Texas Medical Board (TMB) has adopted a new “fast-track” procedure that will allow doctors facing discipline for relatively minor administrative violations to quickly resolve the matter.
Physicians who choose to participate in the new fast-track system can agree to administrative charges and pay a fine, rather than undergo a full investigation. A doctor who challenges the charges can dispute the violation in writing and the case will be reviewed by a committee. The physician may opt out of fast-track entirely and challenge the charges through TMB’s traditional investigation and litigation process.
Violations punishable only by a fine, will be eligible for fast-track. These include failure to provide medical records in a timely manner, failure to file a change of address with TMB, failure to sign a death certificate in a timely manner, failure to obtain required continuing medical education, and other administrative violations. Violations arising from inadequate patient care or unprofessional conduct are not eligible for fast-track consideration.
In the past all complaints believed to be a probable violation resulted in an investigation that could last 180 days, followed by an additional 180 days of litigation procedures. This would result in a hearing before a panel of board representatives. Cases considered under the new procedure can be concluded in as few as 60 days.
Legal Analysis: Pay the fine and move on.