Criminal history background checks through the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are required prior to registration for current licensees.
Below are some FAQs related to the fingerprinting process.
Are the PAs being singled out?
- Fingerprinting for physician assistants is a result of legislation passed during the 85th legislative session in 2017 (SB 1625). Similar legislation (HB 1504) passed in 2019 requiring surgical assistants and acupuncturists to be fingerprinted. It is important to note that during the agency’s most recent Sunset review, Sunset staff identified the need for fingerprinting for each of these license types and ultimately recommended the statute change to lawmakers.
PAs don’t write most opioids. Will doctors also be fingerprinted again?
- At this time statute does not require the fingerprinting of existing physician licensees.
How much is it going to cost?
- The current fee for fingerprinting is $38.25. This fee includes the fingerprint vendor processing fee, DPS processing fee and FBI processing fee.
Does the fingerprinting fee benefit the TMB?
- There is no financial gain for the TMB. The TMB participates in the DPS contract with MorphoTrust USA for the digital fingerprint system for criminal background checks on applicants. This contract is maintained by DPS and applicants pay a fee directly to the vendor for fingerprint services. No portion of the fee comes to or through the TMB.
When do we have to do it?
- Fingerprinting for physician assistants will not begin until early 2020. Licensees will receive advance notice from the TMB of when they should begin the process.
Why do existing PAs, who were fingerprinted upon initial licensure, have to be fingerprinted again?
- Applicants or licensees who were fingerprinted prior to 1/15/2018 are not part of the current FBI civil rap back system. At this time, the only way to ensure that individuals who were printed prior to this date have a full criminal history background check, is to submit fingerprints for evaluation.
Does Texas require NCCPA Certification?
NCCPA Certification is required for initial licensure in Texas but not for renewal of an active Texas Physician Assistant License.
What do I need to do to change the name I use professionally?
You must provide us with a statement that gives an explanation of your request, a completed Name Change Application form and a notarized copy of the legal document(s) that granted your name change, i.e. marriage license, divorce decree etc.
Can I give my change of address over the phone?
No. However, changes in mailing or practice addresses can now be updated online in most situations. For those license types that cannot use the online system, a Change of Address form is available, but not required. Information on the new Change of Address system is available at: http://www.tmb.state.tx.us/page/change-address
Is the registration payment due before the expiration of a license?
Yes. The completed registration application and payment are due on or before the expiration date of the permit. However, you should allow at least 5 working days for the processing of the form, the fee and posting to the computer system.
Can fees be refunded?
Refunds of application/registration fees are available in very limited circumstances. These fees may be refunded in cases of administrative error by the TMB; applicants who withdraw their applications within 45 days of initial application, licensees who retire or request cancellation within 90 days of paying the fee, or on behalf of applicants/licensees who die within 90 days of paying the fee. A pro-rated refund may be requested for good cause by a spouse or personal representative of an applicant/licensee who has died more than 90 days after paying the application/registration fee. Refund circumstances are addressed in Board rule 175.5(c).
Do I need to send copies of my CME certificates with my registration?
No. You will need to provide these documents if you are selected in a random CME audit conducted after each registration period or if you receive a written request from Board staff to present these documents.
Is there a reduced fee for military licensees?
No, there is not. However, military personnel, with questions regarding registration or permits, who are being deployed, should contact the TMB.
Are there any exemptions to the CME requirement?
Yes. A licensee may request in writing an exemption for catastrophic illness, military service of longer than one year's duration outside the United States, residence of longer than one year's duration outside the United States, or good cause shown that gives satisfactory evidence to the board that the licensee is unable to comply with the requirement for CME. Exemption requests should be submitted in advance of the expiration date of a licensee's permit.
Is it the same price to register online or by hard copy?
No. An additional processing fee of $50 will be charged to those licensees who choose to register through a hard copy form, when an online option is available. If an online option is not available (ex: license is delinquent or suspended at the time of registration) the additional processing fee will not be required.
I just got my license this year. Do I have to complete CME before I register?
If your pro-rated initial registration is for less than 12 months, you are exempt from the CME requirement until your subsequent registration.
How many hours of CME are required per renewal for a PA?
PA's are required to complete 40 hours of CME every 24 months with at least 20 hours being Category I. CME is calculated from expiration date to expiration date.
What if I have more than enough hours of CME to renew my PA license? Can I use some of the credits for next year?
A PA may carry forward a maximum of 80 total excess CME credit hours (40 hours in each category) for up to two years.
Is the PA continuing education requirement for NCCPA the same as that for the Board?
No. CME is required every 2 years for Texas Physician Assistant Board and is calculated from expiration date to expiration date. It is also every 2 years for the NCCPA, but it may not be on the same schedule. In addition, you should check with the NCCPA for their current CME requirements.
How does a PA register a supervising physician with the Board?
You can register a new supervising physician through the Online Supervisions and Prescriptive Delegation Registration System. Please note that this is a 2 step process and that the supervising physician must complete the registration.
How does a PA terminate a supervising physician relationship?
The addition of a new supervising physician does not terminate any other supervision that is currently in place. Any current supervising physician relationship can be terminated using the Online Supervisions and Prescriptive Delegation Registration System.
Is there a grace period if I do not pay my PA registration on time?
There is no grace period if you do not register your license on time. Once a license becomes delinquent, it is considering practicing without a license to practice as a PA, which may be prosecuted by the local district attorney. The policy of the Board, however, is that the only administrative penalty is the payment of penalty fees required by statute.
What are the laws or rules concerning a PA's scope of practice?
Board Rule 185.10 covers Physician Assistant Scope of Practice.
What are the penalties for registering late?
There is no grace period for the expiration date of this license. Once the expiration date has occurred, penalty fee equal to one half of the registration fee will be added. After 90 days, the penalty fee will increase to equal a full registration fee. If a license has been expired for one year or longer it is automatically cancelled.
How do I change my address with the Texas Medical Board?
As part of the “My TMB” system, we are now able to offer the ability to update mailing and practice addresses online for the majority of our licensees.
To update your mailing or practice address online click the “My TMB” link in the upper right hand corner of our website (near the “search” box), and create an account if you do not have one already.