Understanding the role of the Acupuncture Board’s in the complaint process
The Acupuncture Board has the authority to cancel, revoke, restrict, suspend or otherwise limit the license of any Texas acupuncturist for violations of the Texas Occupations Code or TSBAE rules. As soon as you are notified you are under investigation by TSBAE, it is vitally important to retain a medical license defense attorney.
The nature of the complaint determines who investigates the matter, as an attorney will investigate administrative issues with medical care issues investigated by medical professionals working for TSBAE. TSBAE may send you a preliminary notification; however, Texas does not provide a legal obligation for them to do so, Notification to you is only required when formal investigation has been opened. What this means, is you may only learn of the allegations after the preliminary investigation is complete. At that point, you will have a short timeframe to respond to the allegations. All the while, TSBAE staff will be at work, investigating information related to the complaint. Remember, HIPAA provides TSBAE the legal right to obtain patient medical records without patient consent.
Upon completion of the investigation, your case may be recommended for dismissal or for further review. If referred for further review, a Quality Assurance Panel will determine the appropriate next steps of the process. The QA Panel may offer you a remedial plan or may recommend the complaint to an Informal Settlement Conference (ISC). The ISC process requires you to appear before two TSBAE representatives and present evidence of regulation compliance. Following a ISC hearing, your case may again be recommended for dismissal, for a remedial plan, or your case may be recommended for disciplinary sanctions.
Throughout the process you have rights and options, in addition to your initial response. Depending on the recommendations made for your case, you have the right to request a State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). At your SOAH hearing, you and a TSBAE staff attorney will present evidence regarding your case after which the ALI will issue a Proposal for Decision (PFD). The PFD recommendation of the ALJ is not binding, as TSBAE has the authority to accept or modify the proposed decision. Pending the TSBAE final ruling, if desired, you have the right to appeal the decision in your case to Travis County District Court.