Physician License Defense
If the Texas Medical Board targets a licensed physician for disciplinary matters, an attorney may be able to help that physician defend him or herself. In many of these cases, physicians are facing disciplinary matters that could result in the loss of their license to practice medicine, especially as many of these cases involve accusations of chemical dependency and intemperate use cases. These cases might be brought up on their own, or they could arise in affiliation with standard of care, prescriptions for non-therapeutic reasons, records problems, or sexual boundary violations.
Facing any accusation that threatens your physician license can be daunting, but having an attorney on your side is a critical part of ensuring that you are best able to face an inquiry from the State Office of Administrative Hearings or the Travis County District Court. With such help, you can better understand the process and what steps are best for you to take to defend your livelihood.
Why an Attorney?
Inquiries into the legitimacy of your practice and license might involve formal investigations, actions, and orders enforced by the Texas Medical Board (TMB). Situations like these have actually increased over the last several years, half of which involve standard-of-care complaints.
These issues and subsequent possible investigations generally assume the following trajectory: a formal letter is issued and a follow-up phone call from an investigator is made. However, no physician is required to respond to these forms of contact on their own, but in fact can retain legal counsel before responding. Should a physician retain the services of an attorney, they will be protected from having to converse directly with the investigators if they do not want to.
When facing accusations against the continued validity of your physician license, it’s important to understand the many facets of the process and such a situation, including:
- The Disciplinary Process
- Grounds for Discipline
- Types of Penalties
- Peer Review Actions
- Network & Insurance Terminations
- Chemical Dependency
- Criminal Arrests and Convictions
Whatever an individual physician is accused of, he or she should consider consulting an attorney as soon as possible after an accusation arises. If action is not taken, then a physician might lose his or her license and, therefore, will not be able to legally practice in Texas, or elsewhere. Once you talk with an attorney, you can work together to identify the nature of the accusation you face, as well as strategize regarding your defense against these accusations.
Mounting this defense is essential, as it can prevent an investigation by the TMB, which might result in the loss of a physician’s license. Some physicians fail to create this defense, however, and so lose their licenses. But a successful defense might keep the TMB investigation at bay and might also prevent sanctions related to physician misconduct.
Not calling an attorney immediately after being accused of physical misconduct or another serious charge can eventually result in criminal charges or a criminal prosecution. Contacting an attorney can be even more important in other instances, when a physician is accused of engaging in medical behaviors or treatments that have nothing to do with his or her practice. Some defenses of these accusations might involve a plea to a community supervision period, which can also prevent the loss of license.
A further drive to contact an attorney for physician license defense is to avoid improper reporting to and by the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB). When improper reporting occurs, the NPDB can make such information publicly available, which can tarnish the reputation of a physician. Your attorney can issue a petition for non-disclosure, however, and prevent such damaging publication through both the NPDB and other information sources.
At the Leichter Law Firm, our lawyers are committed to helping physicians fight against the loss of their license to practice medicine. We can help with disciplinary action matters, peer review committee evaluations by a hospital or medical staff, a compensation commission issue, and a criminal prosecution situation. Thus, if you are facing disciplinary matters of any kind that related to your ability to practice medicine, call 512-495-9995 to discuss your legal situation and how we can help you fight to keep your license.