Can PHPs Be Trusted?

Wes Boyd MD posted a provocative piece on the Psychology Today blog. It explored “so why do PHPs send docs they’ve newly diagnosed under medical board order to a couple of places in Kansas, at least one of which features a polygraph expert on staff, and which charges ~ $7500 cash up front – no insurance accepted – for a “voluntary” four day evaluation?

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/almost-addicted/201904/why-physicians-who-need-psychiatric-care-go-kansas

My comment, certain not to win me a coveted “recommended program” status:

“Dr. Boyd’s concerns are indeed appropriate. I fear he understates the severity and extent of the fraud. 

Having spoken with and /or studied hundreds of cases of physicians subjected to compulsory so-called “psychological fitness for duty evaluations” or PFFDEs by PHPs around the country, numerous patterns are prominent. The physician may have been wrongfully ordered by the medical board itself for a PFFDE and prevented from objecting. The PHP may not even be qualified to conduct the PFFDEs – in fact, many are licensed not as legitimate licensed mental health practices but as “educational non-profit corporations.” In fact, despite clearly conducting an indepth psychiatric evaluation and making a psychiatric diagnosis and assessment of impairment, some have actually denied to US DHHS that they conduct such diagnostic assessments, rather calling their assessments “peer review.” These assessments meet none of the requisite criteria as clearly articulated by HCQIA.

And then, still deprived of contesting the findings of the assessment and having in hand a legitimate, contemporaneous comprehensive psychiatric evaluation which disproves these PHP findings, the physician is still denied any opportunity to contest what amounts to an involuntary civil commitment and their independent evaluation is ignored. 

Then, based on this criminal diagnostic fraud and wholesale denial of the medical equivalent of due process, that PHP often “recommends” to the board – that recommendation being a virtual order to comply – that the physician be sent to one of their “preferred evaluation centers” for a four day evaluation. First, there is no model for this evaluation in all of mental health. It’s a contrivance of the PHP franchise. But second, that non-neutral, non-insurance accepting facility, fundamentally contaminated by such a “preferred” relationship, often returns a diagnosis in synch with the referring PHP and may “recommend” the physician be sent to yet another “preferred facility” in the Board – PHP network for extended hospitalization for their newly diagnosed condition. And in this newly described Medical Regulatory Treatment Complex, it’s either comply or a) you get your licensed revoked; and b) you get publicly declared mentally ill, substance-abusing or behaviorally disordered, never to recover your reputation again. The costs to extract oneself from the maw of this grotesque machine are bankrupting and nearly invariably, the legal efforts futile.

Is it any surprise physicians might kill themselves trapped in such a Kafkaesque nightmare? Or might want to conceal any efforts at getting legitimate confidential help for a mental health concern?

Dr. Boyd has previously advocated for a national independent annual audit of all state Physician Health Programs. Both FSPHP and the APA (psychiatry) refuse to examine these concerns or support independent audit. One must certainly ask why. APA’s 2017 position statement on PHPs establishes a new benchmark for institutional moral cowardice.

Absent any oversight or medicolegal responsibility, I believe the time has come to strongly recommend that any physician ordered by a medical board or any other entity having control over their license or credentialing to submit to a PHP evaluation immediately engage knowledgeable counsel to seek an injunction against the board mandating compliance with that order until the legitimacy, integrity and legal rights afforded licensees are clearly and irrefutably established. 

In my opinion, no physician should ever risk their hard-earned careers to such a fundamentally dishonest and sadistically predatory operation.

Kernan Manion MD is the Executive Director of CPR – The Center for Physician Rights http://www.PhysicianRights.net. “

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New Center for Physician Rights Helps Protect, Guide Doctors

Be sure to check out Medscape’s recent piece on CPR – The Center for Physician Rights.

(Article Published in Medscape Medical News November 9, 2018)

Medscape’s advocacy for physicians’ rights is much appreciated.

Here’s the link if your device doesn’t let you see the hyperlink https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/904696

Clearly, we’ve tapped a significant nerve in the medical community.

When you visit, make sure you comment as that demonstrates to others that clearly this issue is significant. And … it keeps the article in the public eye.

Disrupted Physician

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New article by Pauline Anderson published in Medscape Medical News.

Please follow link and comment.


