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Texas Governor Greg Abbott Signs HB 1998 to Protect Patients from Dangerous Physicians

New Law Signed by Governor Greg Abbott Gives Texas Medical Board Additional Teeth to Ensure Patient Safety

Governor Greg Abbott
Photo by Author using Wonder Digital Art


With a flourish, Texas Governor Greg Abbott took action to safeguard the well-being of patients from possibly hazardous doctors by authorizing a bill that gives the state's medical board more power to guarantee patient safety. The legislation, known as HB 1998, was initiated following a probe by KXAN, NBC's local affiliate, which uncovered nearly 49 physicians practicing in Texas even though their licenses had been revoked in other states. Astonishingly, these actions were not documented on the Texas Medical Board's medical practitioner profile pages, despite being obligatory by regulations. As of now, this is the current proof and information available.

Patients in Texas have had valid concerns regarding the Texas Medical Board's inability to identify and limit hazardous physicians appropriately. Governor Abbott attempted to alleviate these concerns by signing a bill into law in May 2023 that sought to improve the transparency of medical billing. A bill requiring hospitals to provide an itemized bill for medical services was also approved. Unfortunately, despite these measures, the safety of medical practices in Texas remains a critical issue. Here are the challenges:

In Texas, a glaring issue plagues the medical board is the absence of proper surveillance and inspection of doctors who lost their licenses in other states. This omission has created an avenue for precarious physicians to operate in Texas, putting patients in grave danger. To address this pervasive issue, possible solutions can be explored.

In Texas, the HB 1998 legislation offers the Texas Medical Board a fresh set of measures to identify and curb doctors who might pose a threat. What's interesting about the new law is that by providing access to data on physicians who have had their licenses taken away in other states, the medical board can prevent such physicians from practicing in Texas. To effectively implement this law, adequate resources must follow and support specific steps.

Patient safety in Texas demands more than just a new law.

The Texas Medical Board should intensify its supervision and evaluation of doctors to unearth the ones who may harm patients. Moreover, Texans should assume a more proactive role when selecting their healthcare providers and voice any apprehensions to the medical board. Nonetheless, the new law is a positive move in the right direction.

To guarantee the well-being of patients in Texas, the signing of HB 1998 is an optimistic advancement. Despite this improvement, overlooking problems and doctors' supervision must also be tackled. Patients must be more assertive to protect themselves, and the medical board should refine its methods for safeguarding them.

Texas' medical practices are getting a safety upgrade thanks to Governor Abbott's HB 1998 approval. Additional tools will be available to catch and limit hazardous doctors at the Texas Medical Board's disposal. Although, we ought to do more than this. We must heighten physician oversight, not to mention encourage patients to become more self-assured in their safety measures. Texas can only become a safer medical hub if everybody chips in.


1. Texas Law Aims to Prevent Another “Dr. Death.” (2023, June 15). Texas Law Aims to Prevent Another “Dr. Death” | MedPage Today.

2. Chandler, R., Madden, M., DuPree, W., Hinkle, J., Gates, B., & Thomas, J. (2023, June 3). State of Texas: ‘I will not step back,’ Abbott and Patrick clash over property tax plans. KXAN Austin.

3. News. (2001, June 21). News | Office of the Texas Governor | Greg Abbott.

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