Why it’s so hard to find a pain doctor (Virginia)

Virginia Board of Medicine (2009)

All prescribers are encouraged to use the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) to access
information about patients for whom you prescribe or anticipate prescribing. Patient consent is
no longer required to access the data; however your patient must be informed that you might
check their data…

The Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act is the name of federal law that was
enacted on October 15, 2008; it amended the Controlled Substances Act to better prevent the
illegal distribution of controlled substances over the Internet…

If you treat a licensed healthcare provider for mental disorders, chemical dependency or
alcoholism, you must report the individual to the respective licensing board unless you have reason to believe that individual is competent to continue in practice or would not
constitute a danger to self or to others…

Board Decisions

Summary suspension – continued practice is a substantial danger to the public health and safety based on allegations of multiple patient cases of abandonment; failure to maintain timely, complete patient records; failure to provide medical records to patients or other practitioners; failure to provide notice to patients of office closure; failure to properly dispose of controlled substance medications…

Reprimand and complete HPIP program based on patient abandonment and inability to practice with reasonable skill and safety due to mental or physical illness or substance abuse…

Reprimand based on patient abandonment due to no documented notice to patients allowing a reasonable time to obtain other OT services…

Indefinite probation; license subject to terms and conditions based on threatening harm to self and others; patient abandonment and failure to provide continuity of care…

Reprimand; license subject to terms and conditions based on multiple patient cases of failure to obtain adequate patient histories; document chronic pain treatment plans; authorizing medication renewals without medical indication; failure to require patients to enter into a Pain Management Agreement; continuing to write narcotic prescriptions for pain despite
signs of narcotic pain medication abuse…

Revocation of license based on inability to practice with reasonable skill and safety due to substance abuse; failure to record comprehensive exams, document treatment plans and rationale, explore alternative treatments and monitor effects of medication in one patient case for treatment of chronic pain

Surrender for Suspension based on inappropriate prescribing of controlled substances via the internet outside a bona fide practitioner-patient relationship in multiple cases; prescribing controlled substances without proper documentation; prescribing to a family member outside a bona fide practitioner-patient relationship; and multiple patient cases of improper prescribing for treatment of chronic pain.

Reprimand; license subject to terms and conditions based on improper treatment and prescribing of opioids in two chronic pain patient cases…

Continued on suspension based on improper care and treatment of multiple pain management patient cases to include inadequate medical recordkeeping; authorizing renewals of medications with no examination; failure to consistently require a pain management contract; failure to enforce pain management contracts; allowing patients to direct and manage their own treatment; failure to change or end initiated narcotic therapy regimens when adverse reactions and/or overmedication were reported by the patient or family members, some resulting in patient deaths; and inappropriately prescribing a medication only approved for breakthrough cancer pain to patients with chronic pain, fibromyalgia pain symptoms, or headaches.

Indefinite suspension of license based on failure to obtain medical and substance abuse histories, perform comprehensive examinations/diagnostic tests and improper medical recordkeeping in multiple long term care patients and chronic pain patients; improper prescribing of controlled substances for pain medications and weight loss medications; and prescribing controlled substances for a family member to divert for her personal and unauthorized use.

Suspension of license based on multiple patient cases of prescribing controlled substances without obtaining patient histories, performing appropriate physical exams, failing to document treatment plans for chronic pain management, failure to review or assess patients’ progress, authorizing renewals with no examinations or medical indications to justify the renewals, improper medical record documentation and failure to enforce Pain Management Agreements.

Reinstatement denied based on failure to provide proof of compliance with the suspension Order entered 07/20/05 regarding patient notification; submitting false or misleading statements on the reinstatement application; and inappropriate prescribing and treatment of multiple chronic pain patients and improper recordkeeping.

Permanently restricted from providing chronic pain management services; indefinite probation with terms and conditions based on failure to properly manage chronic pain treatment in multiple patient cases; prescribing Phentermine for weight reduction without documentation of medical history, physical exam and monitoring; failure to communicate with other medical practitioners to coordinate care; providing medical care to staff without maintaining complete medical records; and failure to maintain proper inventory/documentation of controlled substances.

Reprimand; license subject to terms and conditions based on inappropriate prescribing of narcotic medications for treatment of chronic pain in one patient case.

Permanent surrender of license for revocation based on guilty pleas in the US District Court for the Western District of Virginia, Danville, VA, to one felony count of Illegally Distributing a Schedule II Controlled Substance and one felony count of Illegally Distributing a Schedule III Controlled Substance.

Surrender for suspension based on writing fraudulent prescriptions to obtain Vicodin for personal use on multiple occasions and inability to practice with reasonable skill or safety due to illness and/or substance abuse.

Surrender of license for indefinite suspension based on larceny of blank prescriptions forms; forgery of prescriptions in order to obtain Schedule II-IV controlled substances for personal use…

Reprimand and $10,000 monetary penalty based on prescribing Schedule VI controlled substances via the Internet and outside a bona-fide practitioner-patient relationship for multiple individuals.

Indefinite probation; license subject to terms and conditions based on prescribing Schedule II & III controlled substances in one patient case for pain management without proper monitoring and proper response to misuse of other medications; failure to obtain/document a complete history or obtain records from other treating physicians; failure to perform a physical examination; inadequate record keeping; failure to enforce the patient’s pain management contract; failure to decrease the pain management dosage; and failure to have a clear understanding of a physician’s role to provide pain management treatment.

There are more, but I think you get the idea.  I’m sure the records for every state’s Medical Board look similar.

3 thoughts on “Why it’s so hard to find a pain doctor (Virginia)

  1. Interesting! I tried going to a pain clinic in Massachusetts, and the wait was one year! I waited a year and then called them, and they didn’t have any records of the appointment. It’s virtually impossible to get treated by a pain specialist here.

    Liked by 1 person

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