News and Tribune

Clark County

March 5, 2013

Board postpones hearing for Jeffersonville pain clinic physician

Dr. Lea Marlow’s license remains suspended for an additional 90 days

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Medical Licensing Board voted Thursday to postpone the disciplinary licensing hearing regarding the state’s complaint regarding Dr. Lea Marlow’s medical license. 

Marlow will remain on summary suspension for the next 90 days, according to a press release from the Indiana Attorney General’s office.

Marlow, who worked at the now-closed Clark County Wellness Center in Jeffersonville, did not appear at the scheduled hearing Thursday in Indianapolis and instead submitted a letter offering to surrender her medical license. In the letter, she did not object to any postponement of the summary suspension.

The Medical Licensing Board will consider the status of Marlow’s license at a future meeting, which has not been scheduled.

“Dr. Marlow’s prescribing practices were well outside of what is considered medically safe and appropriate,” said Gabrielle Owens, deputy attorney general and deputy director of the Licensing Enforcement and Homeowner Protection Unit. “Although the physician has offered to surrender her license, the board can consider the evidence and ultimately determine what, if any, disciplinary action will be taken.”

In December, the board voted to temporarily suspend Marlow’s license and a formal licensing complaint was filed. That was after an investigation discovered since January 2012, Marlow prescribed more than 8,000 prescriptions for 3,489 patients — with more than 95 percent receiving oxycodone, according to the release. Owens said virtually all of Marlow’s patients receive identical treatment in the form of oxycodone and diazepam prescriptions.

According to the filing, the Jeffersonville pain clinic did not accept payment from private insurance companies or government entitlement programs and instead operated as a “cash-only” business.

Senate Bill 246, which imposes various new requirements on such clinics, passed unanimously in the Indiana Senate on Monday and advanced to the Indiana House. The legislation was recommended by Attorney General Zoeller, who chairs the state’s Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force.

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