On May 17, the Arkansas State Medical Board (ASMB) issued an emergency order of suspension regarding Dr. Denise Oldenberg's (aka Hollabaugh, Thormahlen) ability to practice medicine.
This is not the first time that Oldenberg has been brought before the ASMB on the issue of over prescribing addictive or potentially harmful drugs.
On Nov. 27, 2007, the medical board issued an order of suspension stating that Oldenberg "had prescribed scheduled medication for various individuals without proper diagnostic workup or need for the medication before giving the prescriptions for the scheduled medication to individuals; all of this occurring in the spring of 2004 at a Dairy Queen in Salem. Ark."
At a hearing of the ASMB June 6, 2008, in Little Rock, all charges were dismissed against Oldenberg after an agreement was reached between the ASMB and Oldenberg's attorneys, Larry Kissee of Ash Flat and Edward Chandler of Mountain Home. They requested that a two-year monitoring plan be initiated, along with other conditions, instead of continuing with the disciplinary hearing.
Oldenberg was also brought before the ASMB in March, 1992, to answer allegations of "grossly negligent or ignorant malpractice, in the prescribing of excessive amounts of controlled substances to various patients and writing an excessive number of prescriptions for an addictive or potentially harmful drug." The ASMB's vote was overturned and reversed by the Arkansas Court of Appeals in September of 1993.
In November of 1995, an investigative report says that Oldenberg appeared before the ASMB once again. At this hearing, the ASMB voted to enter into an agreement and stipulated Oldenberg had violated the Medical Practices Act, specifically, the Arkansas Rules and Code of Federal Regulations concerning the inventory, accounting, distribution, dispensing and prescribing of controlled substances. Oldenberg's medical license was placed on probation for two years; she was ordered to refrain from practicing as a solo practitioner during this time; she was also required to take and complete 40 hours of continuing medical education each year of the two-year probation, a portion of which would be in the field of medical practice management.
In the May 17 emergency order of suspension and notice of hearing, the ASMB alleges that Oldenberg has violated a previous order of the board, referring to the June 6, 2008, settlement: wherein Oldenberg agreed and was ordered to provide the board monthly reports of all scheduled drug prescriptions and refills that she authorized the use of, by her patients; she violated a regulation of the board by prescribing an excessive amount of controlled substances for her patients; she prescribed scheduled medication for pain not associated with malignancy or terminal illness for more than six months and without keeping proper records and monitoring the condition of her patients to justify the ongoing prescribing of the scheduled medication.
Oldenberg is also charged with allegedly prescribing schedule 2 amphetamines and methamphetamines for attention deficit disorder without obtaining a second opinion from a physician confirming the diagnosis and the medication prescribed and that Oldenberg did not have an exemption from that regulation; prescribed schedule 3 and 4 controlled substances for obesity or weight loss without following the guidelines on the regulation for the treatment of obesity in her patients; and committed gross negligence and ignorant malpractice in the manner in which she performed facet injections and sciatic nerve injections for her patients.
The emergency order of suspension lists 34 patients who were allegedly over-prescribed scheduled medication and other violations resulting in what the ASMB says "presents a danger to the public's health, safety and welfare" and suspended her license on an emergency basis until a disciplinary hearing can be held on the charges.
A hearing will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 6 at the offices of the ASMB, 2100 Riverfront Drive in Little Rock. At this time, the board will determine whether Oldenberg has violated the Medical Practices Act, the Rules and Regulations of the Board, and the previous orders of the board. If it is found that she has in fact violated any of the above, the board will determine whether Oldenberg's license to practice medicine in the state of Arkansas should be revoked or suspended, or whether other sanctions should be given as punishment.
Oldenberg has the right to be represented by counsel at the hearing.
Oldenberg's clinic, Rural Medical Clinic, is located at 266 Cardinal Drive in Horseshoe Bend.