|(a) Each jurisdictional complaint received by the Board
related to a therapeutic optometrist's treatment of a patient for
glaucoma or a jurisdictional complaint that includes allegations involving
failure to refer glaucoma treatment to an ophthalmologist pursuant
to §351.3581(d) of the Optometry Act, shall be subject to a two-step
investigation process as set forth more thoroughly in this Rule. A
complaint is jurisdictional if it alleges conduct by a licensee that,
if true, would constitute a violation of the Optometry Act or Board
(b) Each jurisdictional complaint shall be subjected
to an Initial Investigation, which may then result in an Official
Investigation overseen by the Expert Panel, as contemplated in §277.14
of this title (relating to Complaints Resulting From Glaucoma Treatment-Use
of Case Review Consultant and Expert Panel).
(c) Upon receipt of a complaint regarding glaucoma
treatment, for which the Board has jurisdiction, such complaint shall
undergo an Initial Investigation by the Board, including an initial
review by a qualified physician licensed in this state who specializes
in ophthalmology selected by the Board from a list of ophthalmologists
approved by the Texas Medical Board (such qualified licensed physician
being hereinafter referred to as the "Case Review Consultant"). Each
jurisdictional complaint referred to the Case Review Consultant shall
be provided to the Texas Medical Board. The Case Review Consultant
shall have access to the initial investigation materials.
(d) The Initial Investigation shall at least include
(1) Any and all information received from the complainant;
(2) Any and all medical records related to the complaint;
(3) Any and all communication or response to the complaint
from the Respondent; and
(4) The Case Review Consultant's written report that
determines whether the treatment of the patient for glaucoma violated
the standard of care applicable to a physician specializing in ophthalmology.
(e) If, at the conclusion of the Initial Investigation,
the Case Review Consultant determines that the standard of care was
violated, the Board shall commence the Official Investigation procedure
contemplated in §277.14 of this title.
(f) If, at the conclusion of the Initial Investigation,
the Case Review Consultant did not determine that the Respondent violated
the standard of care related to the treatment of glaucoma, the matter
shall be referred to the Board for further investigation not related
to the treatment of glaucoma or referred to the Board for dismissal.
The Texas Medical Board shall be advised of the disposition of the
(g) In all events, if the Case Review Consultant determines
that a complaint regarding glaucoma treatment suggests that the continued
practice by a licensee or the continued performance by a licensee
of a procedure for which the person holds a glaucoma certification
would constitute a clear, imminent, or continuing threat to a patient's
health or well-being, the Board shall appoint a three-member disciplinary
panel consisting of board members to determine whether the license
issued should be temporarily suspended or restricted pursuant to §351.5015
of the Texas Optometry Act.
(h) Board staff shall use reasonable efforts to ensure
that any information shared with the Case Review Consultant and/or
Expert Panel contemplated in this section and §277.14 of this
title hereof shall be redacted and de-identified so as to maintain
anonymity of the licensee who is the subject of the complaint.