The Texas Medical Board (TMB) reviews every complaint it receives to determine if adequate evidence exists demonstrating a violation of the Medical Practices Act. Over 7,000 complaints are filed with the TMB every year against medical professionals by patients, patients’ family members, health care professionals, and other sources.
After a complaint is filed, the TMB begins the process of determining if there is sufficient evidence to support the allegations. The complaint must be reviewed within 45-days of receipt, during which time the TMB may contact the complainant and licensee.
If the TBM determines that a violation of the Medical Practices Act might have occurred, then it begins the investigation. The licensee (the “Respondent”) is informed of the alleged violation(s) and will be asked to provide additional information. At this stage of the complaint, we highly recommend that you hire an experienced medical board defense attorney. Your initial responses to the allegations are crucial.
If the investigation involves potential violations of the standard of care, then the allegations and evidence will be reviewed by at least two members of the TMB Expert Panel who are board-certified in the same or similar medical specialty as the licensee. If the Expert Panel finds the stand of care was not met, then the complaint is forwarded to the Litigation Section for further action. If the Expert Panel determines the standard of care was met, the complaint is recommended for dismissal.
After the matter is forwarded to the Litigation Section, an Informal Settlement Conference/Show Compliance proceeding will be scheduled. Ninety-percent (90%) of all disciplinary actions by the TMB are resolved through the informal resolution process.
The TMB states the purpose of the ISC hearing is “to provide an informal forum for the panel to review the information and for the licensee to show that he or she is in compliance with the Medical Practice Act.” At this proceeding the licensee has the opportunity to argue that he or she did not violate the Medical Practices Act. To put forth a defense most likely to lead to a positive outcome in your case, it is imperative that you hire a Texas license defense attorney.
If the panel determines that there was a violation of the Medical Practices Act, the board may offer an Agreed Order, which would set out the sanctions and disciplinary action against the licensee. Alternatively, for certain types of minor violations, the board may offer a Remedial Plan, which is considered a non-disciplinary corrective action.
If it is not possible to reach a resolution at the ISC, then the complaint moves to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). The case is then heard before an Administrative Law Judge (ALF). After the SOAH Proceedings, the ALJ will submit a Proposal for Decision to the TMB.
At this point the TMB will issue an order that either includes disciplinary action, or it may dismiss the case. Once the TMB enters its final Order, the licensee has the right to appeal the decision to District Court.
The Right to Defend Your License
Throughout the TMB’s enforcement process a respondent has several opportunities to defend their licenses. Further, all professional licensees have the right to be represented at every stage of a complaint. Hiring an attorney to help you mount a strong defense serves to protect your license, reputation, financial interests, and your career; it does not make you look guilty.
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. If you are facing disciplinary action from a professional licensing board, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.