P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 18, 2003
AUSTIN -- Legislation designed to improve patient safety was approved today by the Senate Health & Human Services Committee and is on the way to the full Senate with a favorable recommendation. SB 104 was filed by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, as a companion to SB 12, the Medical Liability Insurance Reform Act. Following are some of the provisions in SB 104:
- Strengthens the Board's authority to immediately suspend licenses of physicians who have been convicted of a violent crime.
- Requires the Board to give priority to complaints that involve sexual misconduct, quality of care, impairment and license holders who are currently under disciplinary order.
- Increases Board's authority to intervene when evidence exists that the physicians continuation of practice would constitutes a "clear and present danger" to patients and to discipline physicians who violate any law related to the practice of medicine.
- Prohibits a person whose medical license has been revoked in another jurisdiction from practicing in Texas.
- Authorizes the Board to discipline physicians placed on community probation, deferred prosecution or deferred adjudication.
- Directs the Board to develop an expert review panel and develop a penalty fee schedule commensurate with severity.
- Gives individuals the right to 30 days notice of a hearing; have an attorney present in all meetings; receive a written statement of allegations and receive written notification of dismissals or any other action taken.
- Expedites the informal settlement conference process once a license has been temporarily suspended, as well as State Office of Administrative Hearings process.
"Common sense tells that individuals with drug problems should not be in the operating room. Common sense tells us that a person charged with sexual crimes should not be caring for children. We need to give the Board the authority it needs to step in when patients are at risk," Senator Nelson said.