[Nameplate] Overcast ~ 52°F  
High: 69°F ~ Low: 51°F
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Oldenberg wins first round of appeal

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dr. Denise Oldenberg, the Cherokee Village physician who lost her license to practice in October, has received a judge's permission to start seeing patients again.

Oldenberg filed an appeal last month challenging Arkansas State Medical Board decisions fining her, suspending her license, and permanently revoking her license for prescribing excessive amounts of painkillers, failing to properly monitor patients, and violating board orders.

On Thursday, Nov. 18, Oldenberg's attorney, Larry Kissee, argued in Sharp Circuit Court that he will prove, on appeal, that the medical board broke state laws and its own regulations during the hearing against her.

During the appeal process, Kissee asked Judge Kevin King to allow Oldenberg to resume seeing patients.

"We are asking that you reinstate her until the hearing," said Kissee. "We are willing to make some concessions. Not give any more (spinal) injections, stop prescribing medications for ADD and weight loss and agree to monitoring by the state."

Kissee added, "The board, if it wants, can set a limit or number of drugs she can prescribe."

Medical board attorney William Trice told the judge that Oldenberg had appeared before the board many times, over the years, for over-prescribing medications, failing to monitor patients and keep adequate records.

According to Trice, Oldenberg has resisted board efforts to help her properly run her practice, which specializes in treating patients with chronic pain.

Trice reminded the judge that, earlier this year, the board allowed Oldenberg to resume seeing patients, after an emergency order shut her down. But, while Oldenberg agreed to stop writing prescriptions for Schedule 2 narcotic drugs, investigators turned up evidence the doctor continued to dispense controlled drugs.

"Dr. Oldenberg sat right there in the hearing," Trice said, "and admitted it. "The board revoked her license because she broke her own deals with the board."

Should the judge allow Oldenberg to resume seeing patients, Trice urged that he not allow her to prescribe Schedule 2 narcotics.

After the two attorneys presented their arguements, Judge King met with them in his chambers, then announced his decision.

"The court issues a stay of the revocation and suspension," said the judge, allowing Oldenberg to reopen her office.

"The court is not going to stay the ability of Dr. Oldenberg to write prescriptions, as far as Schedule 2 prescriptions, banning Oldenberg to prescribe narcotic drugs.

More than 30 of Oldenberg's patients and supporters attended the hearing and gathered around her after the judge's ruling.

"It's a start," said Salem resident Tina Crenshaw, a long time patient of Dr. Oldenberg. "At least she can now help us get our medicines for seizures, blood pressure, diatetes, antidepressants."

Crenshaw and other Oldenberg patients have complained other doctors in the area have not been willing to see them. So they have not been able to obtain even non-narcotic medications they need to keep them functioning.

"So you intend to start seeing patients again?" The News asked Oldenberg.

"Yes, I can start tomorrow (Nov. 19), Oldenberg responded. I asked them."

Oldenberg called the ruling "a first step" and expressed confidence she will win her appeal and, one day, be able to again provide controlled narcotics to give patients relief from the chronic pain from which most suffer.

"They are my family," said Oldenberg. "My patients are my family."

Patients surrounding her responded, "Yes!".

"She is the best person."

"She is my best friend."

Oldenberg's attorney indicated his appeal will center on the fact that his client was found guilty of "over-prescribing" medications but the medical board has refused to define what constitutes "over-prescribing".

Kissee and Oldenberg both note the state's Chronic and Intractable Pain Act allows pain management physicians to treat patients with controlled drugs and to prescribe large doses to bring relief.

"In 2008 (at a previous disiplinary hearing), we had two experts that said nothing I have prescribed has caused any harm or any deaths," said Oldenberg.

Oldenberg expressed bitterness that six of her chronic pain patients had died since her license was suspended and she could not treat them.

According to Oldenberg, two died of hypertensic crisis and stroke and one from a bleeding ulcer. One died after turning to "street medicines, street drugs" when she could not get legal medications and two died from apparent suicides.

"One, we know, had a suicide note and shot himself because he could not endure the pain anymore," said Oldenberg. "He was totally dependent on Schedule Twos. Could not find a doctors to prescribe Schedule Twos."

Medical board attorney Trice told the court that Oldenberg's license was suspended and permanently revoked because Oldenberg is "a danger to the health and safety of the public."

Oldenberg insists she will win her appeal and prove the state wrong.

"I am determined. I am not only a doctor, I am a Marine. A Marine is a bulldog when they know what is right."

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on areawidenews.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

First I want to say to Dr.Oldenberg,Please don't give up this fight!I am not a patient of hers,but when I hear of what those patients of hers being left without any options because the Board has all these Doctors scared to even take on a new paitent...They have so many Doctors scared to fart too loud in fear of being up***creek with the board....And I mean no disrespect to the Doctors,They don't want to lose everything!

We need more Doctors like Dr.Oldenburg who aren't afraid to treat patients,really treat them...and who will not give up fighting for them.

I am so flippin angry to hear of those patients who,when their Doctor was taken from them,unable to find another to even see them(the board has them all scared to)That they had to take their own lives,or take to street drugs just to end or relieve chronic pain...

