Update from May 24, 2018
Sunset Commission Hearing
About the Petition to the Sunset Commission
Sign Petition to
Protect Patient and Physician Rights -
Bring Accountability and Transparency to the Texas Medical Board
We ask for Texas Sunset Commission members to approve the New Issues Previously Adopted by Sunset Commission and the Proposed New Recommendations from the Decision Meeting Material for the May 24th Sunset Commission Hearing. Our hope is that these recommendations will result in much needed law changes in 2019.
In June 2018, the Sunset Commission members voted on recommendations contained in the Decision Meeting Material discussed at the May 24th hearing to determine which ones will be submitted to the full Legislature who considers Sunset recommendations and makes final determinations for 2019 bills. In June, the Commission reported on their approved recommendations. Of the 12 recommendations, Texas Right To Know (TRTK) advocated for 10 of the 12 proposed recommendations (pg 10-13 of Decision Meeting Material) were approved. Trial de novo and oversight of the board were deferred since Sunset was not the proper forum given these initiatives could have fiscal impact. TRTK is actively educating Legislators and their staff on the 2019 Legislative Priority request and an additional request for a study on the benefits of functional medicine. Many of these recommendations will help bring justice for physicians after years of reported abuse and improve healthcare for all Texans!
After years of complaints from physicians regarding unethical treatment from TMB staff and how there was not even a link on the TMB website to lodge a complaint against the agency, the TMB now provides a link from their PUBLIC tab and implemented their "Registering and Processing of Complaints Against the Agency" policy as of July 2, 2018.
For information: http://www.tmb.state.tx.us/page/agency-sunset-review
The following information is a collaborative work of seasoned physicians, attorneys and patients who have personally witnessed many of the following "Cause of Complaints" regarding practices of the Texas Medical Board staff and board:
Vague statement of initial complaint;
Misrepresentations of material facts;
Misrepresentation and misstatement of law;
Removal or withholding of exculpatory evidence;
Making the evidence fit the Board's theory of guilt;
Failure to comply with procedural rules;
Soliciting and procurement of false witness statement;
Utilization of non-peer and/or unqualified by experience, education and training investigators;
Staff failure to provide licensee with discovery material;
Staff failure to respond to inquiry regarding notice of complaint;
Staff refusal to communicate to licensee;
Board violation of state law;
Board violation of agency rules;
Staff violation of state laws;
Lack of candor to administrative law tribunal or to board members and,
Alleged discriminator against licensees’ actions based upon patient demographic service area, licensee practice type, licensee practice methods, and race.
"For the past 10 years, I have been defending physicians regarding complaints reported to the Texas Medical Board.
I reviewed the above 18 Causes of Complaints
and I have personally witnessed 16 of the 18 causes."
Tommy E. Swate, JD, MD, Medical License Lawyer
(Attorney for Cotropia and Morgan physician cases currently at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal for constitutional violations of
unwarranted search and seizure of patient medical records.
- The Cotropia case has been heard twice by the Fifth Circuit and is now being litigated in the Federal District Court in Houston.
- The Morgan case is being appealed in the Texas District Courts as well as pending in the 5th Circuit.)
Please share this page with your physician and other healthcare providers and have them contact us and share their story of TMB encounters at the bottom of this page. All information will be kept confidential unless permission is received otherwise. It is critical that we have involvement from the public to defend the medical freedom we seek from the healthcare providers of our choice.
Texas Right To Know (TRTK) is actively lobbying the Texas Legislature and Governor regarding the reported abuses of the Texas Medical Board (TMB) and the need for oversight over this agency through the establishment of an Ombudsman and other needed changes.
We have been working with and interviewing numerous physicians, attorneys and members of the public who have reported egregious actions of the Texas Medical Board (TMB). Reports include but are not limited to withholding or prohibiting evidence supporting the physician’s innocence, failing to comply and violating their own board rules, utilizing biased experts, and violating the constitutional rights of physicians and their patients.
Based upon interviews and research of court cases, it may be surmised that some of the problems also lie in how some of the laws are written. From 2007 to 2016, only 9 of the 843 cases – a calculated 1% of the cases against physicians – taken to an administrative hearing sided in favor of the physician. In fact, the Texas Medical Board recently caused one administrative law judge to resign (in lieu of termination) after he made an extremely rare ruling against the TMB and in favor of the physician.
