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Kansas doctor fined after improperly prescribing opiates

February 26, 2018

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas medical board has fined a doctor $2,500 and put his license on probation after an investigation revealed improper and potentially dangerous opioid prescribing.

The Kansas Board of Healing Arts released an order this month saying its investigation into Overland Park doctor Joseph Baker began after a pharmacist complained that Baker was overprescribing to someone with whom he didn’t have a legitimate doctor-patient relationship, the Kansas City Star reported .

The medical board’s investigators looked at two years of Baker’s prescribing history and found that he violated guidelines in prescribing controlled substances to at least seven patients. Patients’ records didn’t include adequate examinations to determine the cause of their pain or lab testing necessary to support the diagnoses given to them by Baker, according to the board.

Baker responded to investigators’ findings saying “although the amount of opiates many of these people are taking is amazingly large, they tolerate it extremely well.”

Baker also acknowledged he violated best practices by prescribing some patients opioids and benzodiazepines at the same time, a combination health experts consider dangerous.

He currently works at Vein Clinics of America. The incidents outlined in the board’s order happened before he was hired, but the company is supporting him during his probation, said Satish Vayuvegula, the company’s national medical director.

“We do not believe this matter affects Dr. Baker’s ability to provide proper vein care to his patients,” he said.

Vayuvegula said the treatments at his company are minimally invasive and its doctors don’t usually prescribe pain medications because over-the-counter drugs are effective enough.

Baker’s license will be on probation until he completes education courses on prescribing controlled substances and medical record-keeping.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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