84-Year-Old Doctor Who Does Not Use Computer Can't Regain Medical License
Anna Konopka earlier agreed to surrender her medical license over allegations from the New Hampshire Board of Medicine. Now, a judge in New Hampshire has dismissed the doctor's request to regain her license to practice.
Limited Computer Skills Prevent Doctor From Complying With State Law
The state challenged the elderly doctor's record keeping, medical decision making, and prescribing practices. It said that her limited computer skills prevent her from using the mandatory electronic drug monitoring program that requires opioid prescribers to register in a bid to reduce overdoses.
Allegations against Konopka began with a complaint about how she treated a child with asthma. Accusations alleged that she left the dosing levels of one medication up to the patient's parents and failed to treat the child with daily inhaled steroids. Konopka said she did not harm the patient, and the mother disregarded her instructions. Four more complaints, however, were filed against her.
Willing To Learn How To Use The Internet
The details of the allegations are sealed, but Konopka has admitted that she failed to use an online database that doctors prescribing opioids are required to use.
The 84-year-old does not use a computer. She keeps most of her patient records in two file cabinets. Earlier this month, Konopka said that if she is reinstated by the state's medical board, she would be willing to learn how to use the internet to comply with New Hampshire law.
Voluntarily Gave Up Medical License
In September, the board agreed for a disciplinary hearing on these complaints, but Konopka agreed to give up her license, which she claims she was forced to do before the hearing was held.
Konopka surrendered her medical license, but she later asked permission to continue her medical practice. The board argued that since Konopka voluntarily agreed to relinquish her medical license following a series of investigation, there is no going back now.
Judge Dismissed Case
On Nov. 15, Merrimack Superior Court Judge John Kissinger ruled that the doctor failed to show she was forced to give up her license as she claimed.
"Dr. Konopka has failed to demonstrate that the extraordinary remedy of an injunction allowing her to continue to practice medicine is appropriate," the judge wrote in his order to dismiss the case. "To hold otherwise would be to ignore the process established by the legislature to regulate the practice of medicine in this state."
The doctor draws patients without insurance and little means to pay.