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Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943
Omnia pro aegroto

ACTION IS NEEDED IMMEDIATELY TO STOP THE HARASSMENT OF DOCTORS BY THE TEXAS MEDICAL BOARD

April 2, 2009

Dear Colleague,

A few weeks ago we wrote to ask for your support for our efforts to pass state legislation that would reform the egregious actions of the Texas Medical Board (TMB).

We are pleased to report that a bill with all of our reforms has been introduced!

But we need your help now more than ever to make sure it passes.

[Please consider a financial contribution to support our efforts. Click here for more information on how to contribute. Donations to AAPS are NOT tax-deductible.]

HB 3816, sponsored by Rep. Fred Brown of College Station, promotes transparency of the actions of the TMB, and establishes legal due process for any physician subject to a complaint. It protects your rights, as well as the rights of your patients.

This bill will come before the Texas House Public Health Committee on April 14. But the legislators need to hear immediately from physicians to move this through the committee. Our best opportunity is NOW; the next opportunity will not happen for another two years.

We have all heard the horror stories of colleagues who have been hauled before the board on trumped up charges, only to be forced to settle rather than face suspension and enormous legal bills.

HB 3816 protects patients by strengthening the medical board’s ability to deal with bad doctors by focusing its attention on those doctors rather than on anonymous complaints from competitors, hospitals, pharmacy and insurance companies, disgruntled employees or angry ex-spouses.

The key points of the HB 3816 are:

  • No more anonymous, unsworn complaints
  • A copy of the complaint for the accused physician
  • No more anonymous expert witnesses
  • An end to conflicts of interests for TMB members
  • Required disclosure of exculpatory evidence to a physician subject to a complaint.
  • The right for physicians to take notes, audiotape, videotape, or transcribe the Informal Settlement Conference (ISC)
  • No more career-ending punishment over minor documentary issues or fee disputes
  • Discipline only if there is “clear and convincing” evidence
  • A right to a jury trial before license revocation (as lawyers already have).
  • A requirement that the Executive Director of the TMB be a physician. (The current Executive Director is a young attorney.)

Please visit the website of the Texans for Patients’ and Physicians’ Rights (TXPPR), www.txppr.org, to read the entire bill, which contains the underlined changes, and to review the more complete analysis of the changes which are being proposed.

A civilized society does not permit an anonymous complaint to ruin the life of a professional, as the TMB currently encourages. A civilized society does not permit unsworn accusations to be the basis for destroying someone’s career and his livelihood, as the TMB now allows. When a physician’s medical career is wrongly destroyed it adversely affects not just the physician, but the lives of thousands of patients who depend upon him.

Please read the below Action List and contact the members of the House Public Health Committee, your own state representative, and state and local medical societies, to ask them to co-author and support HB 3816.

Working together we can ensure transparency of the action of the TMB and protect our individual liberties.

Sincerely,

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

[Please consider a financial contribution to support our efforts. Click here for more information on how to contribute. Donations to AAPS are NOT tax-deductible.]


HB 3816 Action Items

1. Contact Representative Lois Kolkhurst of Brenham, Chairman of the Texas House Public Health Committee, asking her to support HB 3816 and pass it out of her committee:

Representative Lois Kolkhorst
512-463-0600
[email protected]

2. Contact the eleven members of the House Public Health Committee. Just visit the Texans for Patients’ and Physicians’ Rights webpage at http://www.TXPPR.org. There is a simple click-through to contact them by email.

3. Contact your State Representative both by phone and e-mail and ask him to cosponsor HB 3816. The contact information for your state representative can be found on line at: www.house.state.tx.us/resources/faq.htm#who_rep.

4. Contact the Texas Medical Association and your local medical society ask them to support HB 3816:

Josie R. Williams, MD 979-458-7200 [email protected]

5. The contact information for the seven officers of the Texas Medical Association may be accessed at www.txppr.org in the middle of the letter on the Home page. It would be beneficial if you would e-mail Dr. Williams and copy each officer: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

6. Contact Representative. Fred Brown and Senator Dan Patrick (author of the Senate companion) and thank them for working to protect patients’ and physicians’ rights by revising the TMPA:

Representative Fred Brown, [email protected]
512-463-0698

Senator Dan Patrick, [email protected]
512-463-107

7. Enlist the support of your staff .and patients. Supply them with this information and have them contact their state representative to ask him to support and sponsor H.B. 3816.

ALL OF THE ABOVE CONTACTS ARE POSTED IN A QUICK CLICK-THROUGH FORMAT ON THE TEXANS FOR PATIENTS & PHYSICIANS RIGHTS WEBSITE: www.TXPPR.org

[Please consider a financial contribution to support our efforts. Click here for more information on how to contribute. Donations to AAPS are NOT tax-deductible.]