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Found out why pain doctor was shut down

Started 1278218675.653 in Viewpoints | Last reply 1278570359.097 by Lindsays Grandma

I have a new pain management doctor and was given the scoop on what happened to the one the DEA shut down. It seems he was under investigation for two years. He had two locations in AZ, one in Phoenix and one in Mesa, I went to the Mesa office. Several months ago he closed both offices and opened a practice in Scottsdale which I was not happy about because it takes an hour each way from where I live.

He was comfortably doing business as usual when without warning he was shut down. He had a fairly large staff writing prescriptions and some of them were signing the doctor's name to them. Since most of the prescriptions were for narcotics it is against the law for others to sign the doctor's name.

I asked why the pharmacy was shut down and it was because they filled prescriptions with the doctor's name that he didn't sign. I was told the doctor's wife worked in the Phoenix office and also signed his name. This is a simple case of a doctor not giving strict rules to his staff and making sure they were enforced. There were numerous complaints filed against him for the same thing over the years. Can't say I feel sorry for him.

"Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear ~~~ Mark Twain

Lindsay's Grandma

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Yuban31278218859.578870 PostsRegistered 11/1/2006

Maybe this "doctor" told his staff to sign his names to the prescriptions, and not a case of "a doctor not giving strict rules to his staff and making sure they were enforced".

"To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone." -Reba McEntire

"Housework can't kill you, but why take the chance?" - Phyllis Diller

Lindsays G­randma1278219181.6074715 PostsRegistered 5/3/2007Arizona, formerly San Fernando Valley, CA

I doubt very much he would do that. Pain management doctors work under very strict rules and guidelines. And since he had been cited for the same thing several times, one would think he would have been very careful.

"Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear ~~~ Mark Twain

Lindsay's Grandma

Yuban31278219328.9038870 PostsRegistered 11/1/2006
On 7/3/2010 Lindsays Grandma said:

I doubt very much he would do that. Pain management doctors work under very strict rules and guidelines. And since he had been cited for the same thing several times, one would think he would have been very careful.

One might think that he would have been "very careful" after being cited several times, but, then again, he just might have been arrogent enough to think that he could get away with it.

"To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone." -Reba McEntire

"Housework can't kill you, but why take the chance?" - Phyllis Diller

Lindsays G­randma1278220053.1574715 PostsRegistered 5/3/2007Arizona, formerly San Fernando Valley, CA
On 7/3/2010 Yuban3 said:
On 7/3/2010 Lindsays Grandma said:

I doubt very much he would do that. Pain management doctors work under very strict rules and guidelines. And since he had been cited for the same thing several times, one would think he would have been very careful.

One might think that he would have been "very careful" after being cited several times, but, then again, he just might have been arrogent enough to think that he could get away with it.

If he was indeed that arrogant, which I highly doubt, he deserved to lose his license & source of income.

"Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear ~~~ Mark Twain

Lindsay's Grandma

moondust1278221275.281409 PostsRegistered 1/12/2008ga

Lindsays Grandma, oh goodness, it is situations like these that send the 'public' into a frenzy, with some, thinking that all doctors who specialize in pain management are not on the 'up and up'.....and of course some are Not, but then again....some are. I have great empathy for anyone suffering from chronic pain; I know of two individuals :(

Maybe the answer should lie with general practitioners getting more educated on chronic dehibilitatiing pain instead of 'passing the buck'?

Glad you found a new doctor!!

take care

Nothing is so strong as gentleness and nothing is so gentle as true strength.
Ralph W. Sockman

biffy531278223311.684620 PostsRegistered 9/10/2007Hawaii calls

My Pain Dr.is very careful, and is not a Dr. feel good....had one of those, and ended up in a re-hab!!!...Now after 5 years I am clean of opiates and do not have ant craving for them!!!....Pain still there, but at least I'm not in "another world"!

It's so hard to know who to trust...you really have to know your body better then the Dr. does!!

Lindsays G­randma1278225973.5834715 PostsRegistered 5/3/2007Arizona, formerly San Fernando Valley, CA
On 7/4/2010 biffy53 said:

My Pain Dr.is very careful, and is not a Dr. feel good....had one of those, and ended up in a re-hab!!!...Now after 5 years I am clean of opiates and do not have ant craving for them!!!....Pain still there, but at least I'm not in "another world"!

