The Texas Medical Board (TMB) is the regulatory body charged with keeping Texas patients safe through the licensure and regulation of Texas physicians. When a physician allegedly runs afoul on the Medical Practice Act, Board rules, or other regulations, the TMB is empowered to investigate, and where appropriate, take enforcement action against the physician.
This year the Board has been taking measures to address an enforcement challenge it faces regarding mandatory reporting by medical peer review committees. In its July 2018 issue of the TMB Bulletin, the Board states: "In order to protect the public and ensure timely investigation of cases, the Board relies on required reporting from hospital organized medical staffs and related health care entities. When this reporting doesn’t occur or there is a deliberate effort to circumvent reporting by allowing a resignation prior to an investigation by peer review, the Board is not able to take appropriate action on licensees leaving patients vulnerable."
Mandatory Reporting of Medical Peer Review Action to the Texas Medical Board
Under Chapter 160 of the Texas Occupations Code (Medical Practice Act), reporting to the Board is mandatory in the following instances:
- Physicians, medical students, residents, and medical peer review committees have a legal obligation to report colleagues who they believe are impaired. Occ. Code § 160.004.
- A person or committee subject to this section: (1) may report to the board or to a health care entity in which an affected physician has clinical privileges the name of the impaired physician together with pertinent information relating to that impairment; and
- (2) shall report to the board and any known health care entity in which the physician has clinical privileges if the person or committee determines that, through the practice of medicine, the physician poses a continuing threat to the public welfare. Occ. Code § 160.004(b).
- The Report of Medical Peer Review section of the Medical Practice Act requires that peer review committees and health care entities report in writing (file a complaint) to the Medical Board the results and circumstances of a medical peer review that:
- 1) adversely affects the clinical privileges of a physician for a period of longer than 30 days;
- 2) accepts a physician’s surrender of clinical privileges while the physician is under investigation or in lieu of conducting an investigation; or
- 3) adversely affects the membership of a physician in a professional society or association, if conducted by that society or association. Occ. Code § 160.002.
- Physicians and peer review committees are required to report to the Board if, in their opinion, a physician poses a continuing threat to the public welfare through the practice of medicine. Occ. Code § 160.003.
Under the law, the duty to report rests on the peer review committee as a whole, individual committee members themselves, as well as the Medical Executive Committee of the health care entity. It is important to understand that if the Board receives a failure to report complaint, its investigation will include all persons and committees with reporting duties.
Defending Your Texas Medical License
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.
Our law firm helps professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a state agency or board.
If you have received a licensing complaint, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We represent 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.