The state Medical Examining Board voted Tuesday to discipline two physicians including issuing a $4,000 fine and one-year probation to a Bolton doctor who prescribed opioids to at least two patients but failed to provide adequate drug screening and documentation.
The board also agreed to modify the terms of discipline for two physicians including a Fairfield County doctor who had done federal prison time as part of a compound medication cream scheme.
The Department of Public Health (DPH) began looking into the practice of Dr. Ronald Buckman, of Bolton, in 2018 after receiving a complaint from an employee, according to a consent order. While the agency didn’t substantiate any issues with the way Buckman’s family-based practice was being managed, investigators did find that he had “deviated from the standard of care” for at least two patients for whom he had prescribed opioids, DPH papers said.
Buckman failed to adequately document and examine one patient to whom he had prescribed painkillers while the patient was also taking muscle relaxers, an anti-seizure drug and possibly an antidepressant, prescribed by other physicians, the DPH said. Buckman also failed to discuss with the patient drug interactions and alternate treatments, investigators said.
In a second case, Buckman prescribed opioids to a patient who was taking anti-anxiety medication prescribed by a second physician, documents said. In both cases Buckman also failed to document urinalysis findings for both patients, officials said.
As part of the agreement with the DPH to keep practicing, Buckman is required to pay a $4,000 fine, and attend coursework in chronic pain management for primary care physicians and documentation practices when prescribing controlled substances, which he has already completed, officials said.
His license is reprimanded and he will have to hire the services of a licensed physician to conduct quarterly reviews of his records for patients who he has prescribed controlled substances during a one-year probation period.
The board also agreed to issue a reprimand to a second physician who had administered an epidural injection on the wrong side of a patient in August 2019, DPH papers said.
Dr. Kenneth Kramer was placed on probationary status for six months by his employer, Connecticut Orthopaedics in Hamden, and has taken coursework in patient safety and medical errors, according to the DPH.
Kramer recognized the error immediately and corrected himself, investigators said. The patient was doing well during a follow up visit, DPH papers said. Kramer had no other history with the DPH, officials said.
The board also agreed to modify two prior disciplines based on new information. Dr. Kakra Gyambibi, who formerly practiced in Stamford, was placed on two years of probation by the board in April after a hearing in December reviewing her fitness for practice.
Gyambibi was sentenced to three months in federal prison after pleading guilty to a health care scheme where she wrote more than 100 prescriptions for a keloid cream whose manufacturer claimed removed stretch marks, DPH papers said.
Gyambibi is still on federal probation but members of the board agreed that she was capable of ethically practicing medicine during their April monthly meeting. The board placed her on a two-year probation with stipulations for the review of her work.
The board agreed Tuesday to modify her discipline by not starting the probationary period until Gyambibi was working as a physician.
The board also agreed to modify the discipline issued to a Dayville doctor who had prescribed anxiety medication and a cannabis spray to an acquaintance without properly documenting the treatment. Dr. Gayle Klein was required as part of her discipline to submit quarterly reports from her supervisor to the DPH during her one-year probationary period, officials said.
Due to no fault of her own, she was not able to submit the third and fourth reports, DPH papers said. The board agreed to extend her probation to no later than December 31, 2020 to allow for time to get the fourth report submitted.