Van Boven Heads Back to Court

Texas Medical Board still won’t wipe exonerated doctor’s record clean

Dr. Robert Van Boven
Dr. Robert Van Boven (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Last Thursday, Nov. 8, Travis County District Judge Amy Clark Meachum denied a request from Attorney General Ken Paxton to delay a temporary injunction hearing scheduled for Nov. 20, in Dr. Robert Van Bov­en's case against the Texas Medical Board. Van Boven is asking the court to require the TMB to void or withdraw a listing in the federal National Practitioner Data Bank that continues to cite allegations of "boundary violations" with two patients in 2015 – although last year Van Boven was exonerated of the charges by the State Office of Administrative Hear­ings (see "More Trouble for Medical Board and SOAH," Aug. 10).

Paxton's office (represented by Assistant A.G. Ted Ross) had asked for more time to prepare its response, but simultaneously requested a hearing on jurisdiction ... for Nov. 20. Judge Meachum ruled that both matters will indeed be considered on that day.

Ross argued that there is no "emergency" to hear the case now, and any delay was caused by Van Boven's own delay in hiring representation. Van Boven, currently represented by attorney David Tuckfield, responded in pleadings that he has been effectively barred from medical practice and earning an income for several years, and therefore was also unable to timely arrange adequate representation. Moreover, he told the court, he has been "a) unable to procure secure employment, b) excluded as a network provider for major health insurances, c) given notice of default and risk of foreclosure of his home, and d) otherwise financially decimated."

Van Boven is making the claim that TMB staff and board members have acted "ultra vires" (outside their authority) in continuing to insist on citing sanctions in the NPDB that no longer exist. Health care institutions rely on the NPDB in background reviews of job candidates, and as a result, an official record citing now-refuted allegations continues to obstruct Van Boven's ability to practice medicine.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Robert Van Boven, Amy Clark Meachum, Texas Medical Board, National Practitioner Data Bank, Ted Ross

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