Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (New York)
March 12, 2013
N.Y. disciplines psychiatrist from Brighton
By Patti Singer

Clifford Jacobson

Psychiatrist Clifford Jacobson

A psychiatrist who in 2002 was convicted of mail fraud and disciplined by the state Department of Health is again on probation for new, unrelated charges.

Dr. Clifford Jacobson of Vanguard Psychiatric Services, 1655 Elmwood Ave., Brighton, was placed on 36-month probation effective March 11, fined $10,000 and had his practice restricted by the Board for Professional Medical Conduct for charges relating to prescribing practices and record keeping.

Jacobson did not contest the charge of negligence on more than one occasion for care relating to nine adult patients from September 2009 into January 2012.

Jacobson treats only adults, said his attorney, Anna Lynch. She said he would continue his practice of general psychiatry.

Under the current order, Jacobson is permanently prohibited from practicing pain management and the treatment of attention deficit disorder. He also can no longer prescribe certain medications, he must keep a prescription log that identifies each patient receiving a controlled substance and implement an electronic medical record.

During this probation, Jacobson can practice only when monitored by a licensed doctor who is board certified in an appropriate specialty, according to the order.

The state charged Jacobson, who has been licensed to practice in New York since 1978, with negligence on more than one occasion, incompetence on more than one occasion, gross incompetence and failure to maintain records.

The state alleged that Jacobson inappropriately treated patients who complained of pain, anxiety or other mental health conditions by prescribing opiates without proper evaluation and/or documentation of symptoms or effects of the medication, or recommending other options or referring to other specialists.

The current allegations occurred while Jacobson was on probation from the Board for Professional Medical Conduct after he pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to felony mail fraud. In that case, Jacobson was charged with inflating the amount of time he spent with patients and fraudulently getting money from Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. The court sentenced him to six months of home confinement, five years of probation, a $50,000 fine, community service and more than $700,000 in restitution.

At that time, the state Department of Health placed Jacobson on probation for five years based on his actively practicing medicine. According to the state, Jacobson completed terms of the order on April 2, 2012.

In 2002, the Health Department also asked that Jacobson’s license be revoked. But the administrative review board rejected the request.

A message left for Jacobson was not immediately returned.

Clifford Jacobson