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Texas medical license defense attorneyIn the criminal world, people are presumed innocent until proven guilty, but this is not always the case when it comes to disciplinary action from the Texas Medical Board. Physicians may initially have very little information about the nature or details of the complaint, and even minor ones can quickly snowball. In short, the disciplinary process can turn into a nightmare for healthcare providers. The following information can help you understand what is at stake, and how you can best protect your medical license.

How Minor Complaints Can Turn into a Nightmare

Although some complaints do arise out of major issues, most involve relatively minor problems. A patient may have felt you or your staff were being rude when, in all reality, you were simply rushed or not feeling well that day. Alternatively, a patient may have felt they were charged inappropriately for a visit or procedure, possibly because their insurance company did not cover the full amount of the service provided. The Board may review and then dismiss such complaints, but sometimes they are referred to an investigator for further processing. Once this happens, the matter can quickly escalate.

Being Prepared is Your First Line of Defense

While there are a number of things that you can do to protect yourself during an investigation from the Texas Medical Board, one of the most important actions you can take is ensuring you are prepared and well-versed on the potential effects of an investigation, and how to best protect yourself. Never underestimate the risk, and never assume that an unfounded or minor complaint will lead to a dismissal or minor consequence. Remember, even minor complaints can spiral out of control, and anything you say or do during the investigation can inadvertently put your license at risk.

Contact Our Experienced Texas Medical License Defense Lawyer

Regardless of the reason for your investigation, no matter how unfounded the allegations against you might seem, it is important to ensure that you never speak to an investigator until you have first consulted with an experienced attorney. Alternatively, do not plead guilty to an allegation, simply because the claim is (or appears to be) founded. Instead, contact Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law. Our seasoned Texas medical license defense attorney is committed to protecting your license and livelihood and we will aggressively represent you in your case. Schedule your consultation by calling 512-228-7946 today.

Source:

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/853911_1

 

physician assistant license, Texas professional license defense lawyerPhysician assistants have a fairly broad scope to work within, as long as an overseeing physician is supervising them. But overstepping that scope can lead to serious consequences, including the suspension and revocation of your license. Learn how your scope of practice and licensing status are connected, and what you should do to protect your physician assistant license if you become the subject of an investigation by the Texas Medical Board. 

Physician Assistant Scope of Practice

As outlined in the Texas Administrative Code, physician assistants are permitted to provide medical care and assistance that falls within the boundaries of their training, education, and experience, as long as a physician oversees that care. These practices of care may include:

  • Diagnostic or therapeutic procedures (ordering and/or performing);
  • Developing and implementing a treatment plan for patients;
  • Surgery assistance;
  • Formulating a diagnosis for patients;
  • Obtaining patient histories;
  • Performing physical examinations;
  • Referring patients to appropriate care providers;
  • Prescribing or ordering medications (as permitted under the Medical Practice Act, Chapter 157);
  • Signing for, requesting, or receiving pharmaceutical sample medications;
  • Distributing sample medications to patients (as permitted under the Medical Practice Act, Chapter 157); and
  • Monitoring patients to determine the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions.

Consequences of Working Outside Your Scope of Practice 

While you do have a fair amount of scope in your practice, a physician must oversee the work you do. If you are within the first three years of practice, you must also have a monthly face-to-face meeting with your delegating physician to maintain prescriptive authority. Failure to comply with either requirement or performing a task that you has not been educated or trained to perform can have serious consequences. You could face an investigation from the Texas Medical Board. If evidence of an infraction is found, you could face temporary suspension or revocation of your license. Alternatively, you could become subject to other forms of disciplinary action, such as probation or public reprimand.

If you have recently become the subject of an investigation by the Texas Medical Board, it is critical that you take action now to protect the status of your license. Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, has more than 20 years of experience in the medical legal arena. Skilled and aggressive, our Texas physician assistant license defense lawyer can help defend your license and assist you through the investigation process. Contact us at 512-228-7946 to schedule your confidential consultation today.

