"We get roughly 7,000 complaints a year and we are complaint-driven, which mean we don't launch investigations in the absence of a complaint to our agency," she says. "When hospitals take an action against one of their own physicians they are supposed to report that to us and we will decide whether or not we are going to pursue it. The same is somewhat true with medical malpractice cases. We get that information as well but it doesn't automatically translate into a Texas Medical Board case."
Rather than being a laggard, Hopper says that Texas Medical Board is "considered a leader" among state medical boards with "processes (that) are emulated by others." She says the Federation of State Medical Boards data puts Texas at the top of the list when it comes to doling out discipline.
"I hate to say we are No. 1 because it makes it sound like we are competing which we are not," she says. "But when you look at the number of disciplinary actions in the physician population we've taken the last couple of years Texas has taken more action per physician than other states."
Public Citizen urged Perry to:
HealthLeaders Media's calls to Perry's office seeking a response were not returned on Wednesday.