GRUNDY CENTER, Iowa --- A doctor here will likely close his practice as a result of Iowa Board of Medicine disciplinary action against him in connection with his prescription of methadone to patients, his attorney said Tuesday.
Kevin Engels, a Cedar Falls attorney representing Dr. Frank Lamp, said his client is “disappointed” in the state’s action. “After discussing the matter with him, he will likely close his practice in the near future,” Engels said. It comes a month after he was acquitted of related misdemeanor criminal charges.
In addition to the methadone-related incidents, Lamp also was disciplined for “performing an inappropriate and/or medically unnecessary physical examination of a young female patient” at his clinic in 2011, for which Engels noted he was never criminally charged.
Lamp had been accused before the state board of professional incompetency; inappropriate prescribing; improper pain management; violating laws and rules of the practice of medicine and unethical or unprofessional conduct.
The Board of Medicine cited Lamp for professional incompetency and violating rules of the practice of medicine “when he inappropriately prescribed controlled substances, particularly methodone, to patients with known substance abuse histories” between 2009 and 2011. He was issued a warning in connection with the physical examination that such future conduct could result in suspension or revocation of his medical license.
Lamp also was directed to pay a $2,500 civil penalty; prohibited from “purchasing, possessing, administering or dispensing controlled substances” in general and for treatment of chronic pain; directed to complete a comprehensive clinical competency evaluation at a professional facility in Denver, Colo. and a “professional boundaries evaluation” at an Atlanta institute, both within 90 days.
He also was directed to have “a board-appointed female healthcare chaparone present at all times while treating all patients under the age of 18,” the board action states.
Engels said of his client has 30 days to appeal the findings to district court but likely will not.
“I think he felt that some of the things they found weren’t necessarily in line with what the evidence actually showed,” Engels said. “His feeling is that some of the hurdles they have set up for him clearly interfere with his ability to practice. As a result, his thought was, in all likelihood, he will probably choose to go ahead and close. He does disagree with the conclusions and is certainly disappointed with the conclusions they reached.”
Lamp had contended in criminal proceeding that he has prescribed methadone to patients for chronic pain, not for a substance abuse treatment program.
Methadone eases pain in patients, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. For abusers, methadone works by producing similar effects as the illegal substances and preventing withdrawal symptoms.
The ruling noted Lamp’s license had been suspended from 1997 to 2000 for substance abuse. The license was reinstated after he underwent chemical dependency and mental health treatment, but for a five-year probationary period he was directed not to treat patients under age 15 and to have a female chaperone present when treating female patients.