Sources:

https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=T&app=9&p_dir=P&p_rloc=167505&p_tloc=&p_ploc=1&pg=45&p_tac=&ti=22&pt=9&ch=185&rl=10

http://www.tmb.state.tx.us/page/prescriptive-delegation

texas medical board complaintThe Texas Medical Board receives over 7,000 complaints against licensed physicians each year. If the complaint is determined to be within the Board’s jurisdiction, an investigation is done. If the complaint is determined to have merit—that is, the physician acted in a manner that is not consistent with the public’s welfare—the matter is referred to the Board’s Litigation Department.

At this point, an Informal Settlement Conference/Show Compliance proceeding is held. It is a time for the panel—comprised of one physician and one lay person representing the board—to evaluate the information gathered in the investigation process and for the physician to show that he or she is in compliance with the Medical Practice Act. The panel typically reserves one hour or less for the conference, and the Board representatives have a Board attorney there to present the allegations against the physician. The physician presents his or her defense and answers any questions from the panel. The conference is informal in that there is no sworn testimony and rules of evidence do not apply. It is also confidential.

The panel then considers the issues and all of the information presented before making a determination. If the panel determines that no violation of the Medical Practice Act occurred, it recommends dismissal of the case. If it finds that a violation did occur, it recommends either a Remedial Plan or an Agreed Order. A Remedial plan, which is used for less severe cases, consists of corrective measures and is considered to be non-disciplinary. An Agreed Order sets forth the terms of the order and includes any number of sanctions. If agreed to by the physician, the Remedial Plan or Agreed Order must be approved by the full Board.

Sanctions in an Agreed Order can include the following:

  • Fine,
  • Reprimand,
  • Continuing Medical Education,
  • Further appearances before the Board,
  • Chart monitoring,
  • Participation in AA or other rehabilitation program,
  • Drug testing,
  • Referral to the Texas Physician Health Program,
  • Practice restrictions, and
  • Suspension or revocation of license.

The Informal Settlement Conference/Show Compliance proceeding is the stage at which the physician must not be lulled into a false sense of security about the potential severity of the matter. The fact that the Board calls this an informal proceeding does not mean that the process is at all informal. In fact, it can have severe consequences for the physician.

An experienced attorney can present the physician’s defense in the best possible way to positively influence the outcome, and can negotiate the terms of any Agreed Offer. Choosing to go through the conference process without an attorney present is not in the physician’s best interests. The Board has an attorney present, and so should the physician.

If you have been notified of a complaint against you, the earlier you contact an experienced attorney, the better. Contact Texas professional license defense attorney Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, for representation before the Texas Medical Board.

dental practice actA complaint to the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) can result in the suspension or revocation of your license to practice dentistry. It also comes with stress and uncertainty as a result of the potentially devastating consequences to your livelihood.

Dental professionals licensed to practice in Texas should be familiar with the Dental Practice Act and the TSBDE’s Rules and Regulations in order to guard against the filing of complaints. They should also be familiar with the six categories of complaints under the Texas Administrative Code, which include:

  1. Quality of Care: the failure to treat a patient in accordance with the dentistry or dental hygiene standard of care. This standard of care is generally defined as conducting a practice in the manner of a reasonable and prudent dentist under similar circumstances.
  2. Sanitation: the failure to maintain a sanitary dental office. This includes proper sterilization, disinfection, and infection control procedures.
  3. Professional Conduct: any violations arising in the daily practice of dentistry. Professional conduct includes honesty, integrity, and fair dealing.
  4. Administration: the failure to adhere to the administrative requirements imposed by the Dental Practice Act and the TSBDE’s Rules. This includes the maintenance of adequate patient records.
  5. Dental Laboratories: any violations of the Dental Practice Act or the TSBDE’s Rules in the operation of a dental laboratory. Specific rules, including registration and staffing requirements, are prescribed for the operation of a dental laboratory.
  6. Business Promotion: any violations relating to obtaining business, such as solicitation, referrals, or gift schemes, which are prohibited, or advertising, which may not be false or misleading.

Complaints are divided into two classes of priority. Priority 1 means that the allegations are more serious, including those involving patient mortality or morbidity, sanitation, or practice without a license. Priority 2 means that the allegations are less serious, and include record-keeping and advertising violations.

If you have been notified that a complaint has been filed against you with the TSBDE, you have the right to be represented by an attorney. Contact experienced Texas professional license attorney Oscar San Miguel to protect your license and your livelihood.

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