CSHB 3816 Scheduled for Vote In Texas House Today,
Thursday, May 14th
May 14, 2009
Committee Substitute House Bill (CSHB) 3816, authored by Rep. Fred Brown, was passed out of the Calendars Committee and is still scheduled to be voted upon by the full Texas House. We are hoping that it will be voted on today, Thursday, May 14th.
Contact your state representative today by phone and e-mail and ask him or her to vote “Yes!” on CSHB 3816. It is critical that we continue to take action to ensure our success.
You can locate your state representative and his or her contact information at http://www.house.state.tx.us/resources/faq.htm#who_rep.
Rep. Fred Brown has provided tremendous leadership in getting this bill up for a vote in the House. Senator Dan Patrick is carrying this bill in the Texas Senate and will pick up CSHB 3816 when it is passed by the House. Let’s continue to stand with these outstanding leaders!
CSHB 3816 revises the Texas Medical Practice Act to prevent competitors, insurance companies, drug companies and hospitals from filing anonymous complaints against physicians. It prohibits conflicts of interest to prevent board members from working for insurance or other companies who are adverse to patients and physicians. It provides for transparency of the actions of the Texas Medical Board, ensures legal due process and protects patients’ and physicians’ rights from regulatory abuse.
Visit the Texans for Patients and Physicians website, www.txppr.com, to read CSHB 3816.
Synopsis of the C.S.H.B. 3816
- Eliminate anonymous complaints and provide the accused physician with a copy of the complaint (with narrow exceptions).
- Abuse of the complaint process by insurance companies shall be grounds for imposing sanctions by the commissioner of the Texas Department of Insurance.
- A reasonable time of 45 days to respond to complaints (currently the physician must respond in only 14 days, which is far too short for a defense).
- Prohibition of conflicts of interests by TMB members.
- Expert witnesses must be actively practicing medicine in the same or similar specialty as the accused physician, and the expert shall review the record with the patients’ and physicians’ identities redacted.
- No more disregard by the TMB of expert testimony that exonerates physicians subject to complaints; such reports must be provided to the physicians.
- Transparency by requiring disclosure of the list of names of persons who served on the ISC disciplinary panels during the prior year.
- A seven-year statute of limitations on complaints to prevent the current practice of abusive complaints that go back as far as 29 years.
- A physician may practice medicine in a manner currently taught by an accredited organization, and the Board may not direct a physician in how to practice medicine except to prevent actual harm or an imminent risk of harm.
- Physicians may request the recording of the ISC disciplinary proceeding.
- The Board must accept the findings of the administrative law judge or contest them in a legal proceeding, rather than ignoring them as the Board does now.
- The Board shall not discipline a physician for allegedly non-therapeutic care unless it has a likelihood of harm to a patient.
- Doctors, like attorneys, deserve a right to a jury trial before license revocation.