The state Medical Examining Board Tuesday disciplined a Fairfield pulmonologist for improperly prescribing opioids and a former UConn Health doctor who had stolen medication from the health center for his private practice. Dr. Igal Staw, who works at Respiratory Associates in Fairfield, was reprimanded, fined $7,500 and has been permanently restricted from prescribing opioids, under a consent order he agreed to. He also must hire a supervisor to monitor his drug prescriptions and will be placed on two years of probation if his state registration to prescribe controlled substances is ever reinstated, the order said. In 2012 and 2013, Staw prescribed opioids to eight patients with chronic pain, including some who may have been abusing the medicine, the order said. He also failed to document the reasons for the prescriptions or justify in the patients’ medical charts why he was increasing the doses, state records show.
The state Medical Examining Board disciplined four doctors on Tuesday, including fining a Stonington doctor $8,000 for failing to provide adequate follow-up care for a patient who later died of cancer. Dr. David Burchenal of Stonington was also reprimanded and placed on three years of probation under a consent order approved by the board. During the probation, Burchenal must hire a physician to randomly review his patient records and must take a course in assessing urinary tract disorders. In November, the board had rejected a $3,000 fine against Burchenal, with some members saying they wanted a stiffer penalty. Burchenal failed to follow up on test results that showed his patient, George A. Ruffo, had abnormally high red blood cell counts in 2011 and 2012, state records show.
The state Medical Examining Board Tuesday placed a Westport doctor on probation for abusing alcohol and continued a requirement that a Woodbridge pulmonologist who had sexual contact with two women during medical exams have a chaperone present when examining female patients. The board unanimously rejected a request from the pulmonologist, Dr. Sushil Gupta, that the chaperone requirement be dropped. His lawyer, James Biondo of Stamford, wrote to the board that the restriction was keeping Gupta from gaining privileges at a hospital. Biondo wrote that Gupta will never stop using a chaperone even if the restriction is lifted because Gupta “will forever be at risk for a predatory patient given his history.”
At the meeting, Biondo said Yale New Haven Hospital and Griffin Hospital have rejected Gupta’s request for privileges, creating a hardship when Gupta’s patients are hospitalized. Over the objections of state Department of Public Health lawyers, the board reinstated Gupta’s medical license in 2013 and placed it on probation for one year.
The state Medical Examining Board Tuesday fined two doctors for inappropriately prescribing drugs and rejected a New Haven doctor’s $5,000 fine, saying it was too lenient. The board fined Dr. Jeffrey S. Miller of Torrington $5,000 and reprimanded him. A consent order said that for several years, he prescribed hydrocodone with acetaminophen for two of his wife’s relatives without having a doctor-patient relationship with them. The order also said that Miller permitted his wife to purchase the drugs in Connecticut and mail them to her relatives. Miller chose not to contest the allegations and told the board, “I admit the foolishness.”
The board fined Dr. Robert Dresdner of Wilton $3,000 and reprimanded him for inappropriately prescribing narcotics to two patients without adequately examining them or documenting their treatment in 2014.
The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday disciplined six doctors, including fining a Norwalk doctor $5,000 for prescribing high doses of opioids to a prison inmate and other patients without proper safeguards. The board also suspended the license of a family medicine physician from Westport, saying his excessive drinking of alcohol presents a “clear and immediate danger” to the public. In the Norwalk case, the board also reprimanded Dr. Martin Perlin and limited his ability to prescribe painkillers. Between 2013 and 2015, Perlin prescribed high doses of opioids without adhering to standard safeguards, state Department of Public Health records show. One of the patients was incarcerated during the time that Perlin prescribed drugs for him, the records show.
A Stamford doctor has surrendered his Connecticut medical license rather than face disciplinary charges for letting two unlicensed men perform liposuction on two unsuspecting patients at his spa in Stamford in 2011. Dr. Marlon Castillo voluntarily surrendered his license Feb. 29, according to a consent order presented to the state Medical Examining Board Tuesday. The board agreed to drop the pending charges against Castillo, who was convicted in New York in 2014 for aiding or abetting in the unauthorized practice of unlicensed medicine. The board dropped the charges on the advice of lawyers from the state Department of Public Health, who said that continued prosecution of the case was unnecessary because Castillo no longer has a medical license.
The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday reprimanded a Litchfield physician for his abuse of alcohol and violating professional boundaries with an office employee. In unrelated cases Tuesday, the board also fined two doctors and a physician assistant and reprimanded a Rhode Island doctor who has a license to practice in Connecticut. In the Litchfield case, Dr. James O’Halloran III was also reprimanded for prescribing controlled substances for five patients without adequate documentation or safeguards, according to a consent order approved by the board Tuesday. O’Halloran works full-time for the state Department of Correction, but these actions took place in his private practice, the consent order said. In 2014, he had a personal relationship with an employee and his prescription pad was stolen, David Tilles, a staff attorney for the state Department of Public Health, told the board.
A Monroe doctor who avoided prison time last year for his role in an extensive insurance fraud scheme was reprimanded Tuesday by the state Medical Examining Board. The board also decided that Dr. James W. Marshall Jr., 60, who lives in Orange, will have his medical license placed on probation for six months if he renews his registration to prescribe controlled substances. He voluntarily surrendered that registration in 2011 after he was implicated in “Operation Running Man,” a 14-month undercover investigation of auto insurance fraud conducted by the FBI. A hearing panel of the Medical Examining Board concluded that Marshall, who operates Immediate Medical Care in Monroe, prescribed painkillers such as Vicodin and Percocet 145 times for 75 patients when they were not his patients and he had not examined them, according to the board’s memorandum of decision. Marshall believed the patients had been injured in car accidents, the memo said.
The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday fined a former Brookfield primary care doctor $4,000 and placed his license on probation for three months for failing to make a timely diagnosis of pancreatic cancer for a man who died months later. The board also fined a Milford gynecologist $5,000 and reprimanded her for failing to meet the standard of care by not examining a patient who had severe lower abdominal pain. It turned out the woman’s ovary was twisted and it was removed during emergency surgery two days later, state records show. In the Brookfield case, Dr. Robert Jarrett – who now practices in a cardiology group at Danbury Hospital – was alerted that a CT scan in December 2011 showed the patient had potential malignancies in his pancreas and liver, state records show. Though Jarrett and his physician assistant continued to see the man for nine more months, Jarrett did not follow up with the radiologist or order more tests to determine if the patient had cancer, records show.
A prominent Waterbury gynecologist was fined $5,000 by the state Medical Examining Board Tuesday for mistakenly performing a laparoscopic hysterectomy on a patient who he did not know was pregnant, state records show. In January 2011, Dr. Jonathan Foster, who is also an obstetrician, failed to detect the patient’s pregnancy before the operation, according to a consent order he signed in July agreeing to the punishment. He also relied on the patient’s statement that she was not pregnant and failed to follow-up a urine pregnancy test with a blood test or ultrasound before operating, the order said. State records do not indicate how far along the pregnancy was. After the incident, Foster completed a course to maintain his certification in his specialty.