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Medscape Medical News

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Psychiatry News

New Center for Physician Rights Helps Protect, Guide Doctors

Pauline Anderson

November 09, 2018

Physicians who believe they have been subjected to unfair treatment and/or discipline by a state medical board, physician health program (PHP), or other regulatory body now have a place to turn for information, advice, and support.

Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 5.51.01 PM.pngThe newly launched Center for Physician Rights (CPR) “will aggressively pursue necessary changes in the administrative legal arena to ensure fairness, prevent abuse of power and, where indicated, promote ethical and compassionate treatment,” according to the organization’s website.  Propelled by his own career-ending experience with the North Carolina Medical Board (NCMB) and that state’s PHP, CPR founder Kernan Manion, MD, told Medscape Medical News the new organization will, among other things, offer physicians “pointers” on how to deal…

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The Perilous Physician Licensing Landscape

REPLAY: The Perilous Physician Licensing Landscape

 

Negotiating The Increasingly Perilous Medical Licensing – Peer Review – Physician Health Program Landscape

Learn What You Can – And Must – Do To Protect Your Medical License

Physicians are under siege from a host of forces. Amongst the most career threatening and yet little known assault are those pertaining to the administrative medicolegal arena, i.e. medical licensing boards, physician health programs, and credentialing and peer review committees.

Together with my colleague Michael Langan MD, author of The Disrupted Physician blog (www.DisruptedPhysician.com), we presented a groundbreaking informational webinar specifically covering this little understood area. 

Here’s the link to view the replay and download the handout:

The Perilous Physician Licensing Landscape

We’ve guided scores of physicians through sham peer review proceedings; bogus board investigations of anonymously sourced complaints; unwarranted referrals to Physician Health Programs for allegations of impairment or wrongdoing; falsely being labeled a “disruptive physician;” and many other career-threatening challenges.

These are critically important issues which could derail your career and cost you tens of thousands of dollars in legal struggle and even more in lost income and psychological distress. We’ve seen it first hand; we’ve  traveled the territory.

Incorrectly handling these or simply “handing them off to one’s lawyer” believing they’ll be dispensed with can be the death knell of your career. 

Is Your Medical License In Jeopardy?

Before you make another step in dealing with these agencies, we believe it’s vital that you learn what could be the difference between your successfully preserving your license and your being deprived of all that you’ve worked for in your career. In this very concise 30 minute webinar, we’re going to cover a lot of ground. 

I encourage you to pass the link around to colleagues who might be facing these struggles. Perhaps even especially with those who have already faced these challenges; we’re eager to learn from them about what works and what doesn’t. 

And yes, you can share with your attorney! We’re pleased to have advised multiple attorneys around the country in these complex matters that are unique to the healthcare arena. In fact, we’ve discovered that very few attorneys can sufficiently grasp these administrative challenges which are unique to the healthcare arena without knowledgeable guidance. And we can attest from abundant case wreckage, having an attorney who pretends to represent you without having gotten such guidance is like having a surgeon who’s never opened a belly before. It’s never going to be a pretty outcome.

Michael and I are staunch physician and patient advocates and want to ensure that our medical colleagues receive utmost fairness in these perilous dealings and, where indicated, are referred to the most appropriate, impartial and ethical programs to address any issues of legitimate concern with compassion and respect. We don’t want to see more physicians driven to despair and humiliation by these reckless agencies and be forced to helplessly witness their practices destroyed and their patients’ care needlessly and dangerously disrupted.

Don’t delay! Be sure to view with pen in hand – we’re confident you’ll come away with eyes opened and new ideas on how you might optimally approach these challenges.

Here’s the link to the replay and handout:

The Perilous Physician Licensing Landscape

And after yo’ve viewed it, please take a moment to leave a comment.

The “PHP-Blueprint”–A Trojan Horse for Profit and Wider Social Control

Superb resource document done by Michael Langan MD who authors DisruptedPhysician.com and who has probably done more investigative research on the fraud that is the PHP movement than anyone. Some are examining more closely the flawed – if not fraudulent – basis of the study, e.g. the fact that the “participants” weren’t told they were part of a study and that the authors didn’t reveal they were not voluntary participants as is understood in the traditional sense of the word as relates to studies. Further, the authors did not reveal their vested interest in the facilities to which their PHP cronies refer.
This is sort of like the story of the corrupt judges who issued harsh juvenile detention sentences ordering the detainees to be sent to juvenile detention centers THEY OWNED. Only thing to make it even more exact – the judges could’ve published a study showing the excellent outcomes, this justifying their salvific “referral.” I guess they had a modicum of integrity left and knew that’d really be pushing the envelope. Those judges btw went to prison.

