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Doctors take note: 2 important TMB updates

Physicians throughout the state should be aware of two recent updates that involve the Texas Medical Board (TMB).

#1: Physician wins case against the TMB

As we discussed in more detail in a previous post, available here, the TMB is not infallible. A neurologist built a successful case against the TMB for overstepping its authority when it failed to remove him from the data bank’s records of license restrictions.

The case is important because it serves as an example of the ability to push back against the TMB. Physicians who are in similar situations, who have experienced a negative impact to their practice because of the TMB’s actions, can successfully fight back.

#2: TMB increases reporting requirements

The TMB recently approved a rule change that it claims will help improve patient safety. This new rule requires physicians to self report the following within 30 days:

  • Criminal conviction
  • Disciplinary action that occurs in other states
  • Medical malpractice claims

This is an expansion of the previous rule, which required the physician make these reports within two years.

TMB president Dr. Sherif Zaafran stated that the move helps improve the TMB’s ability to protect the public and better ensure physicians meet rules and expectations within their profession. Dr. Zaafran also pointed out that this goal is not always easy to achieve as the board needs to balance physician’s right to due process with the evidence available to the board. Without a criminal conviction, the TMB generally struggles to move forward with official reprimands. However, even without these convictions the TMB can make life difficult for practicing physicians.

Whether a negative impact on one’s medical practice due to the issues highlighted in the first point or a concern about a reporting requirement, physicians are wise to keep in mind that they have rights. An attorney experienced in the processes used for physician licensing issues with the TMB can review the situation and discuss your options.

Attorney John Rivas is responsible for this communication