The job of the Texas Professional Counselor Board is to protect and promote the welfare of the people of Texas. They do this by ensuring each person who is a professional counselor and holds a license as a professional counselor or intern in the State of Texas is competent to practice safely. This means the Texas Professional Counselor Board has the authority to discipline the license of any doctor or other health professional. Chelle Law’s Texas Professional Counselor Board Attorneys have represented over 1000 health care professionals before licensing boards and have the experience needed to help physicians with Texas State Board of Professional Counselors matters. We can assist all health professionals with Texas Professional Counselor Board issues, including:
- Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC)
- Licensed Professional Counselor-Interns
Texas Professional Counselor Board Complaint
Who can file a complaint against a physician? Patients, Health Care Facilities, other professionals, among others. When the Texas Professional Counselor Board receives a complaint, the Board will initiate an investigation into the complaint (if the Board has jurisdiction and the Complaint isn’t dismissed). After this happens, the physician will receive notice and the board assigns an investigator to the case. Please note, having an attorney during this step can be crucial for physicians as they must submit a response, interview with the investigator while also possibly appearing at a Texas Professional Counselor Board.
Professional Counselor Application Denial Assistance
Applicants to the Texas Professional Counselor Board who have a criminal history or previous discipline by the Texas Professional Counselor Board (or any other Board) may be subject to denial of their application for licensure. Thus, those with a criminal or disciplinary history from other licensing boards will be investigated by the Board.
Reporting a Criminal Charge to the Texas Professional Counselor Board
Physicians are required to report not only convictions and deferred adjudications, but also arrests on their bi-annual license renewal. However, other crimes may need to be reported immediately. Per Texas Administrative Code 173.3, licensed physicians must report the following to the Board within 30 days after the event:
- Incarceration in a state or federal penitentiary;
- An initial conviction, final conviction, or placement on deferred adjudication, community supervision, or deferred disposition for:
- a felony;
- a misdemeanor that directly relates to the duties and responsibilities of a physician licensed by the board;
- a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude;
- a misdemeanor under Chapter 22, Penal Code (relating to assaultive offenses), other than a misdemeanor punishable by fine only;
- a misdemeanor on conviction of which a defendant is required to register as a sex offender under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure;
- a misdemeanor under §25.07, Penal Code (relating to the violation of a protective order or a magistrate’s order); or
- a misdemeanor under §25.071, Penal Code (relating to the violation of a protective order preventing offenses caused by bias or prejudice); or
- An initial finding by the trier of fact of guilt of a felony under:
- Chapter 481 or 483, Health and Safety Code (relating to offenses involving controlled substances and dangerous drugs);
- Section 485.033, Health and Safety Code (relating to offenses involving inhalant paraphernalia); or
- The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (21 U.S.C. §801 et seq.).
Physician Health Program (PHP)
In lieu of disciplinary action the Texas Professional Counselor Board may allow a physician, physician assistant, acupuncturist, and surgical assistant applicants and licensees to enter into the Texas Physician Health Program. The PHP handles the post-treatment monitoring, education and intervention of those who suffer from substance abuse or dependence, medical, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health disorders that affect their ability to safely practice.
Professional Counselor Board Administrative Appeal and Hearing
Any licensee may request an appeal of an Texas Professional Counselor Board disciplinary action to an administrative law judge with the Texas Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). In some instances, a case is sent automatically to hearing. The administrative hearing is conducted by OAH before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The hearing is not as formal as a trial, but is similar. Each party presents evidence using documents or sworn testimony. Each party also gives an opening and closing argument which should explain why the judge should rule one way or the other. A physician’s attorney can cross examine witnesses and testify on his or her behalf. After the hearing, the ALJ reviews the transcripts, evidence and makes a recommendation. However, the Board makes the decision to either accept, reject or modify the ALJ’s decision. If n individuals feels there has been a mistake they can request a rehearing.
Texas Professional Counselor Disciplinary Actions
Texas Professional Counselor Board disciplinary actions are given to physicians with a license or certification in Texas. If the Board determines formal disciplinary action is necessary it will happen after the completion of an investigation. It’s the job of the Board to review any complaint alleging a violation of the Texas laws and regulations. Thus, at a Board Meeting the Board will vote to determine the outcome of each investigation. The Board can vote on a non-disciplinary outcome or vote to offer the physician formal discipline. Disciplinary actions can include:
- Administrative Penalty
- License Denial
If you’re interested in setting up a consultation with our Texas Professional Counselor Board Attorney at Chelle Law or learning more about any of the services we provide to Texas physicians we invite you to reach out to us today.