Newsday (New York)
Doctors Slapped With Sanctions
By Roni Rabin
December 27, 1995
The state has revoked the medical license of a Huntington Station physician who liberally dispensed prescriptions for controlled substances such as Valium, Percocet and codeine, in one case prescribing 7,000 narcotic pills to a patient even though she was pregnant.
In addition to yanking the license of Dr. Hei Young Oh, the state Office of Professional Medical Conduct suspended the license of another Huntington Station physician, Dr. Veeresh Patil, who described himself as a psychiatrist specializing in weight reduction.
Patil, who is allowed to continue practicing medicine during a three-year probationary period, was suspended for violating the condition of an earlier probation imposed for inappropriate care of patients taking powerful appetite suppressants.
Oh, who had a practice at 2375 New York Ave. and previously had an office at 789 Walt Whitman Rd., Melville, said he has closed his office. He refused to say whether he plans to go to court to appeal the Oct. 13 revocation of his license.
“I’m not working no more,” Oh said, in a brief phone interview. “I closed my office last week.”
In its decision, the review board of the Office of Professional Conduct issued a harsh critique of Oh’s conduct.
“The Committee concluded that the respondent failed to demonstrate any competence in the practice of medicine, nor any understanding of the principals of the practice of medicine, beyond the mechanics of prescribing and billing,” it said.
The review board’s decision is the final step in the administrative process. Oh’s attorney, John Kase of Garden City, was on vacation and could not be reached.
According to the hearing committee’s records, Oh violated the state’s controlled substances act on several occasions, “repeatedly prescribing medication without justification and in excessive amounts,” from 1990 through 1993. In one case, the records show, he gave a patient 47 prescriptions for a total of about 2,400 pills, including Percocet, a sedative similar to methadone, and Valium.
Another patient received 32 prescriptions for various narcotics over a nine-month period, totaling about 256 ounces of liquid narcotics. A third patient got 56 prescriptions for about 5,400 pills over 33 months of treatment, while a fourth got 21 prescriptions for 2,100 pills.
Oh diagnosed several patients as having migraine headaches, but he never did any workups or physical exams, and he continued to prescribe narcotics for at least two of the patients even though he was aware they were addicted, the review board said.
The other physician, Patil, whose office is at 110 East 10th St., Huntington Station, admitted he had violated a previous probationary term for his treatment between 1989 and 1994 of several patients who were inappropriately prescribed appetite suppressants without adequate lab tests, medical histories or physican exams, or follow-through on abnormal test results.
Doctors are supposed to monitor patients who are taking appetite suppressants, which are associated with a slew of side effects, including high blood pressure, nervousness and depression as well as dependency.
Responding to inquiries Friday, Patil said he recently completed the training course that was a required condition of his earlier probation. He insisted the state had overreacted to his poor record-keeping.
“They wanted to find out something. It was a minor thing and they made it a big thing,” he said.