Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Montana Doctor With Idaho Ties Has License Yanked; Examiners Cite 'Irresponsible' Prescribing

Posted By on Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 9:19 AM

A physician who ran into trouble with Idaho law enforcement before moving to Montana has had his license suspended by the Montana Board of Medical Examiners following a raid on his practice.

In 1998, Idaho prosecutors alleged that Dr. Chris Christensen had prescribed painkillers and narcotics to patients without diagnosing their underlying problems. In 2001, Christensen voluntarily surrendered his medical license for two years while he underwent a pain management course. Additionally, in 1995, Idaho prosecutors alleged that Christensen had prescribed controlled substances to patients outside the scope of his practice. Ultimately, Christensen was acquitted of the charges.

In 2009, Christensen opened a family medical practice in Montana, but last week his practice was sealed off by crime scene tape while local, state and federal law enforcement served a search warrant at the doctor's office.

And this morning's Missoulian reports that the Montana Board of Medical Examiners has cited the death of two patients from drug overdoses, along with "substandard medical decision-making and judgment" and "irresponsible and substandard prescribing of controlled substances" in indefinitely suspending Christensen's medical license.

As part of its probe, an investigator found that Christensen had prescribed one chronic pain patient 8.900 methadone tablets in a 133-day period, or roughly 67 tables per day. In another 14-month period, Christensen prescribed that same patient 19.508 methadone tablets, or more than 45 tablets per day for more than one year.


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