By Tara Bannow

The Bulletin

A Redmond physician who, per a state licensing agency, may have endangered patients’ health through overprescribing and numerous other infractions has been ordered to spend five years on probation and pay an $8,500 fine.

Dr. Rose Kenny, the sole physician at Family Care Center, P.C., agreed to the terms of a stipulated order with the Oregon Medical Board, which became effective Thursday. Kenny escaped what could have been much harsher punishment: She faced losing her license and a $10,000 fine.

The board’s most recent complaint details Kenny’s treatment of 12 patients and accuses her of dozens of legal violations, including unprofessional or dishonorable conduct, gross or repeated negligence and prescribing controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose. It details several patient encounters in which the board said Kenny prescribed excessive amounts of narcotics, antibiotics and testosterone when it wasn’t medically indicated.

In one case, the board says Kenny continued to prescribe narcotics to a truck driver even after learning he consumed two beers and four shots of whiskey per day. In another, she prescribed testosterone to a patient whose levels were normal. The patient suffered side effects of excessive testosterone, such as shrinking testicles and prostate issues. The board also says Kenny prescribed five antibiotic refills to a 6-month-old patient with an ear infection and three months’ worth of the medications to a 5-year-old with sinusitis.

Twenty of Kenny’s former patients have contacted The Bulletin to complain about their care, which they say resulted in serious consequences. Two other patients reached out to say they were happy with the care they received.

Kathleen Haley, the board’s executive director, said everything the board does is to ensure patient safety.

“We think that these terms really do protect the public,” she said, “and we will be monitoring Dr. Kenny closely, and should there be any violations of this agreement then this will go back to the board for further action.”

Kenny continues to deny the board’s allegations.

“The Stipulated Order represents a compromise of a dispute; there is no admission of any form of wrongdoing,” she wrote in a statement provided by her attorney, Connie Elkins McKelvey, of Portland. Elkins McKelvey declined to add further comment.

Resolution in the case has been a long time coming. The board filed its original complaint in January 2015. It’s since been amended twice. In the meantime, Kenny has kept practicing as usual, with the exception that she’s not been allowed to prescribe testosterone to male patients.

As part of her probation, Kenny must report to the board at its quarterly meetings for interviews, unless directed otherwise.

She must also complete an education plan with the Center for Personalized Education for Physicians, a Colorado-based nonprofit that assesses physicians’ clinical competency and identifies areas in need of improvement for state medical boards and hospitals, and give the board written proof of completion.

The CPEP program will cover everything, including clinical judgment and reasoning skills, controlled substance and antibiotic prescribing, and documentation, among other problem areas evaluators from CPEP noted in a May 2015 assessment on her competency. The board ordered Kenny to undergo an assessment with CPEP in January 2015.

“Licensee’s noted deficiencies constitute conduct or practice that does or might constitute a danger to the health or safety of a patient or the public and conduct that does or might impact Licensee’s ability to safely and skillfully practice medicine, and employment of outmoded, unproved or unscientific treatments,” CPEP wrote in its May 2015 report on Kenny.

The CPEP education will likely be provided by another provider in Oregon, Haley said.

“In our experience, they work very closely with physicians, they have a high success rate and they also follow up,” she said. “So it’s not like once you complete that program, that you’re done with them. They actually follow up to make sure that learning has been of long-term value.”

Within six months, she has to successfully complete a course on prescribing that’s preapproved by the board’s medical director. She already completed a course on medical documentation. Haley said these courses are usually in person.

Kenny is only allowed to practice in settings preapproved by the board’s medical director. Her clinic will be subject to random, unannounced reviews of her patient charts.

Kenny’s probation also orders her to prescribe antibiotics based on peer-reviewed guidelines and reassess patients prior to authorizing refills of antibiotics. She can only prescribe testosterone to her male patients based on medical guidelines from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.

She also can only order lab tests that are medically supported based on the information from her patient charts, according to the stipulated order.

— Reporter: 541-383-0304,

tbannow@bendbulletin.com

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