Preventing Retaliation Against Whistleblower Physicians

TMA Testimony by Tim Bittenbinder, MD

House Public Health Committee
House Bill 1532 by Rep. Morgan Meyer

March 20, 2019

Madam Chair, members of the Committee, I am Dr. Tim Bittenbinder. I am an anesthesiologist and chair of the Baylor Scott & White Board. I am representing both Baylor Scott & White and the Texas Medical Association in supporting House Bill 1532

Nearly every large hospital or hospital system has established, under Texas Medical Board rules, a health care corporation that is empowered to employ physicians. Each of organization must be certified by the medical board, which has broad oversight responsibilities.

The key always has been protecting the physicians’ clinical autonomy and independent medical judgment from interference by administrators. HB 1532 serves to extend to physicians employed by these organizations – and Baylor Scott & White is one such organization – a process to adjudicate complaints that cannot be resolved within the organization.

We believe this is a useful and needed function. I believe Baylor Scott & White has a very good internal system to resolve issues. This may not necessarily be the case with other such organizations. But from a standpoint of fairness and transparency, we believe this bill is a modest proposal to provide a process to protect physicians’ clinical autonomy and independent medical judgment for the benefit of patient care – and to resolve those areas of friction that cannot be resolved locally.

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Last Updated On

March 20, 2019

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