J. Patrick Bertroche, Iowa Psychiatrist, Fined for Pre-Signing Blank Prescription Orders

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Des Moines Register
Psychiatrist fined $5,000 for pre-signing prescriptions for his staff to fill out later
By Tony Leys
July 27, 2017

Psychiatrist J. Patrick Bertroche

A longtime Des Moines psychiatrist has agreed to pay a $5,000 fine after being accused of pre-signing blank prescription orders for his staff to fill out later.

J. Patrick Bertroche, 50, agreed to pay the fine to settle an administrative charge from the Iowa Board of Medicine, documents released Wednesday show. He also agreed to take an ethics course from a training program in Colorado.

Bertroche told state investigators the pre-signed prescriptions were kept in a locked office that only he and his staff could access. But the physician-licensing board noted that doctors are forbidden from pre-signing blank prescriptions for their staff members to fill out later.

The psychiatrist said Thursday that he was pleased to have resolved the matter with the licensing board.

“While I did not have a full understanding that my actions did not comply with current regulations, I have adjusted my practices and cooperated fully with the board’s review,” he wrote in an email to the Register. “The health and well-being of my patients is my greatest priority, and I remain deeply committed to providing an exceptional level of care and attention.”

Bertroche heads a clinic in northwest Des Moines. He unsuccessfully ran for Congress in the 2010 Republican primary.

J. Patrick Bertroche