Volume 2, Issue 1
DOCS AND DRUGS
FAILED URINE DRUG SCREEN FOR COCAINE Physician participating in Professional Assistance Program. Denied use of cocaine but tested positive in his urine drug screen for presence of cocaine. Board ordered surrender of license, deemed an indefinite suspension of physician’s license pending demonstration of fitness and further order of the Board. Physician must comply with requirements of Professional Assistance Program and, upon application for reinstatement of license, present Board with written evidence of rehabilitation from all in-patient treatment programs and health care professionals treating physician.
IN OTHER NEWS...
FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH RECOVERY PROGRAM Physician, whose license was previously suspended, failed to comply with Board approved program of substance abuse recovery, initiated one year earlier, by ingesting opiates absent any documented prescriptions. With Professional Assistance Program support, Board agreed to restoration of license with restrictions: physician may only practice medicine in the employ of another physician with limitation on hours of work; totally abstain from "psychoactive substances, “ including alcohol; attend rehabilitation meetings; submit to urine testing; and continue psychiatric treatment.
FAILURE TO REPORT FOREIGN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTS Physician pled guilty in U.S. District Court for failure to file two years of required reports with the U.S. Treasury Department regarding physician’s Swiss bank accounts. Physician sentenced to one day in prison; supervised release for three years with requirements; and payment of penalties and restitution in the amount of nearly $500,000. As additional condition of supervised release, Court required physician to perform community service as physician for three different organizations. Board found grounds for disciplinary action where licensee “engages in the use or employment of dishonesty, fraud, deception, misrepresentation, false promise or false pretense and who has been convicted or engaged in acts constituting any crime or offense involving moral turpitude or relating adversely to the activity regulated by the Board.” Board orders suspension of physician’s license coterminous with period of supervised release, with allowance for practice in community organizations as ordered by Court.
PROVIDING SERVICES IN VIOLATION OF PROHIBITION ON CORPORATE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE Physician was employed by unlicensed general business corporation for which he performed medical examinations of patients, administered therapies, and wrote prescriptions. Physician acknowledged to Board that his employment by a general business corporation is prohibited by Board regulations governing professional practice structure. Physician agrees to Board order to immediately terminate his employment at corporation and voluntarily surrender his medical license, with such surrender deemed a permanent retirement.
PATIENT ABANDONMENT Board received report from hospital of suspension of physician’s clinical privileges following peer review of patient death while in care of physician. Board found physician engaged in unethical conduct, specifically patient abandonment, when he abandoned care of emergency room patient. Board imposed one-year suspension of physician’s license for professional misconduct, served as probation if physician successfully completes Board-approved course in medical ethics and pays $10,000 penalty.
PRACTICING WITH EXPIRED LICENSE Practitioner failed to renew license but continued practice for period of months with expired license. Board reprimanded practitioner for unlicensed practice and assessed civil money penalty.
Any physician concerned as to the abuse of drugs or alcohol should contact the New Jersey Physician Assistance Program at (609) 919-1660
THE PHYSICIAN ADVOCACY PROGRAM®
Far too few physicians are aware of the overwhelming weight that would befall them if targeted by the SBME. For SBME Protection go to PAP.DrLaw.com