HBA-DMH H.B. 3421 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3421 By: Farabee Public Health 7/18/2001 Enrolled BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE 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. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY 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. ANALYSIS 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 inconvenient. 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. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.