It's so hard to know who to trust...you really have to know your body better then the Dr. does!!

Biffy53 - That doctor was careful about the meds he prescribed for me. He tried different meds over the 2 years I saw him, looking for something that would help me but would not make me feel I was in another world For that I will give him credit He was careless in other areas and it cost him a great deal.

"Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear ~~~ Mark Twain

Lindsay's Grandma

cindychats1278243871.99317559 PostsRegistered 6/2/2008

The staff should be in trouble too. They are liable too, no matter what the dr did or did not tell them. If a nurse gives a wrong dose of medication and harm is cause to the patient(or not really), just because it was given exactly as was written on the chart as what was written by the doctor and filled by the pharmacy in the hospital or whatever, the RN is still liable for giving that dose of medicine to that patient.

The staff should not be signing the doctor's name to any prescriptions(esp control substances) whether the he said so or not and they should know that. Ignorance of the law is no excuse and they should have whatever license they have yanked and charges against them filed as well.

Katmary1278248651.6531724 PostsRegistered 4/24/2006

Where I go, the P.A.'s sign their names to the prescriptions. I'm surprised they didn't just do that instead but perhaps the other people who were seeing you weren't qualified to write them? Either that or the doctor thought it was easier, but I'm surprised it continued after warnings. It's tough now since most pain clinics are getting lots of people as pain problems increase, but it's not good to skip things like having qualified people sign prescriptions. It's too bad he didn't have nurses and P.A.'s that could sign them for him as it sounds like it ended his practice. I'm sorry to hear you lost your pain doctor over this. It's tough to find new doctors especially when he sounded good aside of this, but I don't think he would have been in trouble if people who were qualified to sign prescriptions were doing so with their own names so perhaps they weren't qualified to prescribe? I'm really surprised the nurses or P.A.'s weren't on the prescription forms.

My doctor and his colleagues have basically stopped seeing patients except for injections and new patients (wow, great way to milk the system on the most expensive pain management appointments to make the most money each day, huh?), and the P.A.'s are doing everything now from prescribing prescriptions and continuing current medication. Not only are they always stressed and not want to listen to new problems as they're always behind, but they're also not a doctor and I didn't pick my doctor based on his P.A.'s quallifications. They should see patients at least every 3 months, especially the abnormal cases as in my case, my P.A. only knows about back stuff which isn't why I first went there. My last doctor was awesome, wish I could have packed her and brought her here with me! {#emotions_dlg.crying}

Biffy, you pegged it perfectly, we DO have to know our bodies best and be our own advocates, as no one else can fight to get the right doctors and proper treatment more than we can. It's tough since it's when we're feeling bad that we usually realize just how much we aren't getting proper treatment, and have to fight through the pain and exhaustion to find someone who WILL care about our pain and quality of life. I'm so glad you have a better doctor now and were able to get off the higher amount of medications you were placed on. The last thing we need is to be overly medicated, and sometimes we listen thinking we have to do what the doctor says.

Blondilocks1278249452.193856 PostsRegistered 3/13/2007Home

I am a pain management nurse and can clear a lot of this up. NOBODY but the doctor can sign scripts that have his name on them. Not even the PA. Nurses are trained to know we cannot sign scripts. I work in a very well run office the doctors routinely screen patients with urine tox screens which are sent to a special lab which can detect many more drugs than a regular lab. They can even tell if the patient is positive for morphine whether or not its heroin (which is a morphine derivative). It also detects the amt of drug in the urine so if a patient is supposed to be taking 6 Percocet a day and it detects less (pt possibly selling some) and we know. Our cups show the urine temp so if it doesnt change that means the pt has "smuggled" in someone elses urine. We can even detect the "kits" that are sold on the internet to take to neutralize drugs. Our doctors do extensive testing with MRI's Xrays, EMGs and other tests to see if the patient has real pain or is just drug seeking. It is not an easy job and we get a lot of angry patients that are "caught" seeking drugs for no medical reason. On the plus side a good PM doc can control your pain very well and make the legitimate patients lives much more comfortable.

