Iowa-licensed physician loses ability to prescribe narcotic pain killers

    The Iowa Board of Medicine has suspended one Iowa doctor’s ability to prescribe narcotic pain killers and restored the privileges of another Iowa physician.

    The board has fined Dr. Ted P. George, a 65-year-old physician who practiced family medicine at the UnityPoint Clinic in Pocahontas, $2,500 as a result of a settlement reached with the board on May 15.

    The board had alleged George failed to provide appropriate pain management to multiple patients in Pocahontas between 2015 and 2019, in violation of the laws and rules governing the practice of medicine in Iowa.

    Under the terms of his settlement agreement with board, George was issued a citation and warning and ordered to pay a $2,500 civil penalty and complete a board-approved record-keeping course.

    The board has also prohibited George from prescribing, administering or dispensing controlled substances for the treatment of chronic pain, and ordered him to cooperate with board audits of his other controlled-substance prescribing for a period of two years.

    The board’s action may have little practical effect, as George is now retired, according to UnityPoint.

    In a separate action, the board restored the privileges of Dr. Subir Ray, a 63-year-old Iowa-licensed physician who practiced surgery in Shenandoah, Iowa, before relocating to Kansas where he has worked since 2019.

    On Nov. 16, 2011, the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine concluded Ray’s ability to practice was impaired and that he engaged in unprofessional conduct by failing to meet the quality standards of the profession. The board alleged Ray used latex gloves while performing surgery on a patient with a known history of latex allergies, and it ordered Ray to participate in a two-day assessment at a clinical competency center. After Ray was found to have met the criteria for a narcissistic personality disorder, and after Ray refused to submit to certain tests, it was determined there was no objective way to evaluate his knowledge of surgery.

    The Pennsylvania Board of Medicine then placed Ray’s license on indefinite probation. After moving to Iowa, Ray violated the terms of that probation agreement by failing to enroll in the Iowa Physician Health Program and by failing to notify the Iowa Board of Medicine of the action in Pennsylvania.

    In October 2013, Ray entered into a settlement with the Iowa board, agreeing to pay a $5,000 civil penalty, complete a clinical competency evaluation, a behavioral evaluation, and a professional ethics program.

    The board also placed Ray’s license on indefinite probation subject to board monitoring. On May 15, after the board determined Ray had successfully completed the terms of its order, it restored Ray’s Iowa medical license to full privileges with no restrictions.

     

    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.