Skip to Content

False Medical Board Accusations in California

Medical Board of California Symbol

False Medical Board Accusations in California

The Medical Board of California can file a false Accusation and when it does the physician is harmed even if he wins.  In this blog we review the Accusation filed on September 28, 2023 against  Dr. David Bockoff (Beverley Hills).  Physician Lawyer Daniel Horowitz reviews all the board Accusations as they are filed.  Once in a while he finds one that is so outrageous that he has comment on it.  

The board sends e-mail blasts that included the Medical Board Accusation filed against Dr. Bockoff.  In the same e-mail blast by the Medical Board included notice of the dismissal of an Accusation filed against Dr. Jeffrey Max of San Diego.  That was a small footnote to what must undoubtedly have been a terrible ordeal for Dr. Max.

So the first rule is this - Beware reading too much into an Accusation. Our office has also had Accusations dismissed even though as you read the Accusation it looked onerous.

Lack of Checks & Balances to Protect the Doctor

Dr. Bockoff’s Accusation is a warning to other physicians that DEA actions can result in Medical Board filings. DEA actions are heavily law enforcement focused and the truly lack any aspects of fairness or balance. So even though the Medical Board has some decents checks and balances to protect the physician, they can bootstrap on a law enforcement investigation and can easily tag an innocent doctor.

In the Bockoff allegation the board states that:

Respondent is subject to disciplinary action under sections 141 and 2305 of the Code in that the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) suspended Respondent's Certificate of Registration. Suspension of Respondent's DEA Certificate of Registration is grounds for discipline in California as a violation of federal or state laws that regulate dangerous drugs or controlled substances, pursuant to Code section 2238.

Politics vs. Medicine

There is a huge medical battle right now between the opioids are evil and if only I had been told how addictive they were I would never prescribe them group and doctors who treat chronic pain with opiates when nothing else works. The board and the DEA were absolutely slamming the prescribe opiate doctors but recently the Medical Board of California admitted that the strict enforcement policy had caused patients unnecessary pain.  States make millions suing big pharma and individual physicians are collateral damage.

The Accusation is NUTS on its Face

The patient files were reviewed by a board expert.  The way the patients are summarized and described tells you that the "expert" is no expert.

One patient cited by the board was described this way:

On February 23,2021, Respondent prescribed a IS-day supply of oxycodone 15 mg (60 tablets) to be taken every six to eight hours as needed for severe pain. On March 12, 2021, Respondent prescribed a 15-day supply of oxycodone 20 mg (60 tablets) to be taken every six to eight hours as needed for severe pain. On March 16, 2021, Respondent prescribed a 15-day supply of oxycodone 20 mg (60 tablets) to be taken every six to eight hours as needed for severe pain.

Depending on the patient this is not outrageous and could easily be necessary. But here is the give away that this Accusation is likely unfounded. The board alleges:

Patient 6's prior medical records indicate that she drinks 1 1/2 alcoholic beverages per
month. Respondent does not document the patient's alcohol use and he does not document any discussion regarding the risks of using alcohol with opioids prior to and while he prescribed oxycodone to Patient 6. This is an extreme departure from the standard of care.

To our lawyers this statement is NUTS. 1 ½ drinks per month is a teetotaler. One and one-half drinks per MONTH. Even if it were 1 ½ per day that would not be extreme. It might be worth checking for safety, potentiation and overdose (when mixed) issues. But 1 ½ per month! (I can’t stop writing that). Whoever put this Accusation together has a complete lack of judgment.

Was it a typo? Did the writer mean 1 ½ drinks per day? Nope. Whoever did the medical assessment is just bonkers.

Here is what he says about patient no. 5.

48. Respondent documents on October 7,2019, under the "Personal History - Social History - Habits" section of his typewritten progress note, that "[t]he patient states that he does
not smoke cigarettes, drinks alcoholic beverages rarely and does not use any "street drugs.",

Patient 5's prior medical records contained in Patient 5's chart in Respondent's office reflects that·
he drinks beer 1-2 times a week. Respondent continued to prescribe substantial amounts of
opioid prescriptions to Patient 5 despite Patient 5'sreports of drinking alcohol. This is an
extreme departure from the standard of care.

In other words someone who does not smoke, does not use street drugs and drinks beer 1-2 times per week should not be prescribed opiates !!!!!!

Bottom line. Honest doctors can be maligned by false and fatuous assessments by “medical board experts”. Whoever did this evaluation is IMHO ..... [Left Blank]

NOTE: Daniel Horowitz has no interest or connection to this case.  He reviews dozens of Accusations and once in a while will publish on an Accusation that seems particularly egregious and abusive.

Daniel Horowitz passionately believes in the independence of the medical profession. Government regulators, insurance companies and corporations should not practice medicine under the guise of “patient safety” and regulation. If you are one of the many good doctors falsely accused, contact physician lawyer Daniel Horowitz and Dr. Mark Ravis (Lawyer/Attorney) to protect your rights.