If you have been notified of a complaint filed against you with the Texas Medical Board (TMB), you are likely wondering what is going to happen and what disciplinary action, if any, the Board may take against your medical license. The TMB investigates every complaint it receives and follows its Enforcement Process. It is critical that you treat any issues with the TMB seriously, even if you believe the complaint against you is baseless or that your actions constitute only a minor violation of the TMB rules.
Will the Texas Medical Board Discipline Me if No Patient Was Injured?
Yes. The TMB can take disciplinary action against you even if no patient was injured. The TMB follows disciplinary guidelines in the Board Rules which suggest certain penalties based on the nature of the violation. The TMB can and will seek discipline if it believes the TMB Rules have been violated regardless of whether or not actual harm resulted from the violation.
As the state agency charged with keeping Texas patients safe through licensure and regulation of Texas physicians, the TMB seeks to maintain certain standards for the profession to prevent patient harm. The TMB further seeks to maintain the dignity of the profession. This means that while patient harm is certainly relevant in the TMB’s investigation, it is not necessary for the TMB to seek disciplinary matters.
When physician action or inaction results in harm to a patient, it is considered an aggravating factor as laid out in the TMB Rules. Per the rules, aggravating factors "warrant more severe or restrictive action by the board." 22 Tex. Admin. Code § 190.15(a). The TMB will consider, among other things, the "harm to one or more patients" and "the severity of the patient harm." 22 Tex. Admin. Code § 190.15(a)(1)-(2).
Though, patient harm is not the only aggravating factor that will lead to more severe disciplinary action. Other aggravating factors include:
- One or more violations that involve more than one patient;
- Economic harm to any individual or entity and the severity of such harm;
- Increased potential for harm to the public;
- Attempted concealment of the act constituting a violation;
- Intentional, premeditated, knowing, or grossly negligent act constituting a violation;
- Prior similar violations;
- Previous disciplinary action by the board, any government agency, peer review organization, or health care entity;
- Violation of a board order; or
- Other relevant circumstances increasing the seriousness of the misconduct. 22 Tex. Admin. Code § 190.15(a)(3)-(11).
As you can see, when it comes to the severity of disciplinary action, the Board can and will consider factors beyond patient harm. If a complaint has been filed against you with the TMB, even if no patient was injured, it is critical that you take the allegations seriously and mount a strong defense from the very beginning to protect your medical license. Our firm believes that immediately consulting an experienced medical license defense attorney to review allegations of misconduct helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case. Our results speak for themselves.
Hire an Experienced Medical License Defense Attorney
If you have been notified of a complaint filed against you with the Texas Medical Board, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We are experienced medical license defense attorneys and we know how to navigate the TMB's complaint process. We are prepared to represent you at any legal hearing or proceeding regarding your professional license, including:
- Temporary Suspension Hearings
- Informal Settlement Conferences (ISC)
- Show Compliance Proceedings
- State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) Proceedings
BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. If you are facing disciplinary action from a professional licensing board, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.