Disrupted Physician

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 2.47.54 AM.png“In the small world of drug testing, these four—Angarola, Bensinger, DuPont and Willette—are affectionately referred to as the Gang of Four. Dr. John Morgan explains, “They are the ones responsible for a good deal of drug testing’s success, and some of the fear that goes along with it. Remember these names. These men are among the most competent and knowledgeable about drug testing—scientifically and politically. They are well-informed: they have to be. Their livelihoods depend upon their credibility. Unfortunately their expertise represents the greatest threat to the civil liberties we seek to protect. Know your enemy.” 1

Steal This Urine Test – Fighting Drug Hysteria In America – By Abbie Hoffman with Jonathan Silvers. 1986


A recent Huffington Post article written by Maia Szalavitz, The Rehab Industry Needs to Clean Up Its Act Here’s How, describes the need to radically rethink and reform American addiction treatment.. The article quotes…

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Robert DuPont, Physician Health Programs and Expansion of the “New Paradigm.”

Excellent piece by Michael Langan from his DisruptedPhysician.com blog. The “PHP Blueprint” is finally coming under critical scrutiny.

Disrupted Physician

Robert DuPont, The ASAM, FSPHP, Physician Health Programs and the “New Paradigm.”

“With one arm around the shoulder of religion and the other around the shoulder of medicine, we might change the world.”-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, AA World Services, Inc (1953).

In 2012 Former White House Drug Czar (1973-1977) Robert Dupont, M.D. delivered the keynote speech at the Drug and Alcohol Testing Association (DATIA) annual conference and described a “new paradigm” for addiction and substance abuse treatment. The former National Institute on Drug Abuse Director proposed expansion of this paradigm to other populations including workplace, healthcare, and schools.

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 8.38.55 AMAs a substance abuse treatment program that “sets the standard for effective use of drug testing,” the proposed new paradigm is based on the state Physician Health Program (PHP) model

Dupont wants to expand the PHP model to other populations. In an article published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs in 2012…

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Doctors fear controversial program made to help them

Recent story from Missouri NBC affiliate KSDK on the MO PHP. Excellent 5 minute recap of just a few of the main problems with PHPs.

Disrupted Physician


Link to Article



Many say a controversial program designed to help doctors with mental health issues is out of control, destroying careers and causing some doctors to commit suicide.


https://www.ksdk.com/mobile/video/news/investigations/is-your-doctor-afraid-to-ask-for-help/63-638ed041-0920-4b56-b06a-ed322fce9474


Author:Investigative Reporter: PJ Randhawa, Erin Richey


Dr. Gary Hammen admits that he was tired on the job.
In 2017, he had a newborn athomeand a packed schedule as ananesthesiologyresident, on top of a sleep disorder stemming from an injury he got serving our country as a soldier overseas.


But to him, the questions his supervisors asked crossed a line.


“They asked me, is this a drug problem? Are you sure you’re not using drugs?” he recalled. “I was floored.”


The questions came after months of exhaustion for Hammen.


Hammen says repeated, 24-hour shifts were taking their toll on his mental and physical health. Most weeks, he worked more than ninety hours and slept no more than…

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“I predicted my own fate”

Aysun Alagoz, MD has begun posting about her own sham per review experience.

It’s so great when docs begin writing about their own nightmarish experience as one of the biggest plights has been a sense of isolation and shame. Then again, that’s part of the discrediting strategy that makes sham peer review and sham PHP diagnosis so effective.

Aysun Alagoz MD’s new Sham Peer Review blog
So drop on by, give her a thumbs up and encourage her to keep writing!

 

New piece by Medscape on CPR – The Center for Physician Rights !

Really pleased that Medscape has done an excellent piece on our new CPR initiative. We’ve gotten many comments from physicians who share their own plight. Our Physician Advocacy Study Group which has been meeting for over 5 years had a strong sense that this was the case.

So if you haven’t seen it yet, take a look:

New CPR Center for Physician Rights

And when you do, be sure to visit the comments!