HBA-DMH H.B. 3421 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3421 By: Farabee Public Health 3/23/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE 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. 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 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. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.