Fall 2014
Volume 3, Issue 4

“DOCTOR LOVE?”

SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH PATIENT LEADS TO REVOCATION A physician recently had his license revoked and will not be able to apply for reinstatement for a period of three (3) years after the Board found that he engaged in a sexual relationship with a patient. The revocation was due to the egregious nature of the case, which included the medical condition of the vulnerable patient, the repeated acts of sexual encounters over a six (6) month period (including in the treatment facility and treatment rooms) and contact after a suicide attempt by the patient. The Board further ordered the physician to continue with psychotherapy and complete an ethics/boundaries course. The practitioner will also need to appear before the Board at the time of reapplication to demonstrate competency, with the Board reserving the right to impose restrictions at that time. The Board further assessed a penalty of $10,000.00 and costs in the amount of $34,450.00.


IN OTHER NEWS...

SEXUALLY INAPPROPRIATE COMMENTS RECORDED BY UNDERCOVER INFORMANT RESULTS IN REVOCATION The State Board of Medical Examiners (“Board”), upon receiving a report of inappropriate sexual misconduct by a physician, initiated an investigation into the conduct of the practitioner. Specifically, it was alleged that the practitioner engaged in sexual misconduct in violation of N.J.A.C. 13:35-6.3. The sexual misconduct was discovered by undercover confidential informants who were assisting the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, who was conducting an investigation into the practitioner based on allegations of Medicaid Fraud. From March 9, 2012 through December 11, 2012, the audio recordings of the confidential informants revealed the physician making improper and inappropriate sexual comments to his patients. As a result, the Board revoked the physician’s license and further ordered that the practitioner may not apply for reinstatement in the future or for a new license to practice medicine and surgery in the State of New Jersey.

PRESCRIBING WITHOUT DEA AND CDS LICENSES RESULTS IN REVOCATION A physician was being investigated by the Board for prescribing controlled dangerous substances (“CDS”) without a DEA registration since 2004 and without a CDS registration since 1994. The Board’s investigation revealed that, among other things, the physician renewed prescription medications without seeing patients face-to-face and that the medical records failed to state a medical diagnosis to substantiate the need for treatment provided. Most concerning, the documentation of controlled substances being prescribed was absent. During the pendency of the investigation by the Board, the physician sought leave to permanently retire and entered into a consent order wherein his retirement would be considered a permanent revocation.

GROSS NEGLIGENCE IN TREATMENT OF DIABETIC PATIENT RESULTS IN SUSPENSION A physician recently entered into a consent order after the Board commenced an investigation upon receipt of notice of a $175,000.00 payment made to settle a civil malpractice action brought by the estate of a deceased patient. The civil suit was predicated upon allegations that the physician failed to properly treat the patient’s diabetes and hospitalize the patient for treatment of uncontrolled diabetes, which led to the patient’s death from diabetic ketoacidosis two (2) days later. The Board found that the physician’s medical records, contrary to his testimony before the Board, made no mention of treatment of the patient’s diabetic condition over the course of multiple visits. On the date of the last visit, the physician performed a finger stick test that yielded results too high to register on the monitor, suggesting a blood sugar level above 500. Rather than performing a urine test to seek to determine ketone levels, ordering additional “stat” laboratory testing and more fully assessing the severity of the patient’s condition and need for emergent hospitalization, the physician ordered a blood test for three (3) weeks later. The Board found the care provided by the physician on that day to be grossly negligent and suspended the physician for a period of one (1) year.

NON-COMPLIANCE WITH PHYSICIAN ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (“PAP”) A physician who had been participating in the PAP since 1994 (then known as the “PHP”) recently relapsed, leading to a voluntary surrender of his license. The physician had previously self-reported a relapse in 2008 that resulted in inpatient treatment, but the practitioner was allowed to continue to practice under the terms of a consent order entered into with the Board. The 2008 consent order remained in place at the time of his most recent relapse; the Board has no details on the circumstances of the relapse or the physician’s plan for recovery. Pursuant to the 2008 order, the physician was required to “immediately cease practice and voluntarily surrender his license to practice medicine until such a time as the Board deems him fit to return to practice.”
 

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 ThePAP.com.