Responsible for ensuring patient health and safety, the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) oversees the licensing and disciplinary action of all dentists practicing within the state of Texas. This power obligates them to investigate complaints and concerns over which they have jurisdiction, and it gives them the power to take disciplinary action that may include (but is not limited to) supervision or monitoring of a practice, or even dental license suspension, revocation, or denial.
Ideally, these actions are taken against professionals who have acted negligently or in violation of the Health and Safety Code, but this is not always the case. Any dentist may become subject of a complaint, and that can ultimately lead to negative action, even if the practitioner has not done anything wrong. If you are a dentist in the state of Texas, know how to protect your dental license, understand when investigations or disciplinary action may be warranted, and know your rights under the law.
Solicitation of a Patient
If you knowingly offer to pay (by any means, including overt, covert, indirect, or direction means) for patients or patient lists, you could become subject to investigation from the TSBDE. If found guilty, you could face an investigation or possible disciplinary action from the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners, and you could be referred for criminal charges. The same applies if you offer to sell or agree to accept any form of payment (by any means, including overt, covert, direct, or indirect) for the names or information of potential patients.
False, Misleading, Deceptive Advertising
While advertising, in and of itself, is not prohibited, you are bound by certain rules and regulations. You may not publish any statements that could be misconstrued as false, misleading, or deceptive. In addition, all statements must be verifiable and you may not claim superiority of performance or service in your advertisements.
Even if a criminal offense is not directly related to your practice or services, it could launch an investigation and disciplinary action from the Board. This includes (but is not limited to) felony offenses, misdemeanor offenses, driving while under the influence, assault, and domestic violence charges. Be aware that, even if you are acquitted of your charges, there may still be consequences with the Board.
Meant to encompass a wide range of possible offenses, unprofessional conduct includes everything from making false or fraudulent claims to an insurance company to failing to provide proper disclosure when you refer a patient to a hospital or facility where you (or an immediate) has a financial interest.
Infections, Outbreaks, and Other Failures in Sanitation and Safety
If a patient files a complaint with the Board regarding a possible infection, outbreak, or other failure in sanitation or safety (incompetency, poor standard of care, etc.), you may become subject of an investigation if one is reported by a patient. Furthermore, action may be taken against you if the Board determines there are deviations or violations within your practice regarding safety or sanitation (including those involving your staff).
Excessive Fees or Care
Dentists are prohibited from charging their patients and insurance companies excessive fees or for unnecessary procedures. Unfortunately, this means that a patient may file a complaint against you, even if your fees or the services fall within a range that would normally be considered reasonable. Even if no disciplinary action is taken against you in such circumstances, the process of the investigation can be bothersome and may distract you from your regular daily duties.
Practicing Without a Valid Texas Dental License
If you hold a license in another state and are practicing within the state of Texas, have had your Texas dental license suspended or revoked, or your licensing status has lapsed, you may be subject to investigation and disciplinary action from the TSBDE. This can be especially problematic for those that may not have been aware of a lapse in their licensing status.
Facing an Investigation or Disciplinary Action from the TSBDE?
If you are facing an investigation or possible disciplinary action from the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners, do not wait until matters get out of hand before seeking help. Protect your practice and the status of your license now. Contact a skilled and experienced Texas professional license defense attorney who is dedicated to protecting your rights and best interest. Call 512-228-7946 and schedule your free initial consultation with Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, today.