Med board recommends reinstating license of doc from Westport

December 18, 2018

The state Medical Examining Board Tuesday recommended reinstating the medical license of a former Yale School of Medicine department head who served a year and a day in prison for lying about his travel expenses while at Johns Hopkins University.

In 2017, Dr. Jean-Francois Geschwind of Westport pleaded guilty to four counts of mail fraud arising from his scheme to unlawfully obtain travel expenses from Johns Hopkins, where he was a radiologist, according to the U.S. attorney in Maryland.

Geschwind fraudulently received reimbursement for trips to the United Kingdom, France and Japan when some of the expenses were for family vacations and meals, the U.S. attorney said. He was ordered to pay fines of $475,000 and restitution of $583,484, Connecticut and Maryland records show.

A liver cancer researcher, Geschwind wrote to the Connecticut board that in 2015, he was recruited by Yale to become its new chair of the radiology department. He voluntarily surrendered his Connecticut license after his arrest in 2017, but wrote that he wants to once again treat cancer patients in Connecticut.

The board recommended reprimanding him and placing his license on probation for a year and recommended that the state Department of Public Health require him to take a course in ethics.

A Bridgeport doctor also was reprimanded and fined $3,500 by the board after an investigation found there were lapses in his care for a patient who developed liver cancer and died before the investigation was finished, state records show. The patient had complained to the state about Dr. Anton Chinniah’s treatment of her Hepatitis C, state records show.

A consent order that Chinniah agreed to says that between 2010 and 2014, he failed to properly treat the patient’s Hepatitis C and liver disease, failed to properly refer the patient to specialists and failed to maintain adequate treatment records.

Chinniah has already paid the fine and completed courses in the care of Hepatitis C patients, state records show. By signing the consent order, Chinniah admitted no wrongdoing but chose not to contest the allegations.

The board also suspended the license of Dr. Nami Bayan of Shelton, saying his practice of medicine poses a danger to the public, state records show. The statement of charges against Bayan said that in 2018, he suffered an emotional disorder or mental illness that affects his ability to safely practice medicine.

In other action, the board reprimanded and fined a Glastonbury doctor $7,500 and permanently restricted him from performing surgery, including giving cosmetic injections, under a consent order he agreed to.

In 2015, Dr. Bruce Burnham failed to appropriately treat a patient’s anxiety and panic disorder and inappropriately prescribed an anti-anxiety drug for the patient, the order said. From 2016 to 2017, he failed to obtain informed consent for procedures on six patients and failed to maintain adequate treatment records, the order said.

Burnham, who was ordered to hire a physician to monitor his practice, paid the fine but admitted no wrongdoing.

The board also fined three doctors at Connecticut Addiction Medicine in Rocky Hill $1,000 each for improperly delegating the injection of a drug that helps reduce relapses in drug or alcohol abuse to unlicensed medical assistants, state records show. Patients were injected by the assistants in 2015 and 2016.

While admitting no wrongdoing, Dr. Edith Hergan of Rocky Hill, Dr. Jay Benson of Avon and Dr. Mahboob Aslam of Rocky Hill, chose not to contest the allegations, according to consent orders each of them signed.

This story was reported under a partnership with the Connecticut Health I-Team, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to health reporting. ( c-hit.org ).

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