According to Ron Beal (professor of law at Baylor University): “Every SOAH ALJ knows what happened. Every SOAH ALJ knows that from now on, when they rule against an agency, they will be provided no protection from the Chief Judge and most likely will be fired. How does that sit well for Texas citizens fighting for their job that is being threatened by a regulatory agency? The entire SOAH agency has been 'polluted,' and it will take a miracle for the ALJs to continue deciding cases on the merits."
Austin Chronicle (April 6, 2018)
FOUR cases have been brought before the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the past year detailing egregious TMB violations of patients’ and doctors’ constitutional rights. In one case, the TMB reportedly raided a doctor’s office illegally without a warrant for a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigation targeting patients. In another case, the court found that the TMB acted in “bad faith” by partnering up with law enforcement to conduct a warrantless search of a doctor’s office in order to circumvent the Texas and U.S. Constitution. Many state and federal courts have already found the TMB’s reported actions violated clearly established constitutional rights.
COTROPIA v. CHAPMAN(5th Circuit, March 2018)
ZADEH v. ROBINSON (5th Circuit oral argument, May 2018)
MORGAN v MARY CHAPMAN, JOHN KOPACZ (5th Circuit Appeal Brief)
After the Texas Sunset Commission members reviewed written and oral testimonies during the April 25 review of the Texas Medical Board, commission members submitted their recommendations for proposed legislation.
Link to video of April 25th, 2018 Sunset Commission Hearing on the TMB
Minute Marker of Testimonies:
5:40:00 Sunset staff regarding TMB starts at– with Sunset Staff Erick Fajardo who continue to discuss the Compact. If I were to bet, I would say that the Compact is dead based upon the comments from the Senators in particular.
6:06:48 TMB Board chair Sherif Zaafran starts
6:10:00 Innovation Task force to see how they can improve licensing and enforcement.
7:06:00 Sheila Page, Pain Assoc., TMA, Texas Right to Life, Dr. Jesus Caquias (Dr. Caquias had Care Clinic with 3,300 children, many with autism and he was successful in bringing many back to normal neurological function.)
7:29:00 Sheila Hemphill, Coleman Hemphill, Erica Chaplin attorney for Dr. Courtney Morgan. Dr. Morgan received the District Court ruling that the TMB was attempting to circumvent the state and US constitution and requirement for a warrant), Dr. Robert Van Boven (Dr. Van Boven, a neurologist who reported medical errors at Lakeway Hospital in Austin that resulted in patient deaths, and has been subject to intense retaliation by TMB.
7:42:00 Tomas Caquias, Dr. Brian Tew, MD, JD and Representative Bill Zedler
Many frivolous complaints have been alleged against physicians who are cited for false, misleading or deceptive advertising (§164.3 TX Adm Code) when telling the truth about successful treatments for diseases. When physicians are cited with frivolous complaints, they must appear before the TMB at an informational settlement conference (ISC), that can easily cost the physician over $10,000 in legal fees. Since the TMB serves as investigator, prosecutor, judge and jury, when the TMB issues their decision, the only option available to the accused is to comply and pay a "ticket" ($500 or more) and a record showing "disciplinary actions" on the TMB website, or appeal to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) that can be a two year ordeal costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Then, even if the SOAH judge rules in favor of the accused, the TMB can overturn the SOAH judges ruling and still suspend or revoke a license. Many complaints are not from patient harm but frivolous in nature. These prosecutions aid the TMB's legislative mandated "target" of 12% PROSECUTIONS per year. Prosecutions, not investigations, prosecutions serve as a enforcement quota. (click here for report)
THE STATE OF TEXAS HEALTHCARE
According to The Commonwealth Fund's, 2017 "Aiming Higher" report ranking state healthcare systems, Texas ranks 41st in the nation, 44th in Prevention and Treatment and 51st in Affordability and Access. We can do better than this but to do so, we need an environment that encourages innovation in medical treatment. Instead Texas has a medical board that has served as a means of retaliation by prosecuting physicians for reporting medical errors that endanger patient care as in the case of Dr. Robert Van Boven. See Austin American Statesman article, KXAN report and The Austin Chronicle article.
When the TMB has rules where not following the "Standard of Care" is a violation, we have an agency that will doom our healthcare to failure. (see videos below).
PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION AND GET INVOLVED!
