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.
Residents testing positive for COVID-19 totaled 401,379, up 254 since yesterday; the positivity rate is 2.13%, the Department of Public Health (DPH) reported. The state reported 11,707,853 COVID tests completed, up 11,938. Hospitalizations declined by 10 since yesterday, to total 202. The state reported 14 deaths since Oct. 14, bringing the death total to 8,721.
The state Medical Examining Board agreed Tuesday to withdraw the charges filed against a Durham physician accused of providing fraudulent exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines and masks after she voluntarily relinquished her medical license while it was suspended. Sue McIntosh, a retired former physician, will not face any discipline and will not be able to practice medicine unless she seeks a formal reinstatement before the board, state Department of Public Health (DPH) officials said. The board’s vote was unanimous. The board did not discuss the case before the vote other than a comment by Chair Kathryn Emmett who said since McIntosh had voluntarily surrendered her license, “there was no license to reprimand.”
McIntosh was accused of deviating from the standard of care by failing to properly diagnose or examine people who she issued signed exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines and masks. The state said that McIntosh failed to build a patient and physician relationship with those who requested the exemptions, failed to obtain their medical history and failed to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines by providing advice that was harmful to the public. The board suspended McIntosh’s medical license on Sept.
The Durham doctor whose license was temporarily suspended for giving out exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines and masks without examining the patients surrendered her medical license Friday, according to the state Department of Public Health. Dr. Susan McIntosh was being investigated by the DPH after she was accused of allowing people to mail her Durham practice a self-addressed, stamped envelope to receive signed exemptions, the DPH said. Her license to practice medicine and surgery was suspended by the state Medical Examining Board until a hearing scheduled for Oct. 5, officials said. It’s uncertain whether that hearing will go forward.
The state Medical Examining Board agreed Friday to temporarily suspend the medical license of a Durham physician who is accused of giving out exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines and masks without examining – or even knowing – the patients requesting the documents, state records show. Dr. Sue McIntosh is accused of allowing people to mail her Durham practice a self-addressed, stamped envelope to receive signed exemptions, state Department of Public Health (DPH) documents said. Her license to practice medicine and surgery is suspended until a hearing can be held on Oct. 5, officials said. The exemption paperwork that McIntosh mailed to people included explanations of what various exemptions would be, such as cancers, autism disorders, autoimmune disorders and others, and how to fill out the exemption paperwork, documents said.
The state Department of Public Health (DPH) will investigate physicians accused of spreading misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccines designed to combat the virus if a complaint is filed, officials said. Christopher Boyle, DPH spokesman, said that if the agency receives a complaint that a physician was spreading COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, the Practitioner Investigation Unit will investigate. In July, the Federation of State Medical Boards warned physicians that they could face disciplinary action by a state medical board for spreading disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines. DPH said that there is no mechanism for monitoring social media or other forms of media for doctors who are spreading misinformation. By state law, the public has no way of knowing if a physician is under investigation until a resolution to the complaint comes before the state Medical Examining Board months, or possibly years, from the filing of the complaint.
The state Medical Examining Board voted Tuesday to discipline two physicians with fines and ordered a Newington woman to stop providing injections for a fee without a medical license. In the first case, Dr. Richard Kravitz, who works at the Veterans Administration Hospital in West Haven and a private office in Hamden, came under scrutiny in August of 2018 after a female patient in his private practice reported that he had failed to inform her about side effects from the medication he prescribed, according to a consent order approved by the board. The woman contended in a letter to the board that Kravitz prescribed toxic levels of Lithium for three years but never sought blood tests, even though she complained of neurological symptoms. He also prescribed a “cocktail” of five other drugs, leaving the woman with side effects that changed her personality and appearance, she said. An investigation into the allegations revealed that Kravitz had failed to order laboratory testing for the woman and failed to document her treatments for three years, beginning in December 2015, documents said. Under a consent order, Kravitz must pay a $10,000 fine and follow the stipulations of an 18-month probation period including attending classes in proper documentation and laboratory monitoring of prescriptions.
The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday issued $5,000 fines to two physicians, including one who failed to further evaluate a lesion found by an MRI in the vertebra of a patient; and slightly loosened the restrictions placed on a Torrington doctor who successfully completed a five-year probationary period. Gabriel Abella, a doctor practicing physical medicine and pain management, provided care to a patient from August to October 2017, state Department of Public Health (DPH) documents show. During that time, the patient received an MRI which showed a suspicious lesion within the vertebrae, the DPH said. But Abella did not acknowledge the radiologist’s report that indicated there was a lesion and didn’t order any further follow-up care to evaluate the lesion, DPH documents show. In addition to the $5,000 fine, the board reprimanded Abella’s license and placed it on probation for one year.
The Medical Examining Board issued this week a four-year probationary period to a psychiatrist who is accused of excessive drinking and failing to follow state law on utilizing Connecticut’s prescription monitoring program. Department of Public Health (DPH) investigators determined that Dr. Susannah Tung, a psychiatrist, who runs a private practice while also working for the state Department of Correction (DOC), abused alcohol to excess at least twice; on Oct. 11 2017 and Feb. 20, 2020. The board, in addition to the probation, reprimanded Tung’s license.
Six Connecticut hospitals will lose 1% of their Medicare reimbursements this fiscal year under a federal program that levies penalties for high rates of hospital-acquired injuries and infections. It’s the lowest number of hospitals penalized since the program began leveling funding cuts in 2015, data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) show. The hospitals are among 774 nationwide that will lose funding under the Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reduction Program, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis. The program was created by the Affordable Care Act. When assessing hospitals, the government examines how many infections and other potentially avoidable complications patients suffered – things like blood clots, sepsis, bedsores and hip fractures.