When a physician is up against the possibility of being disciplined by the Texas Medical Board, they are in a dire situation indeed. Disciplinary actions by the Board may put a medical professional’s career in jeopardy—even if, by the physician’s reckoning, the infraction before the Board is a relatively minor one.
The fact is, the Texas Medical Board is empowered with authority to seek severe penalties regardless of the violation put before them. The Board Rules that guide it contains disciplinary guidelines that make suggestions for penalties depending on the type of a breach one is accused of committing. Yet while these guidelines are meant to establish a ground-level for the type of action that the Board can impose on its licensees, the Board frequently manages to push the envelope. Heavier penalties are a fairly common occurrence.
This is particularly true when there have been multiple violations of minor infractions. The attorney on staff at the Board attempts to identify every potential violation that may have occurred—even violations that are not directly associated with the scope of the initial complaint that triggered the investigation. After all, it isn’t proof of harm the Board’s attorney is seeking out—it’s evidence that a physician has violated the standard of care. And this means that the Board is willing to accept the application of broad-based allegations that can be used to increase both the penalties sought and the disciplinary fees applied.
Moreover, the Board may attempt to resolve with an “agreed order” and an administrative penalty those minor violations referred to as “minimum statutory violations,” which include such infractions as not completing the required number of Continuing Medical Education hours, forgetting to sign a death certificate, and even advertising the Board deems inappropriate.
Whether the charges against a physician are major or minor, they should contact an experienced professional license defense attorney as soon as they are aware of the complaint. That’s the most effective means of gaining the best possible chance of a positive outcome from their case.
BERTOLINO LLP proudly represents licensed physicians across the entire State of Texas, and we have a solid track record of success. To best serve our clients, we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. If you are facing disciplinary action from the Texas Medical Board, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.