The Texas Medical Board (the Board) recently released a publication designed to offer guidance on required reporting obligations from hospital staff and other medical professionals. The piece specifically focused on required reporting efforts by individual physicians as well as medical peer review committees.
Am I required by law to report? Yes, the Medical Practice Act requires medical doctors, medical students and resident or medical peer review committees to report certain offenses to the Board.
These reports are confidential.
What types of offenses trigger mandatory reporting? The piece provides two examples. The first is impairment. Essentially, the Board requires the reporting of any medical professional that treats a patient while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The piece clarifies that the Board focuses on rehabilitation as opposed to discipline in these situations. The Board’s final decision can hinge on whether or not the impairment is addressed prior to the presence of patient safety violations.
The piece also states the Board requires mandatory reporting in the event a physician “poses a continuing threat to the public welfare through the practice of medicine.”
What happens if there is a failure to report? Medical professionals that fail to meet their reporting obligations can become the subject of an investigative analysis conducted by the Board.
Physicians that find themselves the subject of an investigation by the Board can face licensing and credentialing issues. These issues can be mitigated by seeking legal counsel. An attorney experienced in the defense of physician licensing matters can handle this dispute on your behalf.