|Updated: State yanks Dr. Scarborough's medical license|
|The Press - News|
|Written by Joel Addington|
|Thursday, 20 October 2011 14:55|
The Baker County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Department of Law Enforcement notified Dr. Charles Scarborough on October 18 that his medical license was suspended by the state and he could no longer practice in Florida.
Patients who arrived about 10:45 am were flashed a badge and told the doctor was closed until further notice. A short time later sheriff’s investigator John Hardin taped a laminated sign to the front door of the Macclenny clinic with the same message.
One elderly patient turned away, Daniel Preston of Raiford, said he was there to see Dr. Scarborough about a blood clot-related to his diabetes.
“I’m screwed,” said Mr. Preston. “I don’t have any other doctor.”
Florida Surgeon General Dr. Harry Frank Farmer Jr. signed the suspension order delivered by law enforcement that morning.
“Dr. Scarborough consistently acted with indifference to the health of his patients by allowing unlicensed staff to provide that vast majority of care to his patients on a repeated basis,” reads the Findings of Fact portion of the 25-page order. “Dr. Scarborough has demonstrated a flagrant disregard for the duties and responsibilities imposed upon a physician practicing in the State of Florida and for the health and welfare of his patients.
“Furthermore, Dr. Scarborough’s instructions to his staff to fabricate medical records and a prescription for Sustanon for [Cory Lord] demonstrate his willingness to practice beyond the scope permitted by law and engage in misrepresentations related to the practice of medicine.”
The order alleges, as do reports from sheriff’s office investigators, that Mr. Lord, 21, of Macclenny sought to obtain a fraudulent prescription for Sustanon after being arrested for the possession of steroids without a prescription.
The order goes on to state that Dr. Scarborough, with assistance from his staff, falsified medical records and signed a fraudulent prescription for the drug, which is illegal in the US.
Among the other allegations included in the order are that the long-time physician, a graduate of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis with a sub-speciality in anesthesiology, encouraged unlicensed employees with barely any medical training to regularly evaluate his patients, make treatment recommendations, prescribe drugs and administer injections.
Before the order was released to The Press by the sheriff’s office, BCSO chief investigator Chuck Brannan said it was issued as a result of law enforcement’s continued investigation into rampant prescription drug fraud at the clinic.
Sheriff’s investigators, accompanied by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, served a search warrant at Dr. Scarborough’s office, 31 S. 5th St., on September 16, hauling away nearly a dozen computers and other paper records.
Four days later, the clinic was back open and seeing patients, but two former employees and two other suspects had been arrested for fraudulently obtaining prescriptions, illegally dispensing prescriptions or drug trafficking.
Those arrested were Veronica Alford, 40, of Macclenny, a former medical assistant at the clinic; Kayla Dampier, 20, of Callahan and also former employee at the clinic; Aaron Devereaux, 22, of Callahan, whose aunt Lorrie Devereaux is a former medical technician at the clinic; and Melissa Bledsoe, 42, of Callahan, who is Mr. Devereaux's mother and sister to Bobby Devereaux, Lorrie Devereaux's estranged husband.
The criminal investigation is ongoing.
Dr. Scarborough has 30 days to appeal the suspension order to the Florida Department of Health [FDOH] and the District Court of Appeal.
FDOH spokesperson Jennifer Hirst said the Florida Board of Medicine would decide whether to revoke Dr. Scarborough’s license permanently or come to some other settlement agreement.
Both actions could include fines and other financial penalties, she said.
It wouldn’t be the first time Dr. Scarborough was reprimanded by the state.
In 2004, the state imposed more than $7000 in penalties for not referring a female patient with breast cancer to an oncologist in a timely manner and not following-up with her soon enough after surgery, according to the final order from the Florida Board of Medicine.
FDOH records also show Dr. Scarborough settled two medical malpractice claims in 2003 and 2004 for $294,000 and $110,000, respectively, funds drawn from a $1 million medical malpractice insurance policy.
|Last Updated on Friday, 21 October 2011 10:15|