The Texas Medical Board's (TMB) disciplinary panel announced the temporary restriction of a Houston physician. The group accused the physician of administering opioids at a high volume. The TMB further chastised the physician, stating he not registered as a pain management clinic as required due to the nature of his practice.
As a result of these alleged violations, the board temporarily and immediately restrained his medical license.
What is next for the physician? The TMB stated it would hold a hearing "as soon as practicable" for the doctor. The board will notify the physician of the date, once determined.
In the meantime, the doctor must abide by the board's ruling or else face further penalties.
What can other physicians in Texas learn from this case? The case provides an example of the TMB's focus on opioids. In December of 2018, the group provided some clarification within its newsletter.
The notice clarified two primary points about the recent guideline updated by the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
- Target. The guidelines are targeted for primary care physicians, not specialists. Specialists are already expected to appropriately manage their patients' use of opioids.
- Dosage. The guidelines do not provide a specific morphine milligram equivalent. Instead, they encourage physicians to use extra caution with any opioid use.
The TMB also reminds physicians that it has the ability to monitor prescribing history and will take immediate action against those it deems are prescribing in a manner that poses a risk to public health and safety.
The board does not make this threat lightly. As evidenced by the case above, it will restrain or even revoke a physician's medical license. As such, any physician that finds themselves under review by the TMB is wise to act to protect their interests. An attorney experienced in these matters can help.