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Crunching Texas Medical Board numbers

The Texas Medical Board is responsible for the licensing and regulation of doctors in our state. It also oversees acupuncturists, physician assistants, radiologists, respiratory care practitioners and others.

The board recently released information on the number of complaints it received in fiscal year 2017 about doctors and other health care personnel over which it has jurisdiction. According to the data, the board received 8,114 complaints — the highest total since 2011.

More than 1,500 complaints about physicians resulted in a Texas Medical Board investigation of the allegations.

Investigations were also opened involving complaints about physician assistants, the board said. Ninety-one such investigations were opened. The board also investigated complaints about the following medical personnel:

  • Medical radiologic technologists: 265
  • Respiratory care practitioners: 136
  • Acupuncturist: 7
  • Perfusionists: 3
  • Surgical assistants: 1

The numbers that jump out from the board’s spreadsheet involve the surge in investigations involving respiratory care practitioners (going from 33 investigations in 2016 to more than four times as many last year) and investigations of medical radiologic technologists, which jumped from 43 in 2016 to about six times as many in 2017.

The data also indicates that the number of investigations of Texas doctors has dropped dramatically in the past few years. In fiscal year 2009, for instance, there were 2,741 physician investigations. That’s 1,222 more investigations than last year’s total of 1,519.

That drop in total investigations opened is despite the fact that complaints are on the rise.

Physicians under investigation should speak with an attorney experienced in license defense and comprehensive representation in disciplinary matters. Contact Rivas Goldstein LLP of Austin to schedule a consultation.