goodstuff1278250093.58317184 PostsRegistered 11/11/2008

Having worked for years in a medical specialist's office and having seen a number of patients who had gotten into trouble with overuse of narcotics prescribed by "pain specialists", I have no problem understanding why this doctor was shut down. I am sure there must be legitimate pain specialists out there, but a lot of them are simply narcotic-prescription clearinghouses. That's all they do -- prescribe patients drugs and more drugs. I've seen their patients impaired, unable to work, seriously dependent on narcotics -- I saw one patient who shattered both forearms when he walked off a 10 foot embankment while under the influence of excessive narcotics. Some of these "pain specialists" NEED to be shut down! Be careful getting involved with them.

Dachsie1278250415.362607 PostsRegistered 6/4/2006

"This is a simple case of a doctor not giving strict rules to his staff and making sure they were enforced. There were numerous complaints filed against him for the same thing over the years. Can't say I feel sorry for him."

No, this is a simple case of blatant felonious crime.

Wife and all the people in the offices and in the pharmacie(s) were in on the colusive crime.

Closing down offices and even taking away his license is not enough. When are we going to start sending these pushers and grafters to prison?

Dachsie1278250757.9832607 PostsRegistered 6/4/2006

"There were numerous complaints filed against him for the same thing over the years."

The fact that there were many complaints about him over a long time implicates the Arizona State Medical Board, the DEA, and the FDA and probably other state and federal agencies, their employees with names that is, in deliberately not taking definitive action much much sooner.

Follow the money.

Sorry if I get this thread poofed by someone, but the truth always seems to make that happen here.

SuzyBailey1278253392.1935360 PostsRegistered 6/17/2007NEW YORK, NEW YORK

In New York, the PA can write prescriptions and sign them with his or her name. They have their own DEA number. There are many offices, clinics and hospitals where the secretaries even write the prescriptions to mail to the pharmacies. There is really a problem with this in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee. They are finally cracking down

"This Ain't Tennessee, and He Ain't You". Janie Fricke

clemintine1278255263.6418288 PostsRegistered 11/5/2007C.C.

"pill pusher" comes to mind{#emotions_dlg.ohmy}

There's a fine line between 'pain management' and 'dispensing of pain killers'.

just sayin'

millieshops1278256414.00316685 PostsRegistered 3/15/2007

Some pain doctors are perfectly legit and prescribe what's needed to relieve awful physical pain.

Some pain doctors are just pass throughs for drug dealers who buy thousands and thousands of pills and sell them as street drugs.

I have no opinion on which is which in OP's case.

pitdakota1278258622.6779979 PostsRegistered 12/20/2006Kentucky
On 7/4/2010 Dachsie said:

"There were numerous complaints filed against him for the same thing over the years."

The fact that there were many complaints about him over a long time implicates the Arizona State Medical Board, the DEA, and the FDA and probably other state and federal agencies, their employees with names that is, in deliberately not taking definitive action much much sooner.

Follow the money.

Sorry if I get this thread poofed by someone, but the truth always seems to make that happen here.

Actually, the FDA has no jurisdiction in this type of situation. However, the state medical board and DEA does. Depends on what the specific complaints were on whether they are negligent in their inforcement powers or not. These types of cases usually take quite a bit of time to investigate. It is not like someone else selling prescription drugs. Those individuals have no reason to have prescription medications to sell. A physician and his/her practice does. So, they really have to take time to investigate to determine that laws are being violated and for nefarious reasons.

There is also a problem with state medical boards in that they do not have a national registry system such as nursing. For example a doctor can lose his/her license in one state and just move to another state and set up practice. When action is taken on a nursing license, the nurse cannot just simply move to another state to practice. They go into a national registry for all of the state boards of nursing.

Unfortunately, the type of case the OP describes is all together too common. So sad, because it jeopardizes the legitmate pain management programs and drives up the cost of the good programs.

For those who fought for it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know

irish mama1278259487.7834492 PostsRegistered 5/10/2007
On 7/3/2010 Lindsays Grandma said:

I have a new pain management doctor and was given the scoop on what happened to the one the DEA shut down. It seems he was under investigation for two years. He had two locations in AZ, one in Phoenix and one in Mesa, I went to the Mesa office. Several months ago he closed both offices and opened a practice in Scottsdale which I was not happy about because it takes an hour each way from where I live.

