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The Bellingham Herald (Bellingham, WA)

May 20, 2003 Tuesday

Psychiatrist loses license for 10 years

BYLINE: Mark Porter, Staff

SECTION: LOCAL; Pg. 5A

LENGTH: 368 words

BY MARK PORTER
THE BELLINGHAM HERALD
A longtime Whatcom County psychiatrist had his license to practice revoked for 10 years in April after he failed to comply with a previous order to keep better records of his work.
Paulus Vanderwielen, a physician and surgeon with a Blaine-area address, was ordered by the state Medical Quality Assurance Commission in October 2000 to “produce legible and complete patient records and to obey all state laws and rules regulating the profession,” according to a statement of charges filed in December.
Vanderwielen is in his late 70s, according to state documents.
The state Department of Social and Health Services told Vanderwielen in February 2002 that his provider contract would be terminated after “serious concerns” the agency had following a review of his practice by an independent psychiatrist.
The consultant reviewed 10 patient records from February 1998 through January 2001, according to the commission. The consultant told the state that Vanderwielen’s charting was “insufficient of appropriate medical details.”
The department said his charting compromised “the health and safety of Medicaid clients and put them at risk of injury” and violated state codes, according to the statement of charges.Vanderwielen appealed the termination of his DSHS contract and also responded to the commission with an explanation of his current practice status and health situation but did not return an answer to the statement of charges, according to the commission’s final order.
“The Commission finds the information presented by respondent in his submitted letters to be his answer, and that it gave the department the reasonable inference that Respondent, albeit implicitly, was affirmatively waiting his right to a hearing and settlement opportunity,” said the order.
Vanderwielen can’t apply for reinstatement for 10 years and the commission may deny him at that time.
Vanderwielen, who was issued a license to practice medicine in Washington in February 1957, declined to discuss the state’s allegations when contacted by The Bellingham Herald earlier this year. No one answered the phone at Vanderwielen’s Blaine area telephone number on Monday.