Administrative action was taken in 1,023 cases: Administrative actions are typically non-punitive and will not affect a physician’s license.
- Reprimands were issued in 1,147 cases: The medical board may issue a private or public reprimand in lieu of formal charges. The reprimand may take the form of a letter, warning, or another non-disciplinary action.
- Professional licenses were restricted for 1,343 physicians: Restricted licenses usually result in the loss of clinical privileges and often stem from mental and health issues or improper prescribing of medication.
The above analysis compared the results from the last reporting year with trends over the last decade and found an increasing number of license suspensions and restrictions.
Complicated Cases Demand Experienced Physician License Defense Lawyers
Dealing with license defense issues can be overwhelming for physicians. Numerous intricate legal matters need to be considered. It is critical to have someone you trust on your side. You need someone who thoroughly understands the Texas legal system.
Our goal as your legal counsel is simple:
- We want what is best for you.
- We begin by listening and learning the details of your case.
- We want to know about your needs and expectations.
- We strive to put you in a much better place than before you hired us.
If your physician’s license is in jeopardy or you suspect a complaint has been made against you, it is in your best interest to contact one of our medical board defense attorneys. We’ll perform a thorough case evaluation and discuss the details of your case with you.
Our attorneys have decades of experience defending healthcare professionals like you in disciplinary hearings, regulatory matters, or against various false claims. In addition, our Texas physician license defense lawyers have extensive knowledge of the medical board investigative process.
How a Physician License Defense Attorney in Texas Can Help
As a highly skilled medical professional, we understand that you have spent years training and building your solid reputation. However, a successful defense can help mitigate the damaging effects a complaint can have while safeguarding the integrity of your medical license.
The experienced litigation team of Bertolino LLP has helped numerous physicians maintain their medical licenses. Let us help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our law firm’s Client Relations CoordinatorCall Today
A law firm you can trust; a law firm that will stand up to the Board for you
Having a strong, reliable Texas medical board defense attorney on your side, working just for you, can make all the difference in your case. Don’t take risks. You have too much at stake. Contact us and schedule a case evaluation. You can reach us at (512) 476-5757 in Austin. You can also contact us anytime online.Contact Now