He was comfortably doing business as usual when without warning he was shut down. He had a fairly large staff writing prescriptions and some of them were signing the doctor's name to them. Since most of the prescriptions were for narcotics it is against the law for others to sign the doctor's name.

I asked why the pharmacy was shut down and it was because they filled prescriptions with the doctor's name that he didn't sign. I was told the doctor's wife worked in the Phoenix office and also signed his name. This is a simple case of a doctor not giving strict rules to his staff and making sure they were enforced. There were numerous complaints filed against him for the same thing over the years. Can't say I feel sorry for him.

I must be missing something, It's a pain management center. Do you see the Dr at each visit or just a therapist?

I would think you would be seeing the Dr. so than why is he not writting the prescription?

if he is not writting it than who does he think is??? JMO it's a lot more than a simple case of the Dr not giving strict instructions or rules.

Your going to a Pain Managment Dr. The Dr is the only one that should be filling out a prescription and if he is not than he certainly must be well aware of who is. Katie

Katmary1278289604.411724 PostsRegistered 4/24/2006
On 7/4/2010 SuzyKoubti said:

In New York, the PA can write prescriptions and sign them with his or her name. They have their own DEA number. There are many offices, clinics and hospitals where the secretaries even write the prescriptions to mail to the pharmacies. There is really a problem with this in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee. They are finally cracking down

They can in CA as well. Their names are on the prescription scripts with their name and signature on them too. I really don't mind seeing a PA occasionally, it's when they're all you see that I don't think it benefits the patient unless they're completely stable, and even then they should see the doctor every couple months since technically the doctor would take the fall for what the P.A. possibly does or doesn't do.

cindychats1278307352.717559 PostsRegistered 6/2/2008
On 7/4/2010 Blondilocks said:

I am a pain management nurse and can clear a lot of this up. NOBODY but the doctor can sign scripts that have his name on them. Not even the PA. Nurses are trained to know we cannot sign scripts. I work in a very well run office the doctors routinely screen patients with urine tox screens which are sent to a special lab which can detect many more drugs than a regular lab. They can even tell if the patient is positive for morphine whether or not its heroin (which is a morphine derivative). It also detects the amt of drug in the urine so if a patient is supposed to be taking 6 Percocet a day and it detects less (pt possibly selling some) and we know. Our cups show the urine temp so if it doesnt change that means the pt has "smuggled" in someone elses urine. We can even detect the "kits" that are sold on the internet to take to neutralize drugs. Our doctors do extensive testing with MRI's Xrays, EMGs and other tests to see if the patient has real pain or is just drug seeking. It is not an easy job and we get a lot of angry patients that are "caught" seeking drugs for no medical reason. On the plus side a good PM doc can control your pain very well and make the legitimate patients lives much more comfortable.

ding ding ding

pain medication should be monitored closely and given to patients who really need it. I am tired of the druggies being the ones getting the drugs and then the people suffering in pain not being able to get the treatment they need. It is not fair.

I hope this savella is my miracle drug.

Lindsays G­randma1278310200.2674715 PostsRegistered 5/3/2007Arizona, formerly San Fernando Valley, CA

cindychats

I'm sure he had patients who wanted the drugs for reasons other then pain. I was lucky I found out before my next appt that he was shut down, gave me a chance to find a new dr.

I really felt for the patients who showed up at his door to find him closed. Can you imagine how people could have gone into withdrawal without their prescriptions. Horrible thought.

What is savella?

"Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear ~~~ Mark Twain

Lindsay's Grandma

Rowdymom1278333347.0713101 PostsRegistered 6/20/2005SE PA
On 7/4/2010 Blondilocks said:

I am a pain management nurse and can clear a lot of this up. NOBODY but the doctor can sign scripts that have his name on them. Not even the PA. Nurses are trained to know we cannot sign scripts. I work in a very well run office the doctors routinely screen patients with urine tox screens which are sent to a special lab which can detect many more drugs than a regular lab. They can even tell if the patient is positive for morphine whether or not its heroin (which is a morphine derivative). It also detects the amt of drug in the urine so if a patient is supposed to be taking 6 Percocet a day and it detects less (pt possibly selling some) and we know. Our cups show the urine temp so if it doesnt change that means the pt has "smuggled" in someone elses urine. We can even detect the "kits" that are sold on the internet to take to neutralize drugs. Our doctors do extensive testing with MRI's Xrays, EMGs and other tests to see if the patient has real pain or is just drug seeking. It is not an easy job and we get a lot of angry patients that are "caught" seeking drugs for no medical reason. On the plus side a good PM doc can control your pain very well and make the legitimate patients lives much more comfortable.

Great post and as a nurse that also works in Pain Management, I totally agree with what you've written.

The only thing I would add is to address what someone wrote downthread about the Primary Care physician addressing Pain needs and writing meds. Many insurance plans limit the amount of medication the PCP can write for and some meds require "Prior Authorization" by a board certified Pain Management Specialist. That's where we come in.

One doctor who was employed in our practice tried to get the nurses to write his scripts and have them on the charts for him to sign.. we wouldn't do it. After some issues with him rewriting too many scripts for patients that "lost their meds", his contract was terminated.

blonde/gray, blue-gray, dry combination, neutral beige. WEN, Somerville, Clinique

daNurse1278333535.683439 PostsRegistered 1/10/2009

In times gone by this was a common practice.

Rowdymom1278333678.7313101 PostsRegistered 6/20/2005SE PA
On 7/4/2010 clemintine said:

"pill pusher" comes to mind{#emotions_dlg.ohmy}

There's a fine line between 'pain management' and 'dispensing of pain killers'.

just sayin'

That's where doing personal research comes in. The service I'm employed by is staffed with Board Certified, Fellowship Trained Pain Management Specialists. All of them are Anesthesiologists that pursued additional training. The patients we seem to have the most problem with are those who were released by practices run by doctors who lack sufficient training and run "block shops" where the procedures performed may not be as effective and meds are overprescribed without adequate monitoring and followup. All of our patients are on Narcotics Contracts with random testing, they understand they can be discharged from our service at any time, with a two week supply of med (so no charges of abandoning a patient) to find another doctor.

blonde/gray, blue-gray, dry combination, neutral beige. WEN, Somerville, Clinique

cindychats1278351431.37717559 PostsRegistered 6/2/2008

Savella is one of those new FDA apprved meds for fibromyalgia. New research says opiates do not help the majority of fibro patients. ha! oh well. we decidied to try this.

Been on this course of treatment for awhile.hasnt been going all that great. why not make a change.

about losing scripts.

I lost one of mine for restoril once. didn't bother to call the dr. back for another. even if he did trust me and even if I pee in a cup all day long I did not feel like beeing bothered with even the hint of anyone thinking i was exhibiting any drug seeking behavior. so I just went without it. it was years ago.

once long time ago, I had a nurse that worked at my pcp clinic that called my pharmacy and they had typed in the wrong dr.s name the last time i had my oxy filled and she accused me of going to another dr to get scripts and said he could not write me any if I was going to another dr and I stood there and told I had not been to another dr.

one thing that makes me mad is being called a liar

and we stood there in the hallway arguing and she got mad saying I raised my voiced. I said,"I will raise my voice if I want to" She was more or less calling me a lair and drug addict and that made me angry and yes I raised my voice. (but excuse me, I am the patient here) sorry to you nurses. but this time the role was reverse and that nurse made this patient mad.

she finally handed my chart to the officer manager in her little office, she calmly started to repeat the same things. and said she heard what I said. and also said she could call my insurance co to see what prescriptions i had filled.

I said go ahead and call them. Please. And I SAID "I am going to the pharmancy now myself to get this straght with them right now"

By the time I got the pharmacy the office manager had called and it was solved. They found the original script and it was, yes hand written by my doctor and someone typed in the wrong name. Which is what I told the nurse what probably happened cause I had seen it happen on other pill bottles before of mine. geeeesh.

Why did this nurse even call to check up on me anyway? I don't know. But when I went back for my next visit, She was no longer employed there. I was apologized to by the doctor and his other nurse and they were sorry that happened to me.

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