(a) In this subtitle:
(1) “Board” means the Texas Medical Board.
(2) “Continuing threat to the public welfare” means a real danger to the health of a physician's patients or to the public from the acts or omissions of the physician caused through the physician's lack of competence, impaired status, or failure to care adequately for the physician's patients, as determined by:
(A) the board;
(B) a medical peer review committee in this state;
(C) a physician licensed to practice medicine in this state or otherwise lawfully practicing medicine in this state;
(D) a physician engaged in graduate medical education or training; or
(E) a medical student.
(4) “Doctor of osteopathic medicine” includes a doctor of osteopathy, an osteopath, an osteopathic physician, and an osteopathic surgeon.
(5) “Health care entity” means:
(A) a hospital licensed under Chapter 241 or 577, Health and Safety Code;
(B) an entity, including a health maintenance organization, group medical practice, nursing home, health science center, university medical school, hospital district, hospital authority, or other health care facility, that:
(i) provides or pays for medical care or health care services; and
(ii) follows a formal peer review process to further quality medical care or health care;
(C) a professional society or association of physicians, or a committee of such a society or association, that follows a formal peer review process to further quality medical care or health care;
(D) an organization established by a professional society or association of physicians, hospitals, or both, that:
(i) collects and verifies the authenticity of documents and other information concerning the qualifications, competence, or performance of licensed health care professionals; and
(ii) acts as a health care facility's agent under the Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986 ( 42 U.S.C. Section 11101 et seq. ); or
(E) a health care collaborative certified under Chapter 848, Insurance Code.
(6) “Legally authorized representative” of a patient means:
(A) a parent or legal guardian if the patient is a minor;
(B) a legal guardian if the patient has been adjudicated incompetent to manage the patient's personal affairs;
(C) an agent of the patient authorized under a durable power of attorney for health care;
(D) an attorney ad litem appointed for the patient;
(E) a guardian ad litem appointed for the patient;
(F) a personal representative or statutory beneficiary if the patient is deceased; or
(G) an attorney retained by the patient or by another person listed by this subdivision.
(6-a) “License holder” means a person holding a license, permit, or certificate issued under this subtitle.
(6-b) “Maintenance of certification” means the satisfactory completion of periodic recertification requirements that are required for a physician to maintain certification after initial certification from:
(A) a medical specialty member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties;
(B) a medical specialty member board of the American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists;
(C) the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; or
(D) any other certifying board that is recognized by the Texas Medical Board.
(7) “Medical peer review” or “professional review action” means the evaluation of medical and health care services, including evaluation of the qualifications and professional conduct of professional health care practitioners and of patient care provided by those practitioners. The term includes evaluation of the:
(A) merits of a complaint relating to a health care practitioner and a determination or recommendation regarding the complaint;
(B) accuracy of a diagnosis;
(C) quality of the care provided by a health care practitioner;
(D) report made to a medical peer review committee concerning activities under the committee's review authority;
(E) report made by a medical peer review committee to another committee or to the board as permitted or required by law; and
(F) implementation of the duties of a medical peer review committee by a member, agent, or employee of the committee.
(8) “Medical peer review committee” or “professional review body” means a committee of a health care entity, the governing board of a health care entity, or the medical staff of a health care entity, that operates under written bylaws approved by the policy-making body or the governing board of the health care entity and is authorized to evaluate the quality of medical and health care services or the competence of physicians, including evaluation of the performance of those functions specified by Section 85.204, Health and Safety Code . The term includes:
(A) an employee or agent of the committee, including an assistant, investigator, intervenor, attorney, and any other person or organization that serves the committee; and
(B) the governing body of a public hospital owned or operated by a governmental entity, the governing body of a hospital authority created under Chapter 262 or 264, Health and Safety Code, and the governing body of a hospital district created under Article IX, Texas Constitution, but only:
(i) in relation to the governing body's evaluation of the competence of a physician or the quality of medical and health care services provided by the public hospital, hospital authority, or hospital district; and
(ii) to the extent that the evaluation under Subparagraph (i) involves discussions or records that specifically or necessarily identify an individual patient or physician.
(9) “Medical records” means all records relating to the history, diagnosis, treatment, or prognosis of a patient.
(10) “Operation” means the application of surgery or the performance of surgical services.
(11) “Person” means an individual, unless the term is expressly made applicable to a partnership, association, or corporation.
(12) “Physician” means a person licensed to practice medicine in this state.
(13) “Practicing medicine” means the diagnosis, treatment, or offer to treat a mental or physical disease or disorder or a physical deformity or injury by any system or method, or the attempt to effect cures of those conditions, by a person who:
(A) publicly professes to be a physician or surgeon; or
(B) directly or indirectly charges money or other compensation for those services.
(14) “Surgery” includes:
(A) surgical services, procedures, and operations; and
(B) the procedures described in the surgery section of the common procedure coding system as adopted by the Health Care Financing Administration of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
(b) The terms “physician” and “surgeon” are synonyms. As used in this subtitle, the terms “practitioner” and “practitioner of medicine” include physicians and surgeons.
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