Texas Physician Assistant License Defense and Representation

If you are a Physician Assistant and you have been contacted or received a letter from the Texas Physician Assistant Board or Medical Board requesting you to respond to a complaint or an investigation, you should seek legal advice. If you are contacted by any government agency or your employer, and you are being “encouraged” to admit responsibility, liability or guilt to any act, it is very important for you to seek legal counsel.

The Texas Physician Assistant Board is a state regulatory and administrative agency. The board is not there to represent you in investigative matters. Their main purpose is to regulate the practice of medicine and protect the public. In other words, blindly answering questions without proper legal advice, could potentially affect your ability to continue your livelihood as a physician assistant. A Physician Assistant should have an attorney who is familiar with professional license defense, and who can advocate and protect their best interests, their license and career.

Texas Physician Assistants facing a complaint or investigation by the Texas Physician Assistant Board, or any government agency may be subject to a license probation, suspension or revocation. If so, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced and aggressive attorney to protect your interests when facing any type of licensing board, hospital disciplinary actions, or any potential Medicare or Medicaid criminal or civil fraud recoupment or overpayment action, or charges of other criminal conduct.

Do I Really Need an Attorney?

It Does not Make You Look Guilty to Have an Attorney

The health care world has become very complex. There are a vast amount of federal and state laws, rules and regulations that govern medical and healthcare occupations. It is very important for a physician assistant to seek an experienced attorney to ensure that their rights are preserved. After all, your Texas Physician Assistant license and livelihood may be on the line.

It can be dangerous for a Physician Assistant to speak to an investigator without a lawyer present. You can inadvertently make statements against your own personal interests without realizing you are doing it. No matter what the allegation is, you should do everything in your power to protect your rights as the Texas Physician Assistant and Medical Board is not there to do that for you.

If you are being investigated or questioned by either your current employer, law enforcement, or an administrative agency, you should seek the advice of an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process. It is important for you to have an advocate on your side to ensure that you are protected.

Examples of Cases that the Law Office of Bridget Eyler assists physicians and Physician Assistant s with:

  • Licensing Investigations
  • Board Complaints
  • Disciplinary Hearings
  • Chemical Dependency and Impairment
  • Drug Diversion Investigations
  • Insurance Billing And Coding Disputes
  • Documentation disputes
  • Boundary Violations
  • Licensing Board Applications
  • Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Registration Reinstatement
  • Hospital Peer Review Representation
  • Criminal Defense

If you are a licensed Physician Assistant, and any of the following scenarios apply to you, contact Eyler Law Office at (214) 540-7750, or email us, to seek legal counsel and protect your license:

  • A Texas Physician Assistant or Medical Board investigator or any investigator (including law enforcement agencies, hospital police, or your human resource representative) contacts you and wants to discuss a complaint filed against you;
  • You were terminated from your employment and informed that you are being reported to the Texas Physician Assistant Board for allegedly violating the Medical Practice Act and/or Board rules/regulations;
  • A Texas Physician Assistant or Medical Board investigator requests to conduct a telephone interview of you regarding a complaint filed against your medical license;
  • Your Texas Physician Assistant license has been suspended and you need guidance understanding the terms and conditions of getting it reinstated;
  • An actual formal investigation is pending against your license with the Texas Physician Assistant Board;
  • A hearing is scheduled before the Texas Physician Assistant Board is due to a complaint filed against your license;
  • You are planning to self-report (or someone has told you to report) to the Texas Physician Assistant Board or Medical Board for Alcohol/Chemical Dependency;
  • The Texas Physician Assistant Board has asked you to sign a Consent Agreement, Consent Decree, or an Agreed Order and you need help understanding the terms and conditions and how the document will impact your medical license and your medical career;
  • You received a letter from your current or past employer or colleagues requesting you to “self-report” an incident to Texas Physician Assistant or Medical Board;
  • The Physician Assistant Board requests you to provide a written statement to the Board regarding the allegations in a complaint filed against you; and

Again, if you have been contacted by the Texas Physician Assistant Board or Medical Board, or any government agency or your employer, and you are being “encouraged” to admit responsibility, liability or guilt to any act, it is important for you to seek an attorney. We encourage you to contact The Law Office of Bridget Eyler at (214) 540-7750- or email us.

