In an 8-to-1 decision, the Texas Supreme Court agreed with the amicus brief filed by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), by ruling against the tyranny of unwarranted, career-destroying reports submitted to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB). The Court ordered on June 3 that the Texas Medical Board should have voided its report in the Data Bank against a good physician.
“More than 100,000 physicians have disparaging reports against them in this federal database,” observed AAPS General Counsel Andrew Schlafly. “Many of those reports should be voided as the Texas Supreme Court just held with respect to this physician.”
Robert Van Boven, M.D., D.D.S., valiantly fought for nearly a decade to obtain justice amid false accusations against him. “The Board’s findings and conclusions in its Final Order negated the factual basis for the allegations against Van Boven,” the Texas Supreme Court found, yet the Texas Medical Board had refused to void its prior adverse action report to the Data Bank against the physician.
“The Data Bank is littered with improper reports by hospitals and medical boards against physicians,” Mr. Schlafly states. “This decision by the Texas Supreme Court establishes a cause of action for physicians to obtain justice for outdated and inaccurate reports about accusations that were never proven.”
When a physician ultimately prevails against false accusations, as Dr. Van Boven did, there should not be a “scarlet letter” that remains forever in the federally maintained Data Bank. This new decision establishes appropriate liability for entities when they fail to void false accusations in the Data Bank once the physician is exonerated.
The Texas Supreme Court held that “the Board was required to file a Void Report with the Data Bank. Officials’ actions to the contrary were therefore ultra vires, and the officials are not immune from Van Boven’s claims.”
“The era of smearing physicians with impunity by not voiding false accusations from the Data Bank is over,” Mr. Schlafly states.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943. Its motto is omnia pro aegroto (everything for the patient).