Houston Medical & Professional License Defense Attorneys
Helping Professionals Like You Protect Their Licenses and Livelihoods Since 1987
As a professional license holder, you have invested heavily in your career. Regardless of your area of practice or specialty, if you are facing scrutiny from any of Texas’ regulatory boards, our health care defense and professional license attorneys are ready to advocate for you. We will work with you to develop a comprehensive case strategy to aggressively defend your rights, your license, and your livelihood.
Years of experience working with the Texas Medical Board, Texas Board of Nursing, and other licensing boards and committees has given our team insight into the unique requirements and processes of each of these regulatory bodies. We are able to efficiently prepare and employ a plan of action tailored to your circumstances and improve your chances for a speedy and orderly resolution. Our license defense lawyers have specific experience defending investigations by these licensing agencies:
- Texas Medical Board (TMB)
- Texas Board of Nursing
- Professional Societies
- Texas Physician Assistant (PA) Board
- Texas Health and Human Services Commission
- Texas Department of State Health Services
At Hendershot Cowart P.C., our attorneys have more than a century of combined experience helping professionals in health care and medical fields navigate legal and regulatory issues. Whether your specialty is family practice, internal medicine, anesthesiology, oncology, orthopedics, dermatology, radiology, pain management, psychology or another licensed profession, you can count on our Houston-based professional license defense lawyers to stand by you.
Common Types of Medical License Matters in Texas
Our medical license defense attorneys have experience defending medical professionals in a wide range of license disputes. We commonly represent clients during:
- Texas Medical Board investigations. The Texas Medical Board receives more than 7,000 complaints ever year – some frivolous, some serious – from patients, patient family members, health care professionals and other sources. The Board has an investigative staff working throughout the state gathering information, interviewing witnesses, and reviewing patient records. Who is working on your side? Put the health law attorneys of Hendershot Cowart P.C. to work for you. Learn more about the TMB investigative process below.
- Texas Board of Nursing investigations. Like physicians, nurses can come under investigation because of a patient or peer complaint. If you're a nurse and receive notice that you are under investigation for a possible violation of the Nursing Practice Act, we will help you navigate the investigatory and disciplinary process so you can focus on the important work of caring for your patients.
- HIPAA violation allegations. As physicians working with hospitals will know, an alleged HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) violation is cause for concern. Our attorneys can help ensure that your facility is compliant with HIPAA regulations and defend you against allegations, or minimize the impact of your case if HIPAA violations are indeed present.
- Peer review proceedings. A medical professional can question a colleague's professional credentials or standards of care. If you come under investigation in a peer review case, your license could be in danger. Every hospital has its own bylaws dictating how peer review proceedings should be carried out, which can make protecting your license during a peer review difficult. Additionally, a negative outcome in a peer review could limit your privileges, harming your career, and resulting in a report against you in the National Practitioner's Databank. Our lawyers can help you defend your license during a peer review, working with you to understand the unique bylaws of your facility and helping you find the best path forward in your case.
I Received a Letter of Complaint From the Texas Medical Board (TMB). What Should I Do?
Doctors, physician's assistants, and other licensees can come to the attention of the TMB in various ways. The TMB may send you a letter notifying you that your license is under investigation if:
- A patient files a complaint against you after receiving your care;
- A peer files a peer review proceeding against you because they question your professional credentials or care standards;
- A medical malpractice settlement or judgment names you as a person of interest;
- Another doctor reports you to the TMB.
Once you receive notice that a TMB investigation has been opened, time is of the essence. You should immediately retain legal counsel to protect your rights and defend your interests. Hiring an attorney is not an admission of guilt; rather you are engaging a professional to help you navigate the administrative process while you focus your time and attention on your patients.
The TMB takes several measures when investigating a complaint and deciding whether to revoke an individual's license:
- TMB staff investigates. TMB staff conduct an initial analysis to determine if a complaint is against someone the TMB licenses. If so, a preliminary evaluation is launched to determine whether there is evidence to support the allegations and if the allegations would constitute a violation of the Medical Practice Act. During this stage, the TMB may request information from the complainant and the licensee in question. If TMB investigators decide a violation may have occurred, the case is often referred to the Litigation Department for an informal settlement conference.
- A TMB panel holds an informal settlement conference (ISC). The purpose of the ISC is to provide an informal forum for a panel consisting of at least two TMB representatives to consider the evidence gathered, in addition to examining new records and reports provided by the accused practitioner. Having a lawyer at this stage who can help you collect evidence and compile a strong case in your defense is vital.
- The ISC panel reaches a decision and hands down a proposed order. After the ISC, the TMB decides whether a violation occurred and, if so, which sanctions should be issued against the accused. If the accused practitioner disagrees with the TMB's judgment, she or he can request an administrative proceeding.
- The State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) conducts mediation and a trial. At this stage, the case is heard by an Administrative Law Judge who reviews the case and presents a Proposal for Decision to the TMB. The TMB then issues an order that may include sanctions. If the TMB and the accused fail to reach an agreement at this stage, the case next moves into the public domain via a public complaint. This gives medical professionals a chance to receive a fair judgment if the TMB fails to handle the case correctly in its initial investigation.
Call or Click Now to Protect Your License
Having an experienced attorney by your side as you navigate a licensing complaint is essential. We can help you develop a powerful case strategy tailored to your needs, and aggressively and ethically defend your rights in and out of court.
In addition to helping medical professionals protect and defend their licenses against allegations, we also help licensed professionals obtain and manage licenses and navigate other legal and regulatory issues. If you need advice on a potential employment agreement, want to review physician recruitment agreements for your facility, or are looking for help obtaining or transferring a Medicare/Medicaid/managed care contract, we are at your service.
At Hendershot Cowart P.C., health law is our focus. As a health care professional, you understand that your experience and knowledge is unique and valuable. You are an expert in your practice area, and your patients rely on your advice. As health law attorneys, we are also experts in our practice area. Let us provide you with sophisticated, cost-effective advice and representation.
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