SBME Reporter
Spring 2012 / Volume 1, Issue 1
Information provided by Kern Augustine Conroy & Schoppmann. P.C.

The State Board of Medical Examiners (“SBME”) is the investigative and prosecutorial agency charged with bringing actions against the physicians in the State of New Jersey. By bringing these actions to the forefront, it is hoped that awareness will aid physicians in the risk management of their practice and the protection of their license to practice medicine.

  • Inappropriate Touching of Female Patient
    License suspended for three years, two years served as period of probation. License reinstated with practice limited to a hospital, institutional setting and/or a setting pre-approved by the Board. Board imposed permanent condition requiring chaperone to be present during examination and treatment of all female patients and practice supervised by physician approved by and reporting to the Board. Physician required to continue with therapy and to successfully complete record keeping and billing course approved by Board.
  • Disciplinary action by California Licensing Board leads to voluntary surrender of New Jersey license
    Allegations by California Board that physician committed acts of sexual abuse, misconduct, or having relations with patients; gross negligence; repeated negligent acts; dishonesty or corruption; knowingly making or signing false documents; altering or modifying medical records; failure to maintain adequate and accurate records; violation of statute or regulation regulating drugs; and unprofessional conduct led to bar from practicing in California. Should physician seek reinstatement of New Jersey license at any time in the future, he will be required to appear before New Jersey Board to establish he is fit to practice medicine in New Jersey and demonstrate that he holds an active unrestricted license to practice medicine in California.
  • Participation in kickback scheme; federal tax evasion; clinical competency; termination from hospital staff and medical practice
    Physician participated in unlawful kickback scheme with diagnostic testing laboratory. Sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to comply with IRS efforts to recover the back taxes. Finding of hospital hearing committee of deficient medical recordkeeping gave Medical Board concerns regarding physician’s clinical competency. Three year license suspension (6 months active suspension; remainder probation); assessed aggregate of $20,000.00 in fines, investigative costs, and attorney's fees. Upon reinstatement of license, physician restricted to non-clinical practice until successful completion of Physician Refresher/Re-entry Course and successful completion of a Board approved course in ethics.
  • Reckless driving conviction in California leads to New York Board’s censure and reprimand and further reprimand by New Jersey Board
    Physician convicted of reckless driving in California. New York Board censures, reprimands and assesses $2,500.00 fine. New Jersey Board finds physician’s acts giving rise to New York disciplinary action provided basis to take disciplinary action against physician’s New Jersey license and orders reprimand.
  • Improper storage of regulated medical waste leads to indictment. Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) discharges indictment. During period of PTI participation, physician’s actions lead to allegations of deviations from standard of care, aiding and abetting unlicensed practice of medicine, and failure to provide for patients during absence from practice
    Four year license suspension, partially retroactive. During the period of active suspension, physician must obtain a competency evaluation; undertake 300 hours of CME and a review course from the American Board of Family Practice; attend and successfully complete a refresher/re-entry course; undergo a neurocognitive evaluation preapproved by the Board; enroll in and successfully complete Board approved ethics and recordkeeping courses; and pay a penalty in the amount of $30,000.00. If license reinstated after completion of the foregoing, monitor may be required.
  • Impairment in cognitive functioning; eventual return to practice
    Voluntary surrender of medical license deemed a retirement due to Board’s concerns regarding physician’s impairment in cognitive functioning skills. Cardiac pacemaker leads to progressively improved functioning confirmed by independent experts’ evaluations and recommendations for return to practice. Physician granted unrestricted license.
  • Malpractice action for death of patient. Panel finds gross negligence
    Negligent surgical procedure resulted in patient’s death. Board Panel found physician provided grossly negligent care. Two year suspension served as period of probation. Physician must successfully complete surgical specialty course and medical record keeping course and pay $5,000 penalty.
  • Inappropriate touching of patient over two patient visits constituted sexual contact and harassment
    Censure and Reprimand with a $10,000 fine and the completion of a continuing education program in the area of Medical Ethics. The physician did not contest the charge of practicing fraudulently by falsely claiming to be specialty board certified.
  • Inappropriate off-label use of IV drugs and Human Growth Hormone; lack of informed consent; deficient clinical practice and documentation; lack of documentation of CME credits
    License suspended for three years, served as probation conditioned upon: payment of costs and penalty totaling $8,800.00; compliance with CME credit requirement including 20 additional hours in pain management training and diagnosis and treatment of depression and anxiety; and successful completion of documentation and billing course.

Increased awareness will hopefully result in an increased willingness among physicians to take action to make the OPMC process fair to both the com¬plainants and the physicians. A fair and just disciplinary system should be a goal that no one can, or should argue or work against. Any questions call KACS at 800-445-0954, or email at info@DrLaw.com.