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


Under current law, the Texas State Board of Physician Assistant Examiners
(board), unlike the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners (medical board)
does not have the authority to temporarily suspend a license under the
Physician Assistant Licensing Act.  The medical board has the authority to
automatically suspend a physician's license if a physician is incarcerated,
but the board does not have the same suspension authority over a physician
assistant.  In addition, a temporary license issued by the board may only
last 100 days.  Because the board meets only four times per year, a
temporary license may expire before the next meeting.  House Bill 3421
grants the boards 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 president 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 physician assistant's continued practice would constitute
a threat to public welfare, the bill requires the disciplinary panel to
temporarily suspend the person's physician assistant license.  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 a temporary licence may be valid after the date issued as
determined by board rule. 


September 1, 2001.