The state Medical Examining Board ranked 37th in the nation in the annual rate of serious disciplinary actions the board took against physicians accused of wrongdoing from 2017 to 2019, according to a Public Citizen report issued earlier this year. Connecticut’s board averaged about 13 serious disciplinary actions a year in 2017, 2018 and 2019, according to Public Citizen. The rankings are based on the number of serious disciplinary actions taken by states per 1,000 physicians. Connecticut’s rate was .65 per 1,000 physicians compared to Kentucky, which had the highest rate of serious disciplinary actions at 2.29 per 1,000 physicians, the report said. Public Citizen defines a “serious disciplinary action” as one that has a clear impact on a physician’s ability to practice.
The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday disciplined five doctors, including fining a West Hartford psychiatrist $7,500 for prescribing excessive doses of Xanax and fining a Hamden ophthalmologist $7,500 for having a consensual relationship with an adult patient. The board also reprimanded the medical license of the psychiatrist, Dr. Dale Wallington, for performing an inadequate diagnosis of the patient and for failing to implement strategies between 2008 and 2017 to prevent the patient’s abuse of Xanax and Vyvanse, a consent order Wallington agreed to said. Vyvanse is used to treat attention deficit disorder. The board also placed Wallington’s license on probation for 18 months, during which he must take a course in prescribing practices and hire a physician to review a portion of his medical records, the order said. In a letter to the state Department of Public Health, the patient’s parents complained about Wallington’s care of their son and objected to the consent order.
The state Medical Examining Board fined a Greenwich doctor $3,000 on Tuesday for failing to justify prescribing high doses of opioids for patients in 2015 and 2016. The board also reprimanded the license of Dr. Francis X. Walsh, placed his license on probation for six months and ordered him to take courses in medical documentation and controlled substance prescribing, a consent order he agreed to said. In prescribing the drugs in his office practice, Walsh failed to properly document that he had examined the patients and failed to justify “potentially dangerous dosing and combinations of medications,” the order said. During the probation, Walsh must hire a doctor to review his office practice. Walsh has surrendered his state registration to prescribe controlled substances in that practice, state records show.
The state Medical Examining Board Tuesday disciplined four doctors, including fining a Hamden doctor $3,500 for allowing medical assistants to give patients medication, including a nasal anesthetic. The board also reprimanded the physician, Craig Hecht, an ear, nose and throat doctor, after the state Department of Public Health found he failed to maintain appropriate infection controls in his Madison office, a consent order he signed with the board said. The order said he kept expired medications, failed to follow proper sterilization procedures and failed to keep appropriate sterilization records. Hecht also has offices in Hamden and Milford, but the problems were confined to his Madison office, the order said. Hecht chose not to contest the allegations while admitting no wrongdoing.
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.