TEXAS RIGHT TO KNOW - ADVOCATING FOR TMB OVERSIGHT SINCE 2016
2018 Sunset Commission Approved Recommendations
TRTK Recommendations for 2018-2019 Sunset Commission Review
2019 Legislative Priorities
Public Written Testimonies
Submitted to the
Sheila Hemphill Testimony
Coleman Hemphill Recommendations
Dr. Jesus Caquias Testimony
Dr. Robert Van Boven Testimony
Movies that Matter
Use arrows to watch all three videos
Three messages from
Representative Bill Zedler to
Sunset the Texas Medical Board
SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING
A Letter for Patients and Clients
explaining the challenges with TMB
Click here to find a Community Team Leaders in your area or become a Team Leader yourself!
On Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, Infowars contacted us for an interview about our Texas Medical Freedom initiative and the abuses of the Texas Medical Board (TMB) against integrative physicians and our "TMB Don't Mess With Me" Rally. We have received confirmation that one of our Chapter 200 Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) physicians who has been under review by the Texas Medical Board for the last two years, received a fax Monday, 12/5 that his charges have been dropped! We believe our efforts may have contributed and now more than ever we need people come to the Capitol Friday, December 9th from 2:00-4:00 to have their voices heard.
Texas Medical Freedom is an initiative of Texas Right To Know. The Texas Medical Freedom website details its mission to expose to the public examples where the Texas Medical Board (TMB) is exerting sanctions against health practitioners who practice under Title 22 Part 9 Chapter 200 of the Texas Administrative Code - Standards for Physicians Practicing Complementary and Alternative Medicine. When practitioners are investigated by the TMB after providing legal and compliant alternative medicine, the TMB evaluates the situation using guidelines for conventional therapies. Many times investigations include review of private patient records without patient consent or without a warrant and can lead to sanctions or revocation of the health practitioner's license without due process.
On December 9, 2016, the TMB was under review in the Sunset Committee Hearing starting at 9:00 in room E1.030 at the Texas Capitol. Listen to Representative Bill Zedler outlining the history of the TMB's poor conduct as indicated in court rulings and additional comments here. Complaints regarding the treatment of Lyme. Tony Farmer spent $177,000 on Burzynski case and paid $108,000 for expert witnesses for one SOAH case. Many patients testifying for Dr. Day.
Sheila Hemphill testifies followed by a debate with Colonel Allen West over complaints of vagueness in TMB communications and rules. Coleman Hemphill, Dr. Constatine Kotsanis, and Beverly Kotsanis testify regarding hostility toward CAM physicians.
TRTK sponsored and conducted a medical freedom rally on the south steps of the Capitol from 2:30 to 3:30. Come and bring a friend.
We are looking for community team leaders to organize vans or buses to bring people who care about having access to complementary and alternative healthcare to join our "TMB Don't Mess with Me" Rally and Lobby Day.
To become a Community Team Leaders register here
and select "Organize a Community Event"
In the United States, states are responsible for establishing the laws governing the practice of medicine and for licensing medical practitioners in their state. Laws defining and establishing guidelines for the conventional practice of medicine can be found in the Health and Safety Code in the Texas Statues. In the Texas Administrative Code, Title 22-Examining Boards, Part 9-Texas Medical Board is Chapter 200 pertaining to the STANDARDS FOR PHYSICIANS PRACTICING COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE.
The State Legislature is responsible for establishing the laws governing the practice of medicine and the state agency, Texas Medical Board, is tasked with assuring licensed practitioners are compliant with state law.
Today, much of the practice of conventional "standard of care" best practices are established which predominately prescribes pharmaceutical drugs for the treatment of disease such as prescribing statin drugs, psychiatric drugs and chemotherapy and radiation, etc. As the public is becoming more educated on alternative therapies, more patients are seeking other methods of disease remediation through nutrition, IV therapies like Vitamin C, Ozone, Stem Cells, and Insulin Potentiation Therapies (IPT), etc. Even with informed consent of the patient, any deviation from the "standard of care" can place a healthcare practitioner in jeopardy with the Texas Medical Board.
For these and other issues, your medical freedom decisions and options are in jeopardy. Please do the following:
1. Get Registered
2. "Like" our Facebook page
3. Submit your "TMB Don't Mess With Me" picture below
4. On December 9th, come and bring a friend to our "TMB Don't Mess With Me" Rally from 2:30-3:30 at the Capitol south steps.
4. Share with your social media and email list