Key, James David, Sr., M.D. of Brownsville
Order Number: 3971
Date of Order: 5/19/2015
Action Taken: Fined $75,000; Must not participate in treating or examining injured employees covered in the Texas workers’ compensation system and/or consult with other physicians regarding injured employees in the system; Cannot receive direct or indirect remuneration from the Texas workersâ€™ compensation system
Violation: Improperly billed for services provided to injured employees
Brownsville Herald – Emma Perez-Trevino:
Key, of Dallas, but whose practice is at Valley Orthopedic Associates on Kings Highway, has an extensive disciplinary record with the Texas Medical Board, agency public records show.
July 2004: A temporary restriction was placed on Key’s license based on physical impairments that adversely affected his fitness to practice surgery. The order required consultation on major surgeries, the presence of an assistant surgeon on all major surgeries, and monitoring reports on all major surgeries. The physical impairments included a paralyzed left thumb; left arm and upper extremity weakness; right hand, arm and upper extremity weakness; bi-lateral hand clumsiness; inability to grip, and loss of grip strength; severe carpal tunnel syndrome; pain from standing, stooping, or bending; and inability to stand or sit for long periods of time.
February 2005: The temporary restriction was dissolved because after a mental and physical examination, a specialist found that Key had no impediments that affected his ability to practice orthopedic surgery.
August 2006: The state medical board filed a formal complaint against Key regarding the involvement of his law firm in a civil lawsuit stemming from an automobile accident. He was the treating physician and expert witness for the patient/plaintiff. In a separate action, the State Bar of Texas also sanctioned Key in March 2006 in connection with this.
August 2007: The board and Key resolved the complaint by agreeing that Key would complete 20 hours of education in ethics and pay an administrative penalty of $3,000.
April 2008: Key was penalized $5,000 and ordered to get a second opinion from a board-certified orthopedic surgeon on all open spinal procedures, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty before undertaking any surgery of that kind. He also was ordered to have his practice monitored by another physician and obtain 10 hours of education in medical record keeping. This was based on his failure to meet the standard of care in treating four patients because of inadequate documentation of physical evaluations, indications for surgery, post-operative reports and summaries, and a lack of follow-up with the four patients.
August 2009: The medical board ordered Key to obtain a second opinion from a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with a spine specialty or neurosurgeon prior to performing any spinal surgeries or procedures, that a physician monitor his practice and that his practice be assessed by medical education centers. This followed his failure to meet the standard of care in treating a surgical patient because of inadequate follow-up on a post-operative complication, and inadequate documentation in the medical record of that patient.
August 2010: The medical board ordered Key to contact the Texas A&M Health Science Center Rural and Community Health Institute to assess Key’s practice of medicine. He also must pass the Medical Jurisprudence Exam within a year. The exam is required of physicians in order to be licensed to practice in Texas. He has to have a score of 75 or above. He also was ordered to pay a penalty of $1,000. This followed his failure to appropriately diagnose and treat a patient’s post-operative complications in a timely manner. Key failed to read all the post operative X-rays, which resulted in missing a hip fracture.
TMB said that if Key does not pass the exam, his medical license will be immediately suspended.
Key has been practicing medicine for 35 years