Licensing FAQ’s: Handling Complaints from Texas Licensing Agencies
If you receive notice that complaint has been filed against you through the Texas Medical Board, the Texas Board of Nursing, the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners, or some other licensing agency, it is essential that you take the matter seriously—never underestimate the importance of a complaint filed against you.
Consulting and hiring a Texas professional license defense attorney to help navigate the situation before it has the chance to spiral out of control is essential. Also, notify your insurance carrier to ensure you have sufficient coverage to handle board complaints (you very well may not). Additionally, notify your superiors or risk manager, if applicable. Do not discuss the complaint with the person who filed it unless your attorney instructs you to do so.
Be Mindful of Timelines
When a complaint is registered with a licensing agency, the agency will notify you and provide you with a timeline in which to respond. For example, the Texas Medical Board must make an initial determination within 45 days of a filed compliant; this typically gives you about 28 days to provide an initial response. Take this very seriously and do not miss your deadlines. Moreover, make sure that your staff is aware of the complaint and stress the importance of receiving any communications from the Board in a timely manner.
Provide All Required Information
Initially, you will likely only need to provide billing and medical records, along with a narrative response. If, however, a complaint is not dismissed within the first 45 days, you will enter into the investigation stage.
Be prepared to provide additional information, which will be reviewed by another professional within your specialty. If you reach this stage and have not yet acquired the help of a licensing defense attorney, do so immediately.
Prepare for Further Investigation
Each licensing board has its own rules on how to handle complaints if they believe you have acted within violation of their rules and regulations. The Texas Medical Board, for example, handles matters through an informal settlement conference.
You will have the opportunity to submit any further evidence, including a report from a retained professional defending your care. The entire process takes a great deal of preparation and should therefore be overseen by a skilled attorney.
Possible outcomes can range anywhere from complete dismissal of a complaint to the revocation of one’s license. However, many cases that make it to the investigation phase provide a resolution opportunity through non-disciplinary remedial plans. This may include paying fines, attending continuing education classes, or undergoing external monitoring for a pre-determined amount of time. You may agree to the resolution or you can request an appeal. If you choose the resolution, it will be sent to the Board for full approval. If you choose to appeal the decision, it will go to the State Office of Administrative Hearings or the district court.
Hiring a License Defense Attorney
Employing the aid of a licensing defense attorney, as soon as possible, is crucial. Although doing so does not guarantee a dismissal, a qualified attorney can help to navigate the entire process, from the notification of a complaint to the State District Court, if necessary.
Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, has handled hundreds of Professional Board cases, including complaints, investigations, and temporary suspensions. With more than 20 years of medical-legal experience, you can trust that he will handle your case with the skill and professionalism it deserves. To consult with a skilled Texas professional license defense attorney, call 512-228-7946 today.