Investigations and Complaints

If you are a Physician Assistant who has been accused of misappropriating drugs, boundary violations, failing to document a patient’s medical chart, accessing patient information that violates HIPAA, or diverting drugs from the Pyxis machine, then you should immediately seek the counsel of an experienced attorney.

Physician Assistants are often times wrongfully accused of violations they did not commit. You should not make the mistake of thinking that you can just “clear up” the issue by speaking to an investigator alone. This can be a dangerous proposition, as often times the issues become confused and the physician assistant becomes frustrated and says things that they did not mean to say, or that were taken completely out of context from what they were actually saying. An attorney can prevent this from happening to you.

Disciplinary investigations, actions, and orders sought and issued against Physician Assistants by the Texas Medical Board (TMB) have dramatically increased over the last few years. Physician Assistants may find themselves facing many different complaints and investigations, a standard-of-care complaint, chemical dependency, sexual boundary violations, non-therapeutic prescribing, the failure to maintain adequate charts and records, medical necessity of services, and/ or the commission and conviction of any crimes. If you are a Physician Assistant and find yourself as part of a misconduct investigations or disciplinary proceeding, you may be faced with a lengthy disciplinary order and probated suspension.

Investigations are often initiated by a letter from the Texas Physician Assistant Board or Medical Board and followed with a phone call from a medical board investigator. If the Texas Physician Assistant Board or Medical Board contact you in this or any other manner, it is wise to consult with an attorney before responding to the board investigator. It is never advisable to meet with or be questioned by a Physician Assistant Board investigator without legal advice and counsel. In addition, once an attorney is retained, the TMB’s investigators are prohibited from contacting and questioning a physician assistant directly.

Whether you are a physician accused of misconduct, drug diversion, billing fraud, neglect, or being chemically dependent, Eyler Law Office will aggressively, yet carefully and diplomatically advocate for you and your physician assistant license. To discuss your case please contact us today by calling (214) 540-7750 or email us.

Billing / Coding and Documentation Fee Disputes and Practice Policy and Various Other Medical Practice Disputes

Now it is common for the Physician Assistant Board and Medical Board to handle billing and coding and fee disputes. That means that if you have problems with billing and coding on insurance claim documents that are sent to health care insurance companies and or Medicare/Medicaid, you may end up answering to the Physician Assistant or Medical Board. The board may decide to investigate poor medical documentation issues related to general business practices and policies. A complaint about these types of health insurance billing issues can prompt an investigation by the Texas Physician Assistant Board and can often times start a board inquiry into any other related business matters. You should always take these complaints seriously and retain an aggressive and experienced attorney to defend you before the Texas Physician Assistant Board and Medical Board.

So if you are contacted by a private healthcare insurance carrier, e.g. Blue Cross Blue Shield, United, Aetna, Golden Rule, etc., of improper billing or coding, or if fees include billing for medically unnecessary services, you should seek the advice of an attorney before the case potentially gets escalated to the Physician Assistant Board. These types of cases can sometimes also open a board inquiry into the physician’s medical treatment of the patient and the sufficiency of the patient’s documentation in medical records.

Texas Physician Assistant Board and Medical Board cases are generally opened upon the filing of a complaint. Complaints can be filed by any member of the general public – a patient, a former patient, a member of a patient’s family, an employee, a former employee, an insurance company or any business who transacts with the physician. If the complaint involves a serious violation, for example, an allegation that the physician is impaired to due to drugs or alcohol, an allegation of sexual misconduct, or improper prescribing, the case may immediately be assigned to an investigator employed by the Texas Medical Board.

The Law Office of Bridget Eyler can assist Physician Assistants with questions related to any billing and coding issues, overpayment issues, any medical insurance billing dispute or any practice policy disputes. There are times when a medical office or physician may need to conduct a self-audit to ensure compliance with billing and coding issues, or with the self-reporting of billing errors that could be problematic in a later Medicare or Medicaid audit. At Eyler Law Offices we can provide you with the billing and coding services necessary to help you clear up billing and coding and documentation disputes and overpayment issues.

