Give the Texas Medical Board Another 12-Year Lease on Life

Testimony by David Teuscher, MD

HB 3040 – Burkett
House Public Health Committee


Mister Chairman, members, I am Dr. David Teuscher of Bastrop. I practiced orthopaedic surgery in Beaumont for a number of years. I am past president of the American Orthopaedic Association and a past member of the Texas Medical Association Board of Trustees.

On behalf of TMA and our more than 50,000 physician and medical student members, I am testifying in FAVOR of HB 3040 by Representative Burkett.

Like all sunset bills, this bill would reauthorize the Texas Medical Board for another 12 years. 

Several brief comments related to our support:

  1. Our thanks to Representative Burkett for successfully supporting an amendment during the sunset process to provide a physician involved in a quality or standard of care dispute access to the COMPLETE copy of each expert report — with the name of the expert reviewer redacted. This addresses allegations that a number of physicians had made that the expert reports have been edited and compiled in such a way that was perceived as unfair to the physician. For TMA it is a matter of fairness and transparency to support such a measure, and we are pleased to see that it is part of this bill.
  2. The bill includes, at the recommendation of sunset staff and with the support of TMA, the Interstate Compact for Expedited Medical Licensure. As of today, 18 states have adopted the Compact and it is before the Texas Legislature and seven others this spring. It is designed to quickly and expeditiously allow for the licensure of physicians. Generally, a physician applicant must be board certified at the time of application through the Compact and untouched by licensing board disciplinary action. This Compact does NOT allow an out of state physician to practice medicine in Texas. It DOES allow for an out of state physician to obtain a Texas license, under Texas licensing standards, and then to be subject to all Texas laws governing the practice of medicine. It also maintains the traditional licensing process. The Compact is simply an add-on.
  3. There is language in HB 3040 requiring physicians to check the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) before writing a patient a prescription for one of four drug classes: opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and carisoprodol. TMA has favored provisions that would harness the technology capabilities of the PDMP, and, in fact, we worked for three sessions to move it from DPS to the Board of Pharmacy to make it a good clinical tool for physicians. SB 316, which passed the Senate last week, adopts our technology provisions but still imposes mandates to check for all prescribers. I believe SB 316 or similar legislation will be before the committee very soon and our discussion of those provisions should be taken up independently of this sunset bill. Physicians believe SB 316 can still be improved and we will be working to make those improvements.

Thank you for the opportunity to present these comments in support of HB 3040.

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Last Updated On

April 27, 2018

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