Texas House Bill 1504 is the sunset bill for the Texas Medical Board (TMB). The bill amends current law relating to the continuation and functions of the Board. Because the Legislature passed the Board’s Sunset bill, the TMB will continue to operate and will not be subject to Sunset review again until 2031.
The new rules under HB 1504 took effect on September 1, 2019. Included in the policy updates are new reporting rules for physician public profiles. The rule changes are favorable to TMB licensees and require removal of certain negative reporting sooner than previously prescribed under the code.
Physician Public Profiles
Pursuant to Sec. 154.006 on Physician Profiles of the Texas Occupations Code, the Board must create a public profile for every physician it licenses. Tex. Occ. Code §154.006(a). The profile must contain certain information, such as the name of the medical school the doctor attended, graduation date, and the name of each Texas hospital where the physician has privileges. Tex. Occ. Code §154.006(b).
The profile must also contain negative reporting information, including a description of any felony conviction and certain misdemeanors, a description of any medical malpractice claims for which the physician was found liable, and a description of any disciplinary action against the physician by the Board. Tex. Occ. Code §154.006(b).
New Reporting Rules for Physician Public Profiles – Remedial Plans
HB 1504 authorizes the TMB to remove information about a remedial plan and any information regarding the complaint resolved by the plan from the physician’s public profile after five-years from the date the remedial plan was issued, unless:
- The complaint was related to the delivery of health care; or
- More than one remedial plan has been issued to resolve complaints alleging the same violation by the physician, including a complaint not related to the delivery of health care.
Tex. Occ. Code §154.006(b-1). This amendment states that the board “may remove” remedial plan reporting, it does not mandate that the Board actually do so.
New Reporting Rules for Physician Public Profiles – Formal Complaints
Subsection (g), requires that the Board “update the information contained in a physician’s profile annually,” with the exception that the text of a formal complaint filed against a physician or of a Board order related to the formal complaint “shall be updated not later than the 10th working day after the date the formal complaint is filed or the Board’s order is issued.” Tex. Occ. Code §154.006(g).
HB 154 deleted existing text of subsection (k), which in effect requires the Board to remove certain negative reporting on Physician public profiles sooner than it was required to do prior to the amendment. Tex. Occ. Code §154.006(k).
Subsection (k) requires the Board, in the course of the annual update of a physician’s profile, to remove any record of a formal complaint if the complaint was “dismissed as baseless, unfounded, or not supported by sufficient evidence that a violation occurred, or no action was taken against the physician ’s license as a result of the complaint.” Tex. Occ. Code §154.006(k).
The Board must also remove any record of an investigation of medical malpractice claims that the Board was required to investigate under Sec. 164.201 if the investigation was resolved and no action was taken against the physician’s license. Tex. Occ. Code §154.006(k).
The amendments enacted by HB 1504 authorize or require the Board to remove certain negative reporting sooner than under the previous code. Texas physicians who have a formal complaint, remedial plan, or allegations of medical malpractice removed from their Physician public profile are benefited by the new reporting rules.
Experienced Texas Medical License Defense Attorneys
If you are facing a licensing issue or someone has filed a complaint against you with the Texas Medical Board, you need an experienced medical license defense attorney. Even a single complaint filed with the Board can jeopardize your medical career, livelihood, and your professional reputation.
You have the right to defend yourself and the right to representation during the entire complaint process. Our attorneys know how to represent Texas doctors at every stage of the complaint process, from the initial investigation and any settlement negotiations through subsequent hearings that may follow.
BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. Our honest, experienced attorneys will fight aggressively on behalf of your license and reputation. Contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.
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