Accused of Substance Abuse or Diverting Controlled Substances (Narcotics)?

Have you been accused of diverting drugs from the Pyxis machine? Accused of forging prescriptions? Accused of false documentation of medical records? Have you recently been audited by your employer and told that you were administering large amounts of narcotics to patients?

At the Law Office of Bridget Eyler, we are often contacted by Physician Assistants who have been falsely accused of diverting narcotics, abusing narcotics, or misappropriating controlled substances (narcotics) from patients or their employer. It is common physician assistants to be accused of a substance abuse problem or diverting narcotics. It is an accusation that should be taken very seriously.

We regularly represent physician assistants and other healthcare professionals who have been fired by their employer for allegedly abusing or diverting controlled substances (narcotics), and reported to the Texas Physician Assistant Board and Texas Medical Board. Many times these same physician assistants are reported to local law enforcement agencies for investigation and possible prosecution. Even if no criminal charges are filed, the investigative report can cause problems for physician assistants with the Physician Assistant Board. We provide legal representation to physician assistants in a variety of these types situations.

If you are a physician assistant accused of diverting drugs by writing or obtaining fraudulent prescriptions for controlled substances (narcotics or dangerous drugs) for yourself or a family member or friend, diverting from a Pyxis machine, Diebold, or other brand of automated pharmacy dispensing machine, please contact Eyler Law Offices at (214) 540-7750 or email us, immediately.

Professional Practice Issues and Physician Contract Review

There are many facets of professional practice that demand the attention of a well-qualified healthcare attorney. Physician Assistants managing a professional practice may need assistance with employment or various other contract issues, or advice on how to respond to a patient complaint. A physician assistant or should always have a legal professional review any employment contract or provider contract.

Criminal Charges

A Physician Assistant who is under investigation or who is accused of any criminal activity, even a misdemeanor, may potentially face a medical board investigation. Criminal convictions that seem unrelated to the medical practice still may create licensure problems for physician assistants. Some criminal charges such as theft, shoplifting, forgery, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, assault, or driving under the influence (DWI), may seem minor but can create permanent professional damage.

At Eyler Law Offices we are equipped to handle both sides of the matter, the criminal proceeding and the administrative and regulatory side with the Texas Physician Assistant or Medical Board.

Eyler Law Offices is highly experienced in handling the criminal investigation and/or a case with the physician assistant board medical board. With Eyler Law Offices handling both sides of your case you can feel confident that your rights in both the criminal and the administrative/regulatory case with the medical board will be fully protected. Call us at (214) 540-7750, or email us to discuss your case.

HIPAA Violations – Privacy

Hav e you been questioned about looking at confidential patient records? Physician Assistants accused of HIPAA violations can potentially face legal problems that could involve adverse employment actions, civil lawsuits, medical board disciplinary action or even criminal charges. Some typical scenarios involve when a physician assistant inappropriately accesses or discloses personally identifiable health information. All physician assistants should be ever vigilant to know and understand employer privacy policies for caring for high profile patient cases, celebrities or co-workers as patients, or any type of patient case.

HIPAA Violations – Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter …)

Another huge potential liability for a Physician Assistant is the inappropriate use of social media and social networking. Physician assistants should never take photos or write any personal information about any patient on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other internet web site. If a patient posts something on their Facebook or Twitter account, a physician assistant should not take this to mean that the patient is waiving his or her privacy rights. A physician assistant should not “friend” patients on Facebook or respond to any patient postings as this too can get a physician assistant into trouble with the medical board.

Physician Assistants should be aware that if they participate in any social media, the information travels very wide and far and becomes a permanent piece of information that can come back and haunt them for the rest of their career.

If you are a physician assistant who has been accused of HIPAA privacy violations, it is important for you to seek legal counsel who is experienced in this intricate area of law. At Eyler Law Office, we have the experience to help physician assistants with any potential legal issue. Call us at (214) 540-7750, or email us for a free initial consultation.

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