As Allegations Swirl, Baylor Plano Rejects Baldrige Award
Last June, in a temporary suspension, the Texas Medical Board found that Duntsch was "an imminent peril to the public health, safety or welfare," because of widespread violations of standard of care that severely harmed four patients. Additionally, it found that Duntsch was "unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety due to impairment from drugs or alcohol."
In legal filings, plaintiffs claim that Duntsch used cocaine and alcohol before he operated, performed unnecessary surgeries, abandoned at least one patient postoperatively, and refused to take a drug test when repeatedly asked to do so. Under his care, one patient died, according to the complaint.
All hospitals have bad doctors. The legal case against Duntsch, however, turns on the concern that the hospital ignored behavioral problems in someone in a hard-to-fill position expected to bring in lots of revenue in order to justify a $600,000 annual salary with bonuses.
The lawsuit claims that Baylor Plano covered up Duntsch's problems and failed to engage appropriate peer review processes or report Duntsch to the National Practitioner Data Bank as required... According to the lawsuit, hospital leaders told doctors to refer their back pain patients to Duntsch even while they were increasingly aware of patients harmed under his care
Baylor Plano denies the allegations.
In December, six months after suspending Duntsch's medical license, the Texas Medical Board permanently revoked it. The revocation order notes, however, that the medical panel "did not find evidence that the Respondent was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during any of the procedures in question."
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