A Porterville doctor accused of excessively prescribing opioids and sedatives to four patients between 2010 and 2015 has agreed to discipline by the California Medical Board.
In a stipulated settlement, Dr. Reynaldo Y. Garcia’s medical license was revoked, but the revocation was stayed and he was placed on five years probation.
The board had accused Garcia of unprofessional conduct, gross negligence, excessive prescribing and inadequate record keeping. The settlement and disciplinary order became effective April 7.
Garcia’s lawyer, Richard Salinas of Fresno, said the doctor provided appropriate care and was prepared to challenge the medical board’s accusation. “But it was easier for him to agree to the limitations and keep practicing,” he said.
It was easier for him to agree to the limitations and keep practicing.
Richard Salinas, lawyer for Dr. Reynaldo Y. Garcia
Garcia, a family doctor at the Family HealthCare Network clinic in Porterville, agreed to the five-year probation and terms of the settlement. Under the settlement he cannot prescribe controlled substances to patients, except those in Schedule V such as cough syrups that contain only small amounts of drugs that could be abused.
Also among the settlement conditions, Garcia cannot make an oral or written recommendation or give approval to a patient or a patient’s caregiver for the possession or cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes.
In a 26-page accusation filed against Garcia by the board on July 21, 2016, the medical board said that in the care of four female patients Garcia had “inappropriately and excessively prescribed high-dose opioid and sedative medications in the absence of an appropriate prior medical examination and medical indication.”
Garcia cut off prescriptions to one of the patients listed in the medical board accusation, Salinas said. And an expert who reviewed the accusation against Garcia was prepared to support the treatment Garcia provided to the patients. Salinas said that Garcia decided to agree to the settlement terms partly because of the cost, expense, time and effort of fighting the accusation.
According to the medical board, Garcia is a 1990 graduate of Lyceum-Northwestern University, Dr. Francisco Q. Duque Medical Foundation in the Philippines. He continues to practice at the Porterville clinic, said Dr. Brandon Foster, Family HealthCare Network chief quality officer.
Foster said he could not go into specifics about Garcia because it is a personnel issue, but the clinic has “both internal and external systems that are in place to ensure the quality and safety of all the care that we provide.” And Foster said Family HealthCare Network is “doing everything we should to cooperate with the information from the medical board.”