The Texas Medical Board (TMB) disciplined 44 physicians at its August 2019 Board Meeting. This volume of disciplinary action represents a significant decrease from its June Board Meeting when the TMB disciplined 80 physicians.
In its press release, the TMB stated that the August disciplinary actions include:
- 9 Orders related to quality of care violations,
- 9 Orders related to unprofessional conduct,
- 5 voluntary surrenders/revocations,
- 2 license suspension,
- 3 restrictions,
- 3 Orders related to nontherapeutic prescribing,
- 4 Orders relating to peer review action,
- 4 Orders related to other states' actions,
- 1 Order related to violation of Board rules,
- 3 Orders related to inadequate medical records,
- 1 Order related to a Texas Physician Health Program violation, and
- 1 Order related to impairment.
The Board also ratified 4 agreed cease and desist orders. TMB complaints resulting in disciplinary action are most often resolved by an Agreed Order. Such an Order represents an agreement between the Board and the licensee being disciplined, which sets out the sanctions and disciplinary action against the licensee.
Disciplinary Action: Quality of Care Violations
One of the most prevalent reasons the TMB takes disciplinary action against a licensee is for quality of care violations. Here are just a few reasons for which the Board handed down disciplinary actions related to the quality of care violations in August:
- The Board found Dr. Kenneth Mark Alo violated the standard of care with respect to performing surgery when there was no indication for the procedure and the amount billed did not reflect the actual procedures performed. He entered into an Agreed Order requiring him to have his practice monitored by another physician and have his billing practices monitored for 8 consecutive monitoring cycles, and within one year complete at least 28 hours of CME, to include 4 hours in medical recordkeeping, 8 hours in proper billing methods, 4 hours in ethics, 4 hours in informed consent, and 8 hours in spinal surgery.
- The Board found Dr. Marianna Johnna Pinkston breached the standard of care and failed to maintain adequate medical records for two patients when she erroneously and non-therapeutically prescribed contraindicated medications to a high-risk diabetic patient causing foreseeable complications, and failed to properly treat another patient’s hypothyroidism. She entered into an Agreed Order requiring her to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 within 90 days, complete 8 hours of in-person CME in medical recordkeeping within 6 months, and have her practice monitored by another physician for 8 consecutive monitoring cycles.
- The Board found Dr. Sunil Shanker Naik prescribed narcotics without, in some cases, adhering to the established monitoring guidelines and Board rules for the treatment of chronic pain.
- The Board found Dr. Jose Ramon Reyes failed to develop and implement patient-specific treatment plans for multiple chronic pain patients, and failed to document proper patient monitoring and justification for his prescribing practices.
Board Orders related to the quality of care violations may include additional training and CME, administrative penalties, a mandate to have one's medical practice monitored by another physician for a certain time period, exam requirements, and/or other remedial measures.
Disciplinary Action: Restricted License
The TMB may put a license on restriction, which limits the physician's ability to practice medicine in specific ways as outlined in the Board Order. In August the Board imposed restricted licenses onto three doctors, including restrictions on prescribing certain controlled medications, restrictions on the type of medicine that can be practiced, and restrictions regarding the delegation of prescriptive authority.
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
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.
BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. 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.