Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3421
By: Farabee
Public Health


Prior to the 77th Legislature, the Texas State Board of Physician Assistant
Examiners (physician assistant board), unlike the Texas State Board of
Medical Examiners (TSBME) did not have the authority to temporarily suspend
a license under the Physician Assistant Licensing Act.  TSBME  had the
authority to automatically suspend a physician's license if a physician was
incarcerated, but the physician assistant board did not have the same
suspension authority over a physician assistant.  In addition, prior to the
77th Legislature, a temporary license issued by the physician assistant
board lasted only 100 days.  Because the physician assistant board meets
only four times per year, such temporary licenses were expiring prior to
scheduled meetings.  House Bill 3421 grants the physician assistant board
suspension powers and extends the time period during which a temporary
physician assistant license may be valid. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the Texas State Board of Physician
Assistant Examiners in SECTION 1 (Section 204.155, Occupations Code) of
this bill. 


House Bill 3421 amends the Occupations Code to require the presiding
officer of the Texas State Board of Physician Assistant Examiners (board),
with board approval, to appoint a three-member disciplinary panel
consisting of board members to determine whether a person's license to
practice as a physician assistant should be temporarily suspended.  If the
disciplinary panel determines that a person licensed to practice as a
physician assistant would, by the person's continuation in practice,
constitute a continuing threat to the public welfare, the bill requires the
disciplinary panel to temporarily suspend 
the license of that person.  The bill authorizes a license to be suspended
without notice or hearing if specified conditions are met.  The bill
authorizes the disciplinary panel to hold a meeting by telephone conference
call if immediate action is required and convening at one location is

The bill requires the board to suspend the license of a physician assistant
serving a prison term in a state or federal penitentiary during the term of
incarceration.  The bill increases from 100 days to up to one year the
amount of time that a temporary licence may be valid after the date issued
as determined by board rule. 


September 1, 2001.