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State fines East Lyme doctor for lapses in care

By Kate Farrish, Conn. Health I-Team Writer

Publication: theday.com

Published December 20. 2012 11:00AM   Updated December 20. 2012 11:59PM

The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday fined an East Lyme doctor $2,000 for lapses in care during cosmetic surgery and revoked the medical license of a Massachusetts psychiatrist who officials said had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a patient.

Dr. Jeffrey Lane, a gynecologist who performed liposuction and laser treatments at a clinic in East Lyme, was also placed on probation for a year. State investigators found that he did not properly instruct his staff in how to sterilize equipment prior to 2011 and allowed an unlicensed employee – his wife – to perform laser procedures, records show.

State officials also found that Lane had prescribed drugs to relatives or employees in 2009, 2010 and 2011 without maintaining proper records, reports show.

David Tilles, a staff attorney for the state Department of Public Health, said Lane has already paid a $5,000 fine to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency for the prescription violations.

Lane asked the board Tuesday for a lesser penalty, saying that he has lost $100,000 in business and is facing $45,000 in legal bills due to the state investigation. He said he admitted his mistakes and has corrected lax sterilization procedures at his clinic.
"A fine and probation are not necessary and will likely end my career,'' Lane said before the board went on to impose the fine and probation.

In other business Tuesday, the board revoked the Connecticut medical license of Dr. Michael Anthony of Shrewsbury, Mass., a psychiatrist who also had an office in Putnam, CT.

It took the action based on findings in Massachusetts that Anthony had violated patient confidentiality and had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a female patient.

Massachusetts officials revoked his license in 2011 after concluding he had acted unprofessionally in treating the woman. Anthony had argued that his judgment was impaired following a traumatic brain injury he sustained in a motorcycle accident in 2007. But the Connecticut board concluded his testimony was not credible, citing evidence of unprofessional contact, such as visiting the patient at work, before his brain injury.

Officials also concluded he knowingly falsified a diagnosis that the woman had a borderline personality disorder and erotomania when there was no evidence of such a diagnosis in her medical chart, Connecticut records show.

In a statement to the board, Anthony apologized for his behavior. He said he has been practicing in Connecticut for the past four years.

The board voted to suspend the license of Dr. Mary Jane Brackett of Watertown pending a hearing. In October, the board had fined her $1,000 and placed her on probation for six months after state officials found that Brackett had made a false accusation against a patient's father to state child protection authorities.

Public health department lawyers recommended the suspension Tuesday because they say that Brackett failed to pay the fine, take a course in medical documentation or hire a consultant to monitor her practice. The lawyers also said in state records that she has also been accused of additional charges of disruptive and unprofessional conduct with pharmacists, a patient and a patient's mother.

The board also approved a consent order that fines Dr. Carolyn McDonald, a radiologist at a Veterans Hospital in Tampa, $2,000 for lying on her Connecticut license renewal application that she had not been disciplined by a state in the past year. In 2011, California suspended her medical license based on a 2010 suspension of her license in Minnesota due to an alcohol addiction. The Connecticut board Tuesday placed her on probation for five years.

McDonald's attorney, Michael D. Neubert, said her problems stem from "an alcohol binge" in 2007 but that she has not used alcohol or drugs since receiving treatment that year. He said state officials in Pennsylvania and New York are considering or have taken action similar to what has been done in Connecticut. He said McDonald has no plans to practice in Connecticut.

This story was reported under a partnership with the Connecticut Health I-Team (www.c-hit.org).

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