So during the 2017 regular legislative the Texas Legislature seemed to forget that they needed to vote on the Texas Medical Board staying in existence! So, Gov Abbott called them all back to Austin for a special session – and he told them – approve the med board – but alas here we are with only 7 days left of the special session and still not legislation to keep the medical board going. So, what happens if the legislature allows the TMB to fade away?? Well, many years ago Gov Ann Richards had had it with the Dental Board and away they went – some part to the Attorney General and some part to the Dept of Health – it was a mess and a lesson should have been learned but apparently not. A couple of great articles on the subject matter are the Texas Medical Association’s Doomsday article https://www.texmed.org/Doomsday/ and The Dallas Morning News’ article on Gov Ann Richards and the Texas Dental Board https://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas-legislature/2017/06/03/ann-richards-help-gov-greg-abbott-special-session-pickle. I doubt that the special session will end with the medical board hanging – lots of lessons can be learned from Gov Richards example!
A bit of old news, Executive Director Mari Robinson left the Texas Medical Board submitting her resignation in September 2016. In announcing her resignation Ms. Robinson attempted to put rumors to rest, “I want to reassure you that there is nothing negative behind my decision to leave nor is there anything bad coming down the pike,” Robinson said in a statement released Tuesday to staff and board members. “While there maybe be gossip about this, there is absolutely no truth to anything like that. Honestly, I am just ready to try something new and I am excited about this opportunity.”
Initially I was shocked to learn of Mari’s resignation as were many physicians who were lighting up the Garanflo and Meyer phones. Also, the Texas Medical Board was headed into Sunset hearings before the 2017 Texas Legislative session and the Teladoc lawsuit had still not been resolved – BUT, the more I thought about it the more it made sense. There is probably not anyone in the state of Texas that knows more about how Telemedicine should look in Texas and heading up UTMB Gavleston’s Telehealth program is a good fit.
Jaime and I wish Mari the best and know that she will work hard to make UTMB’s program the best in the state.
I think today was a record for me in trying to reach the Texas Medical Board and specifically CAR. I began dialing using two phones at 8 a.m. – after about 250+ redials I got through to the message that all lines are busy – this happened around 9:15 a.m. and still now at 9:55 a.m. I continue to be on hold. I have some answers on how to fix this issue – but alas I just connected with staff at 9:58 a.m. – UGH!
The Texas Medical Board adopted the following rule changes at its June 2014 meeting.
RULE CHANGES ADOPTED
§163.4, Procedural Rules for Licensure Applicants
The Amendments to rule 163.4, relating to Procedural Rules for Licensure Applicants, relocates language located in Rule 187.13(a) to 163.4(d), in order to clarify the licensure process and options for applicants prior to appearing before the licensure committee as well as the procedures followed by the board during such process.
§163.5, Licensure Documentation
The Amendment to rule 163.5, related to Licensure Documentation, adds language to 163.5(b)(11) to clarify the mechanism by which an applicant can remedy a single deficient U.S. clerkship.
§166.6, Exemption from Registration Fee for Retired Physician Providing Voluntary Charity Care
The Amendments to rule 166.6, relating to Exemption from Registration Fee for Retired Physician Providing Voluntary Charity Care, adds language in Section 166.6(g)-(j) which sets forth the process for a retired physician, providing voluntary charity care, to return to active status.
§172.5, Visiting Physician Temporary Permit
The Amendments to rule 172.5, relating to Visiting Physician Temporary Permit, amends 172.5(b)(1)(B) to provide that a Visiting Physician Temporary Permit holder participating in KSTAR must be supervised by a physician that has not been the subject of a disciplinary order, unless administrative in nature.
§172.8, Faculty Temporary License
The Amendment to rule 172.8, relating to Faculty Temporary License, is amended to provide that an applicant for a Faculty Temporary license is ineligible if they hold a license elsewhere that has been subject to disciplinary action.
§184.4, Qualifications for Licensure for Surgical Assistants
The Amendments to rule 184.4, relating to Qualifications for Licensure for Surgical Assistants, amends language in 184.4(a)(13)(B) in order to correctly identify substantially equivalent surgical assistant programs.
§184.16, Discipline of Surgical Assistants
The Amendment to rule 184.16, related to Discipline of Surgical Assistants, deletes subsection (c) referencing confidential rehabilitative orders, and amends language under subsection (a) so that the Board may enter agreed orders or remedial plans with a surgical assistant.
§187.13, Informal Board Proceedings Relating to Licensure Eligibility
The Amendment to rule 187.13, related to Informal Board Proceedings Relating to Licensure Eligibility, relocates language located in 187.13(a) to 163.4 (Relating to Procedural Rules for Licensure Applicants) in order to organize and group the procedural rules pertaining to the licensure process for an applicant who has been referred to appear before the licensure committee. The Amendment adds a definition for “disciplinary licensure investigation” to 187.13(b). The Amendment adds language to 187.13(c)(1) and (2) which sets forth effect of an applicant who withdraws an application or fails to appear before the licensure committee after being referred and the procedure followed by the Board. Additional Amendments to 187.13(c)(3) and (4) clarify the outcomes relating to an applicant who is offered licensure
with terms and conditions and those who are determined ineligible by the licensure committee.
The Amendment to rule 187.24, related to Pleadings, adds language to 187.24(b) to set forth the procedure for an applicant to request an appeal of the board’s ineligibility determination at SOAH and delineates the board’s and applicant’s duties with respect to order of filings. The Amendment further sets forth the effect of an applicant who withdraws their intent to file an appeal at SOAH or fails to timely file the requisite affirmative pleading and the procedure followed by the Board after such events.
§187.26, Service in SOAH Proceedings
The Amendment to rule 187.26, related to Service in SOAH Proceedings, deletes erroneous language relating to the required notice of default as it pertains to licensure cases at SOAH, due to its inapplicability in licensure cases.
The Amendment to rule 187.28, related to Discovery, adds language to subsection (a) referencing §164.007(d) of the Medical Practice Act and deletes language under 187.28(b)(1)(C) requiring that an expert report be provided in the designation of a testifying expert witness.
§187.29, Mediated Settlement Conferences
The Amendment to rule 187.29, related to Mediated Settlement Conferences, deletes language under 187.29(a)(1) referencing licensure matters.
§190.8, Violation Guidelines
The Amendment to rule 190.8, related to Violation Guidelines, amends subsection (L)(iii)(II) so that physicians are not required to establish a professional relationship prior to prescribing dangerous drugs for a patient’s close contacts if the physician diagnoses the patient with one or more of the listed infectious diseases. The amendments further add language defining a close contact and requiring that the physician document the treatment in medical record related to the patient connected to the close contact. The amendments delete language allowing a physician to provide such prophylactic treatment only in the case in which the patient has an illness determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, or the Governor’s Office to be pandemic, and limits the exception to the
provision of dangerous drugs.
§190.14, Disciplinary Sanction Guidelines
The Amendment to rule 190.14, related to Disciplinary Sanction Guidelines, amends the range and scope of sanctions for violations of the Medical Practice Act.