Volume 5, Issue 3
PHYSICIAN’S LICENSE SUMMARILY SUSPENDED FOR FAILURE TO DOCUMENT POTENTIALLY LIFE-THREATENING COMPLICATION In an Order Granting Partial Summary Decision and Suspending Licensure dated June 17, 2016, a respondent physician’s license was summarily suspended for three years, with the first two years to be served as a period of active suspension and the third year to be stayed and served as a period of probation, provided the physician complies with all of the terms and conditions of the Order. The facts giving rise to the discipline involved the placement of two epidural catheters in a patient’s back during labor. Despite being aware that these catheters had sheared off in the patient’s body and had not been completely removed intact, the physician nevertheless decided not to record this fact in the patient’s chart. Some five weeks later, after the retained catheters had been located by happenstance and removed by another treating physician and found to have been infected with methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (“MRSA”), the respondent altered the patient’s chart to insert a note that the catheters had been completely removed. The Board found these circumstances, together with the physician’s failure to disclose an arrest on a biennial registration application, evidence of deception which warranted the discipline imposed. The Order was entered nunc pro tunc, with an effective date of May 11, 2016. Since the physician was now practicing in a foreign jurisdiction overseas, the Order specified that the period of the New Jersey suspension would be “tolled” for any time the physician actively practiced in any other jurisdiction; in other words, the period of the New Jersey suspension would be extended by any time during which the physician practiced anywhere else. The Board also imposed a monetary penalty in the amount of $30,000 and assessed attorneys’ fees and costs in the amount of $20,000. The physician is required to attend and successfully complete courses acceptable to the Board in medical ethics and medical record keeping during the period of active suspension, and must appear before the Board in order to seek reinstatement before resuming practice in New Jersey.
IN OTHER NEWS…
FEDERAL HEALTHCARE CONVICTION FOR USE OF THE MAILS AND A FACILITY IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE TO FACILITATE COMMERCIAL BRIBERY RESULTS IN CONSENT ORDER FOR REVOCATION OF LICENSE By Consent Order dated June 14, 2016, the Board revoked a physician’s license to practice medicine and surgery in New Jersey, with a proviso that the physician is ineligible to seek to apply for or obtain a license in New Jersey for a period of three years from April 17, 2014, but will remain ineligible during any period of incarceration, probation, supervised release or a payment plan for a fine. The physician had pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey to a one count information charging him with using the mail and a facility in interstate commerce to facilitate the carrying on of commercial bribery by accepting bribes in connection with referrals of laboratory testing services in violation of Federal law. Respondent admitted to receiving $2,000 cash per month over two years in exchange for referrals of Medicare patients to Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services, LLC for blood specimen testing. Respondent consented to a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $48,000. On March 31, 2015, Respondent was sentenced to fourteen months in prison, one year of supervised release and fined $10,000. This physician also entered into the Consent Order voluntarily without the advice of counsel.
PODIATRIST ENTERS INTO CONSENT ORDER OF PERMANENT REVOCATION In a Consent Order entered on June 7, 2016, a respondent podiatric physician agreed to surrender his license, which would be deemed a permanent revocation without a right to future reapplication, as well as to a monetary sanction of $50,000 and restitution to a patient in the amount of $2,000. In 2001, the respondent, who had pled guilty to criminal charges of possession and distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, and tested positive for cocaine in direct violation of a previous Order of the Board, voluntarily surrendered his license. The license remained voluntarily surrendered and the respondent was never licensed to practice medicine. On October 20, 2015, the Acting Attorney General filed a complaint alleging the respondent had pled guilty to one count of unauthorized practice of medicine and one count of healthcare fraud, and had admitted to having administered Botox injections while his license was surrendered. The complaint further alleged that, in 2011, the respondent performed laser hair removal on at least three occasions which resulted in burns and permanent scarring and falsely represented himself as a licensed physician. The respondent admitted to State investigators to having conducted laser hair removal, skin rejuvenation and scar removal and having pled guilty to knowingly passing a bad check, theft by deception and theft by unlawful taking. The Board found the allegations against the respondent, if proven, would constitute the unauthorized practice of medicine, the use or employment of dishonesty, fraud, deception and misrepresentation, and acts constituting a crime or offense relating adversely to the practice of medicine and surgery, thus warranting a permanent revocation of license. This podiatric physician also entered into the Consent Order voluntarily without the advice of counsel.