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Texas Lawmakers Enact New Laws Reforming Texas Medical Board Disciplinary Authority and Increasing Hospital Reporting Obligations

Jesse M. Coleman and Drew del Junco, writing for Seyfarth Shaw, LLP:

On June 13, 2023, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a major new patient safety bill into law that is intended both to reform the disciplinary authority of the Texas Medical Board (TMB) and to better protect patients from potentially dangerous doctors. …

The law, known as H.B. No. 1998, … seeks to equip the TMB, which regulates physicians in Texas, with the tools necessary to protect patients from dangerous physicians, increase hospital reporting requirements, all the while maintaining transparency about physician disciplinary records.

Among other changes, the new law:

  • Requires a medical peer review committee or health care entity to report in writing to the TMB the results and circumstances of a medical peer review that adversely affects the clinical privileges of a physician for a period longer than 14 days. Previously, hospitals were obligated to make such a report only if the adverse action lasted more than 30 days, which is the current requirement for reporting such actions to the NPDB.

  • Prevents doctors from practicing medicine in Texas if their medical licenses have been revoked, restricted, or suspended for cause in other states.
  • Prevents doctors from practicing in Texas if they have been convicted, or had a deferred disposition, for a felony or misdemeanor crime involving moral turpitude.