Board sanctions three Iowa doctors for competency issues

By: - October 13, 2021 11:21 am

The Iowa Board of Medicine has sanctioned three Iowa doctors for competency issues. (Photo courtesy of the Iowa Board of Medicine)

The Iowa Board of Medicine has restricted a 31-year-old doctor’s practice after fielding concerns about her professional competency.

Dr. Christina R. Anderson has been granted an  Iowa medical license subject to the terms of an agreement reached with the board last month.

According to the board, it received information from the Family Medicine Residency at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria indicating the program had concerns with Anderson’s ability to successfully provide inpatient care for patients of very high acuity who have multiple, simultaneous conditions that require treatment.

Under the terms of her agreement with the board, Anderson will not be allowed to provide inpatient care to any patients unless the patient is also assigned to a second physician who will supervise all of Anderson’s work and be jointly responsible for the care that’s provided.

In six months, Anderson will be allowed to apply for termination of that restriction on her license.

As part of the agreement, Anderson’s license will be on probationary status for a period of three years, during which time she will be subject to board monitoring.

Board of Medicine records identify Anderson as an “Iowa physician,” but do not state where she practices. The records indicate she has been, or is, working for UnityPoint.

Other recent actions by the Board of Medicine:

Dr. Linda M. Iler, a 68-year-old physician who formerly practiced family medicine in Carroll, has agreed to voluntarily surrender her license.

In May 2019, the board sent a confidential order to Iler, requiring her to successfully complete a comprehensive competency evaluation within 90 days. According to the board, Iler never complied with that order.

In December 2019, the board filed a public statement of charges against Iler, alleging she had violated the terms of the 2019 confidential order by not submitting to a competency evaluation. She was subsequently issued a warning and ordered to pay a $2,000 civil penalty and complete the competency evaluation.

Recently, the board alleged Iler had submitted to a formal competency evaluation conducted by the Center for Personalized Education for Physicians. That evaluation concluded Iler had demonstrated “substantial professional incompetency” in the areas of medical knowledge, clinical judgment and reasoning, patient care documentation and communication skills.

Iler has been practicing medicine in Iowa since 1981.

Dr. Thomas A. Novak, a 62-year-old, Iowa-licensed physician who practices family medicine in West Branch, has been issued a warning and ordered to pay a $5,000 civil penalty over allegations of professional incompetency and the inappropriate prescribing of controlled substances.

The allegations grew out of a board-ordered review of Novak’s care, which resulted in findings that Novak’s patient care fell below the allowable standard of care with regard to pain management, prescription monitoring program checks, urine drug screens, patient counseling and the use of inappropriate drug regimens.

Under the terms of an agreed-upon settlement with the board, Novak is prohibited from prescribing, administering or dispensing controlled substances for the treatment of chronic pain, but can continue to do so for the treatment of what he considers “acute pain.”

He can also continue prescribing, administering and dispensing controlled substances to patients in nursing homes.

Novak’s license has been placed on probation for a period of five years.

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Clark Kauffman
Clark Kauffman

Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing. His 2004 series on prosecutorial misconduct in Iowa was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. From October 2018 through November 2019, Kauffman was an assistant ombudsman for the Iowa Office of Ombudsman, an agency that investigates citizens’ complaints of wrongdoing within state and local government agencies.

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