Med Board Fines Waterbury Doc $10,000, Reprimands Two Licenses

The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday reprimanded two doctors, including fining a Waterbury doctor $10,000 for inappropriately prescribing high doses of narcotics to a patient. In addition to the fine and reprimand, the board also placed the medical license of the Waterbury physician, Dr. Philip A. Mongelluzzo Jr., on probation for two years, state records show. Mongelluzzo failed to meet the standard of care for a patient between 2014 and 2018 when he did not appropriately treat the patient’s chronic pain and prescribed the narcotics without documenting the therapeutic reasons for the drugs, according to a consent order that Mongelluzzo signed. The order said Mongelluzzo, the owner of Care Beyond Medicine in Waterbury, also prescribed sedatives to the patient without limits and without an adequate medical purpose for doing so. While not admitting to wrongdoing, Mongelluzzo chose not to contest the allegations, the consent order said.

REACH Fund Begins Distributing Grants To Abortion Providers

The REACH Fund of Connecticut, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding abortion care, has begun making grants to abortion providers. “People think that because abortion is legal here and Connecticut has a lot of wealthy areas that there isn’t a need, but there is,” said co-founder Jessica Puk. Medicaid covers abortion in Connecticut, but Puk says the fund will address a need among many marginalized groups, including undocumented women, low-income people who earn too much to be covered by Medicaid, and those who have private insurance with a high deductible or copay costs. “These are real people who need to access real health care and are hitting real barriers to it,” she said. Puk and three other women began organizing the fund in the summer of 2021.

Medicare Penalizes 25 Hospitals For Readmissions, But Fines Lower Due To COVID

Twenty-five Connecticut hospitals will lose some of their Medicare reimbursement payments starting this month as penalties for having too many readmitted patients. Still, in most cases, the fines are much lower than in previous years, new data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) show. In this year’s evaluation, CMS considered the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on hospitals, excluding data for the first half of 2020 and Medicare patients readmitted with pneumonia, according to a report in Kaiser Health News. Nationally, Medicare is penalizing 2,273 hospitals, the fewest since 2014, with an average payment reduction of 0.43%, Kaiser reported. In Connecticut, 69% of all hospitals in the program face fines, but most are under 1%.

Med Board Suspends Pulmonologist’s License For Sexually Inappropriate Exams, Fines Ophthalmologist $40,000

The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday suspended the medical license of a Woodbridge pulmonologist for conducting sexually inappropriate examinations of two female patients and fined a West Hartford ophthalmologist $40,000 for failing to ensure that four patients received the correct implant during cataract surgery. State Department of Public Health (DPH) records show that the pulmonologist, Dr. Sushil K. Gupta, conducted the inappropriate exams between 2019 and 2022. In suspending his license, the board said Gupta poses a “clear and immediate danger to the public.”

DPH records show that Gupta also violated a 2013 decision of the board that required that he have a female chaperone in the room with him when examining or treating female patients. This is the second time that Gupta has been accused of sexually inappropriate exams of female patients. The board revoked his license in 2006 after finding that the testimony of two women was credible when they described Gupta touching them in inappropriate ways during pulmonary exams, state records show.

Med Board Disciplines Four Doctors, Fines Ophthalmologist $15,000 For Operating On Wrong Eye

The state Medical Examining Board imposed disciplinary action against four doctors Tuesday, including fining a West Hartford ophthalmologist $15,000 for operating on the wrong eye and fining a Bridgeport radiologist $5,000 in connection with a delayed cancer diagnosis. The board also reprimanded the medical license of the ophthalmologist, Dr. Patrick F. Albergo, for failing to comply with his Connecticut Eye Center’s “time-out” procedures and failing to maintain adequate medical records, according to a consent order he signed. Albergo, who chose not to contest the allegations, has completed courses in medical recordkeeping and changed protocols at the center to make sure that surgeons mark the correct eye before operating, the order said. The patient needed surgery on both eyes, and both procedures were done on separate days but in the wrong order, state Department of Public Health records (DPH) show. Board member Dr. Robert A. Green said the excuse that the patient needed surgery on both eyes is not acceptable.

Should Gun Safety Be On Your Doctor’s Check List? Researchers Want To Know Why It Isn’t

Doctor Stacy J. Taylor routinely asks her patients about safe gun storage at home. “I had someone say they put it in their bedside table and it is loaded,” said Taylor, a family practitioner with Trinity Health New England. “So, I said, ‘Maybe that’s not a great idea. If you don’t have a safe, at least keep the gun in one place and the bullets in another.’” Her patient promised to consider making a change. Questions about safe gun storage don’t pop up at every annual physical or well visit.

State Suspends License Of Stamford Doc For Excessive Use Of Alcohol, Drugs

The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday suspended the license of a Stamford doctor after state Department of Public Health officials said his excessive use of alcohol and drugs and his mental illnesses may affect his ability to safely practice medicine. A statement of charges against him says that Dr. Jeffrey Stern excessively used alcohol and narcotics in 2019 and 2020 and since 2019, has had mental illnesses or emotional disorders. DPH records show that Stern was arrested on Aug. 29, 2020 and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to use and driving while intoxicated. It was unclear where the arrest took place.

Med Board Fines Doc $10,000

The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday fined an Oxford doctor $10,000 for fraudulently using another doctor’s name and Drug Enforcement Agency registration number to prescribe controlled substances to a family member. In addition to the fine, board also voted unanimously to reprimand the medical license of the doctor, Marc D. Legris, and ordered him to take a course in ethics and to practice in a supervised office setting.  The order does not indicate the name of the doctor that Legris used. In a consent order approved by the board, Legris chose not to contest the allegations. Department of Public Health records show that in August 2021, Legris surrendered his own DEA registration and Connecticut controlled substance credential.

Activists Say Climate Change Policies Fail To Factor In Risks To LGBTQ+ Community

When it comes to environmental vulnerability, one group of people society often marginalizes has started to act up in Connecticut. Activists say one major category is missing when policymakers look at climate change preparation: the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) community. An environmental activist movement for LGBTQ+ people has been building in the New Haven area for a few years. Those involved in the movement say evidence is beginning to accumulate that makes a clear connection between environmental threats, sexual orientation and gender identity. Their environmental vulnerability comes mainly from this group’s higher poverty rates.