INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (www.nbc33.com) -- The Indiana Medical Licensing Board spared the career of William Hedrick, MD, Thursday, placing the Fort Wayne pain doctor on indefinite probation.
The state proved three of the six counts they brought against Hedrick. However, the board allowed him to keep his license.
Dr. Hedrick can return to the board after two years and request his probation be lifted if he complies with all of the board’s conditions and requests.
"We were satisfied with the board's decision," Stacy Cook, Hedrick's attorney, said after the ruling. "He certainly plans to comply with all the recommendations and conditions that the board outlined for him today.”
As part of the probation Dr. Hedrick will not be allowed to supervise more than one physician, and is required to take a medical competency and ethics evaluation.
Hedrick was accused by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office of over-prescribing medication that led to the death of seven patients.
During Thursday’s hearing Hedrick's attorneys used a pain management doctor from the Indiana Attorney General's Prescription Drug Task Force to discredit testimony from a pain doctor used as an expert witness on behalf of the state.
"I feel the state presented a strong case," said Gabrielle Owens, Indiana Deputy Attorney General. "The board is, of course, the ultimate trier of fact."
Dr. Hedrick also took the stand Thursday. He maintained his innocence and called the Centers for Pain Relief one of the best practices in the nation.
Dr. Hedrick also defended his approach of treating patient’s pain, by doing physical exams over costly diagnostic tests to determine the cause of pain before beginning therapeutic treatment.
While testifying he and some of his employees admitted problems with documenting patient records at his clinics. Dr. Hedrick says since last summer that system has been upgraded.
Dr. Hedrick's license was under emergency suspension pending the case. That suspension will be lifted once the conditions of his probation are finalized by the board. That is expected in the next week or so.
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