Suspension of psychiatrist’s license is in effect
By Jessica Farrish
January 9, 2020
A Beckley psychiatrist who West Virginia Board of Medicine cited for having an inappropriate relationship with a patient in 2013 and 2014 began a one-year license suspension on Thursday, WVBOM website published.
The WVBOM had suspended Dr. Omar Hasan’s license in 2017 due to an improper sexual relationship with a patient. Hasan’s attorneys appealed the decision to Kanawha Count Circuit Court and then to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.
Both courts sided with WVBOM, with the State Supreme Court ruling in November that Hasan’s license suspension would stand. That suspension started Thursday and will be in effect for one year.
In one year, Hasan may reapply to WVBOM for his license, according to the website.
Originally, the suspension was to start on July 24, 2017.
Court documents state that Hasan began providing psychiatric medication in 2011 to a female patient. In September 2014, the patient reported to WVBOM that she and Hasan had had an improper relationship that included texts, phone calls, gifts and “sexual encounters on numerous occasions at various locations.”
She said that when Hasan ended the relationship, she tried to kill herself.
Hasan said the patient had been threatening to him and his family.
WVBOM investigated the patient’s claim and found probable cause to issue disciplinary actions against Hasan for entering a relationship with a patient for sexual satisfaction and for failing to cut off the patient-provider relationship once the texts had become sexual in nature, according to court filings.
Both are in violation of state law.
WVBOM investigators found more than 4,000 text messages – an average of more than 10 a day – between Hasan and the patient from January 2013 and January 2014. Phone records showed the two had engaged in more than 16 hours of phone calls, even though Hasan was not providing counseling to the patient.
In June 2017, the hearing examiner had recommended a fine of $3,000 and ordered that Hasan pay associated hearing costs and be publicly reprimanded. The examiner also recommended that Hasan have his license on probation for a period of three years but ruled Hasan could practice if he underwent remedial classes, submitted to a chart review of his medical records and if he visited WVBOM once a year to demonstrate he was obeying the other conditions.
Later in June 2017, WVBOM modified the hearing examiner’s recommendations and instead suspended Hasan’s medical license for a year, issued a public reprimand, ordered Hasan to complete a training program at his own expense in Kansas, required Hasan to make a written request for the license suspension to be lifted and to prove that he had completed the Kansas-based training, ordered him to appear before the board annually and to cover all costs of the hearings.
Hasan had appealed the decision to Kanawha County Circuit Court, which sided with the WVBOM.
Later, Hasan appealed the case to the State Supreme Court on the grounds that WVBOM had not followed the recommendation of the hearing examiner, that a Kanawha Circuit Court judge had failed to consider the content of the text messages and that the circuit court had relied on erroneous findings of WVBOM.
The patient testified during the original WVBOM hearing that her professional relationship with Hasan began in November 2011, but changed to a personal relationship in January 2013.
She testified their sexual relationship ended the following summer because Hasan felt guilty and was afraid of losing his kids, but she said their relationship resumed at the Sleep Clinic.
Evidence presented at the hearing revealed thousands of text message exchanges, in which the inappropriate sexual relationship was illustrated.
Their relationship ended in January 2014.
Hasan visited her Jan. 31, 2014, at Beckley ARH after she admitted herself for suicidal thoughts. She then requested a transfer of care to Dr. Ahmed Faheem. She told a counselor about the affair, and later told Faheem.
Faheem is the current president of WVBOM.
The patient attempted suicide by overdose of prescription pills Feb. 20, 2014.