Report: Texas Medical Board disciplines 39 doctors in November, 2014

The Texas Medical Board continues to discipline large numbers of physicians in the state. Those facing these allegations have the right to a hearing and legal representation.

The Texas Medical Board disciplined 39 doctors at a meeting in November of this year, according to a recent report by Your Houston News. This is in addition to the 23 actions and 7 voluntary surrenders from October and the over 50 disciplinary actions from July of 2014, as reported by the Texas Medical Board.

Physicians in Texas can face harsh disciplinary penalties from the Medical Board. This, in combination with the stigma tied to accusations of providing poor care, can have a negative impact on a physician's practice. As a result, it is wise for all physicians in the state to have a basic understanding of how the disciplinary process in Texas is conducted and what legal rights are present for the physician facing these allegations.

More on medical disciplinary actions

Disciplinary actions taken by the Texas Medical Board include:

Temporary suspensions and restrictions. These actions include restrictions on the type of patient a physician can treat and a complete suspension from the practice of medicine.
Quality of care. Actions based on quality of care concerns can lead to required completion of continued medical education credits and restrictions regarding controlled substances.
Peer review actions. This can lead to required completion of a competency evaluation.

The American Medical Association (AMA) notes that medical peer reviews are subject to the Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986, or HCAIA. Under this law, the professional review body conducting the review must first provide appropriate notice to the physician under review. This notice must include a statement explaining that a professional review action is being taken, an explanation of the reasons supporting the review, clarification that the physician is allowed to request a hearing as well as a summary of the doctor's rights during the hearing.

It is important to note that there are often time limits in place regarding the hearing request. Physicians facing these allegations should also be aware that during the hearing they have a right to legal representation. In addition, a physician also has the following rights:

Witnesses. The physician under review has the right to cross examine the witnesses testifying at the hearing as well as call his or her own witnesses.
Evidence. Physicians going through this process can also present their own evidence.
Closing. At the conclusion of the hearing, physicians can also submit a written statement. Physicians are also allowed to request the making of a record of the proceedings.

These reviews are designed to help better ensure the quality of care medical professionals provide patients throughout the United States. The AMA recommends these reviews be conducted when appropriate and are based on medical necessity.

Importance of legal counsel

Physicians and other medical professionals facing peer reviews or other adverse actions should exercise their right to obtain legal counsel. An experienced medical license defense lawyer can work to better ensure that your license is protected.

Keywords: medical license defense