Published Date Written by Gail OberLACONIA — A doctor at the Laconia Clinic has been reprimanded by the N.H. Board of Medicine for professional misconduct for prescribing opiates in a manner inconsistent with state law and with the medical board's internal policies.
In a settlement agreement between the board and Dr. Michael Dipre's, his license to prescribe controlled drugs as defined in the state's Controlled Drug Act has been suspended for three years and he is ordered to participate at his own expense in a "global assessment of his ability and skills as a physician" conducted at a facility in either Aurora, Colorado or Lawrence, Kansas within the next four months.
Dipre is also ordered to present his currently employer — LRGHealthcare — with a copy of this settlement within 10 days of the reprimand, which was dated February 8 and released yesterday by the Board of Medicine.
This is the second time Dipre has been reprimanded by the N.H. Board of Medicine. In 2008 he was reprimanded and his license to dispense controlled drugs was suspended for one year. He paid an administrative fine of $3,000 and was ordered to participate in a program earning 20 continuing medical education credits in the areas of documenting medical records and documenting prescribing practices.
According to the narrative of the second reprimand, on or about August 11, 2011 the Board of Medicine learned from a local law enforcement agency that an individual with the initials of J.S. was selling prescription medications and that she had been getting multiple prescriptions from Dipre.
While the board was investigating this complaint, they received a second complaint about Dipre regarding an individual with the initials of P.K.
The board found that Dipre began seeing J.S. In July of 2011 and was treating her for hypothyroidism, and chronic neck and back pain. Through no fault of his own, Dipre didn't have her previous medical records.
Dipre prescribed Percoset but failed to document it and despite J.S.'s mild intolerance of acetaminophen. He prescribed it again for her in October and said he prescribed Percoset because it is more difficult to convert the drug into injectable form.
On October 17, Dipre saw J.S. for a fall with back pain. His records show he prescribed a prednisone taper and oxycodone but he only recorded the oxycodone.
Between November 3 and December 16, Dipre prescribed two additional prescriptions of oxycodone that were not recorded. During this time, Dipre was converting to the use of electronic medical records.
When Dipre heard of J.S.'s abuse of pain medication, he stopped prescribing to her.
Dipre began treating P.K., according to the settlement agreement, in May of 2011. When he first saw her, she had been out of pain medication for two days and seems to be in withdrawal.
She reported a history of lower back pain with a herniated disk that appeared to require repeat surgery. Dipre prescribed and documented a prescription of 130 30-milligram pills of oxycodone, 180 10-milligram pills of methadone, and 60 2- milligram pills of Xanax.
He noted that P.K. should schedule another appointment with him within 30 days but, despite the fact that P.K. didn't return, Dipre continued to prescribe narcotics to her for the next three months. After three months, he stopped.
In addition, an individual with the initials T.E. had been one of Dipre's patients in 2004. She returned to him in 2008 because her own physician had discontinued prescribing narcotics and instead sent her to a pain clinic.
Despite her history, the document shows Dipre didn't require T.E. to enter a pain clinic. When a pharmacist told Dipre of T.E.'s attempt to fill a pain medication prescription he cut her off from pain medications.
A media representative from LRGHealthcare declined comment on Dipre's situation.