New Texas law bans anonymous complaints about docs

  1. 2 mary ann roser, austin american-statesma
    tuesday, september 20, 2011

    austin, texas (ap)-a law that took effect this month bars the texas medical board from considering complaints against doctors if they come from anonymous sources-like the complaint from two winkler county nurses who lost their jobs after anonymously urging the board to investigate a doctor in 2009.
    the legislation was a victory for a physicians' group that sued the medical board in december 2007 over allegations that it was abusing the anonymous complaint process. the suit also accused a former president of the board of using her husband to file anonymous complaints against her competitors to get those physicians disciplined.

    some doctors in the group and others lobbied the legislature for several years to ban the practice and wanted lawmakers to snip the board's powers. one such leader, dr. steve hotze of houston, is a proponent of alternative medicine and president of texans for patients' and physicians' rights, whose no. 1 goal is eliminating anonymous complaints from insurance companies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, attorneys and competitors....

    http://www.chron.com/news/article/new-texas-law-bans-anonymous-complaints-about-docs-2179789.php
  2. Visit  herring_RN profile page

    About herring_RN

    herring_RN has '>40 years' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Critical care, tele, Medical-Surgical'. From 'California, USA'; Joined Mar '04; Posts: 14,013; Likes: 25,061.

    17 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Sanuk profile page
    10
    Well, isn't that peachy. So now, noone will file a complaint for fear of retribution. It's shameful that any physician would lobby to make it easier for bad physicians to practice - if we don't police ourselves, who will?
    canoehead, blondy2061h, MissPiggy, and 7 others like this.
  4. Visit  classicdame profile page
    4
    I agree with it in general, since I would not want to lose my job over an anonymous complaint. HOWEVER, I believe this is a result of the Winkler case in which the two nurses filed a complaint anonymously, as was legal then, and the Medical Board backed them up! The result has been that the MD involved, the Sheriff and the prosecuting attorney have all received fines and jail time. Go to www.texasnurses.org for details. So we learned that the whistleblower protection act really works. Yes, complain, if needed. You might be that MD's next patient.
    RN in training, wooh, RNnbakes, and 1 other like this.
  5. Visit  Sanuk profile page
    11
    I'm very aware of the case. Do you think that those nurses would have come forward knowing they would be subject to harrassment? They made the complaint with the implied belief that their careers would not be impacted - but they were and very seriously. If you take away the assumption of safety, you'll get a lot less people willing to speak up. Also, it's not as if the physicians lost their job from one complaint. Rather, complaints required investigation by the board and then they determined whether the complaint had merit. Texas physician groups have a history of bully-behavior and this is just more of the same, IMO.
    blondy2061h, MissPiggy, NJMike, and 8 others like this.
  6. Visit  ibtootie profile page
    12
    Texas justice only applies to those who can afford to purchase it.
    canoehead, MissPiggy, theantichick, and 9 others like this.
  7. Visit  davids1 profile page
    4
    The only ones that really got screwed were the nurses in this case! The police, lawyers, and prosecutors got what they deserved. The doctor is still practicing in Texas and I would bet that the people in the new town have no idea about his history.

    This case didn't just revolve around one complaint. There were many previouse complaints about him and investigations that showed that he was not competant. There were also many documented cases where the doctor was ignoring sanctions handed down by the board against his practice such as having to be supervised by another MD. There was no punishment for these actions. This new law is just a new way to cover up the incompetance of the medical board in Texas and many of the doctors that practice there. I know that there are many very good doctors there but there is no way to tell the difference until it is too late if you don't have any kind of inside information just like the general public.
    PinkPenguin763, wooh, lindarn, and 1 other like this.
  8. Visit  DragonPurr profile page
    3
    Unbelievable! But you know what? I'm not even suprised anymore.
    MissPiggy, wooh, and lindarn like this.
  9. Visit  SweettartRN profile page
    3
    Quote from herring_rn
    mary ann roser, austin american-statesma
    tuesday, september 20, 2011

    austin, texas (ap)-a law that took effect this month bars the texas medical board from considering complaints against doctors if they come from anonymous sources-like the complaint from two winkler county nurses who lost their jobs after anonymously urging the board to investigate a doctor in 2009.
    the legislation was a victory for a physicians' group that sued the medical board in december 2007 over allegations that it was abusing the anonymous complaint process. the suit also accused a former president of the board of using her husband to file anonymous complaints against her competitors to get those physicians disciplined.

    some doctors in the group and others lobbied the legislature for several years to ban the practice and wanted lawmakers to snip the board's powers. one such leader, dr. steve hotze of houston, is a proponent of alternative medicine and president of texans for patients' and physicians' rights, whose no. 1 goal is eliminating anonymous complaints from insurance companies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, attorneys and competitors....

    http://www.chron.com/news/article/new-texas-law-bans-anonymous-complaints-about-docs-2179789.php

    so they file an anonymous federal complaint, which supercedes state law....


    really though, this is a bad idea.
  10. Visit  GM2RN profile page
    2
    This is a two-edged sword. I personally know someone who spent time in prison due to an anonymous complaint from a disgruntled employee and a prosecutor with an agenda.
    Not_A_Hat_Person and lindarn like this.
  11. Visit  EricJRN profile page
    4
    I think a person should have a right to know their accusers. The focus should be on protecting people from retaliation after a good-faith report.

    Look up Dr Dan Munton. He has an interesting perspective, as someone who worked in the medical group of a former Texas Medical Board president and her husband. He left the group, then later came back to town as a competitor, quickly becoming the subject of anonymous complaints before the board.
    SilentfadesRPA, Rodoon, lindarn, and 1 other like this.
  12. Visit  Rodoon profile page
    2
    The main failure is that well intentioned people believe the whistleblower law protects them and that isn't true. WBL's have no teeth and a lawyer isn't provided for you should it be needed as in this case mentioned Now that anonymous complaints are banned there are no WBL in Texas. The whole point was to protect the identity of a David when they go up against Golith without a slingshot.
    nicurn001 and lindarn like this.
  13. Visit  GM2RN profile page
    1
    Quote from Rodoon
    The main failure is that well intentioned people believe the whistleblower law protects them and that isn't true. WBL's have no teeth and a lawyer isn't provided for you should it be needed as in this case mentioned Now that anonymous complaints are banned there are no WBL in Texas. The whole point was to protect the identity of a David when they go up against Golith without a slingshot.

    I totally agree with protecting a complainant against retaliation, but the accused should also have the right to know who is making the complaint.
    lindarn likes this.
  14. Visit  abbaking profile page
    3
    Is it me, or is Texas the only state that does things ass-backwards? I lived there in 2001 and although Austin is a fun and realistic centre for culture, the rest of Texas seems a little bit too focused on football and executions.
    MissPiggy, elkpark, and lindarn like this.


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