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Monday, April 28, 2014


TMA President Steve Brotherton, MD, wrote formal comment letters for the association opposing two state agencies’ proposed rules that go too far. 
  • First, TMA wrote a formal letter opposing a Texas State Board of Dental Examiners’ proposal to allow dentists to diagnose and treat sleep apnea. “If a dentist practices outside the scope of dentistry, such as diagnosing or independently treating a sleep disorder, he or she is, by definition, practicing medicine unlawfully,” Dr. Brotherton wrote. “It is imperative that diagnoses of the presence or the absence of sleep disorders, including but not limited to benign snoring and sleep apnea, be made by a qualified Texas-licensed physician, in order to protect the health and safety of Texas’ patients.”
  • Also, TMA wrote to oppose a proposed Texas Medical Board (TMB) rule that would require the supervisor of a physician assistant temporary license holder not only to be a Texas-licensed physician with an unrestricted license but also to not have been the subject of a disciplinary order, other than one administrative in nature. “A Texas-licensed physician who holds an unrestricted medical license is, by the TMB’s own assessment, authorized to perform any medical service or procedure that falls within the scope of his or her license in the state of Texas,” Dr. Brotherton wrote. “Thus, he or she should be capable of providing ‘adequate supervision’ of a physician assistant temporary license holder. The fact that a physician once, perhaps many years ago, had a disciplinary order does not change this assessment.”

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