When to File a Complaint Against a Doctor in Texas
Complaints to the Texas Medical Board
If you feel like you have been mistreated by a Physician, Physician’s Assistant, Acupuncturist, Respiratory Care Practitioner, Medical Radiologic Technologist, Medical Physicist, or a Perfusionist, you can make a complaint to the Texas Medical Board. A complaint must be filed in writing. The form for filing a complaint as well as additional instructions can be found on their website.
What Types of Complaints Are Investigated by the Texas Medical Board?
Not every complaint under the sun is within the jurisdiction of the Texas Medical Board. The matter complained of must constitute a violation of one of the following sets of standards:
- Medical Practice Act
- Physician Assistant Licensing Act
- Respiratory Care Act, or
- Medical Radiologic Technologist Certification Act.
While these acts govern a variety of issues, the most common violations that are investigated include complaints of the following:
- Professional Incompetency.
- Improper prescription of medications.
- Engaging in unprofessional conduct that is dangerous to the public.
- Incompetency by way of mental or physical impairment (includes drug or alcohol problems as well as mental health issues.)
Not all issues are governed by the Texas Medical Board. Here are some of the other issues you may run into that they simply do not handle:
Practicing Without a License
The Texas Medical Board has authority over the regulation of licensed physicians. If a person is practicing medicine without a license, he is not under their jurisdiction. However, that person is committing a criminal act which means that you should contact the local police department and let them handle the matter.
Poor Bedside Manner Complaints
If you have a complaint about a doctor’s poor bedside manner or downright rudeness, you can complain to the medical society in which he/she belongs. The State of Texas Medical Board, however, has no authority to hear such complaints and will dismiss them.
Medical Billing Issues
The Texas Medical Board does not handle physician billing matters. You should contact your health insurance company and. If necessary, the Texas Department of Insurance if there is a discrepancy in the billing.
A patient has a right to receive copies of their own medical records under HIPPA. A patient also has a right to view the original medical records at the doctor’s office under HIPPA. Generally, they are required to provide you copies within 30 days of a request unless you are in a State that shortens that time period. In Texas, the physician must provide copies of records to the patient within 15 days of receipt of a written request by the patient and payment of the reasonable charges to copy said records, films, etc. If you are having difficulty or anticipate difficulty getting the provider to release the records, you should submit a request via certified mail to document the date that it was made.
Complications from Medical Procedures
Unfortunately, not every medical procedure goes exactly as planned. Many medical procedures have known risks and complications that may or may not arise. These are not typically matters heard by the Texas Medical Board unless a violation of the applicable licensing and practice rules is involved.
Acts of medical negligence may or may not involve a matter governed by the Texas Medical Board. Medical negligence is simply a deviation from the accepted standard of care. An example of an act that would be a valid ground for a complaint and potentially actionable negligence would be a medical provider who is practicing while intoxicated and causes an injury. If you suspect that you are the victim of medical negligence, talk to a medical malpractice attorney about your civil rights. At Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., we offer a free, no-obligation, consultation. Call us today at (713) 932-0777.