I'm sorry for getting so heated on this but I am disabled,have been wheelchair bound since I was a kid.I Know exactly what its like to lay in bed,unable to move,unable to do anything but cry because of chronic pain and with medication,It doesn't totally take pain away but does make it ease down enough to where I'm able to sit up and have some what of a life!

I understand these type of drugs are widely abused,but you must not punished those of us who are in need of those drugs.If a doctor can clearly see and prove the patient needs them,Let the doctor treat the patient...

Doctors who don't fight for the patients,and are scared to prescribe anything,even if it's exactly what would help the patient....those Doctors should find another profession because that's not a Doctor at all.

Good Luck Dr.Oldenburg and all the FEW Doctors still out there that are willing to fight for their patients and not afraid to treat those who need them.Thank You! :-)

-- Posted by XxtraSweet on Sat, Nov 20, 2010, at 3:26 AM


-- Posted by robinhawk on Sun, Nov 21, 2010, at 5:44 AM

Would someone please give robinhawk some medication?

-- Posted by hogwild67 on Mon, Nov 22, 2010, at 7:00 AM

I agree with the other posters above--I hope Dr. Oldenburg wins her appeal and should not give up. I believe her license revocation was not justified and look how some of the members of the Medical Board behaved during the hearing--it really makes you wonder it was like a railroaded job. My father is permanently disabled with degenerative spinal disease and disintegrated disks--he has had surgery in the past but the only thing that gets him through the day is narcotics. I really hope and pray that justice is done for Dr. Oldenburg and hope all the Arkabillies on the Medical Board get their feathers cllipped.

-- Posted by conventional1 on Mon, Nov 22, 2010, at 11:23 AM

I am a mom of 3 boys that are Dr. Oldenbergs patients, they receive NO drugs that they do NOT need, They have been under her care for about 8 yrs now and she was the one that suggested how to fix the youngest,medical problems,he was constantly sick, missed at least 2 days a week, every week of his pre school days, the boy was constantly walking in misery! To have your 3-4 yr old child say,, "mommy I hurt, i not feel good, can God take me away and make me better? I just want to lay down". And have a doc in salem that says " I dont see anything wrong with the boy, he is just wanting sympathy" at 3 and 4 yrs old GIVE ME A BREAK!!!After Denise' evaluation I took him to a specialist in Mtn Home, and discovered that he had an long term,inner ear infection that had left him 71% deaf in his left ear, and his sinus cavities were so full that they were furmating,,I was scared of what tye specialists said next" we are scheduling surgery imediantly and keep in mind there is no promises that he will get any of his hearing back but we are going to fix his sinus'- the problem is when he gets a little stuffy , it does not drain like a normal child ( snotty nose kids, they are everywhere,, that is normal)2 weeks later I was happy with the specialist' performance and today my son takes allergy PILLS everyday and is a very active student, ball player. For 2 yrs I listened to a doctor tell me there was nothing wrong! Well that nothing almost cost my son all of his hearing and his ability to function in the real world as a normal kid. He is now a happy high schooler that NEVER lays down until we make him. But he is alive and happy that God allowed Oldenberg to do as NO other doctor had done--- Listen to the Mother, for we know our kids, and we no our loved ones! A while back when the board came in,, they took my childrens files as well as everyone elses,, why I am not sure they are not perscribed anything Heavy! After contacting them on several occasions to no avail. I still have no copies of my Childrens medical records,, and for some reason, I not no why! As the mother I should have 100% access to any and all pages of each and every one of my kids medical records! So why can I not get them,, because in those files are the answers that the Board don't want anyone else to see--- Patient healing SUCCESS!!! Thanks Doc u were a life saver to a very active and attentive little man!! He has high plans for his future now!!

-- Posted by concernedyesiam on Fri, Nov 26, 2010, at 9:45 AM

I am a 66 year old pain patient. I have had many sugeries and have been disabled for many years. I take pain medicaion for a quality of life I would not have otherwise. I am not a junkie as the State Medical Board would like to lable me and many others who find themselves in my same position. My Dr. of 14 years has been taken from me, with no concern of what this devistation means to me and many others. I have found no one wants to take responsibility for the Medical Board and the decisions they make. I feel no body of people should not be held accountable for the actions they make that effect the lives of so many people. I have called them to complain and was told "just get another Dr." well that is easier said than done. When you have been with the same Dr. for 14 years and have as many problems as I have ....Hello NO ONE WANTS TO TREAT YOU!!! I pray this judge can help undo the vail of mystery surrounding the judgements of the Medical Board. I resent the way my Dr. has been treated and the stigma the Board wants to lable her patients. Chronic Pain Patients know the pain and a lable the Board wants to give us really dosen't matter it's only to justify their inept ability to understand real pain and to admit real pain does exist. Every pain patient in Arkansas needs to pray this judge can see the light and speak for all pain suffers in Arkansas and put a stop to this Boards cavillier attitude about pain. I doubt that one of them could live in a chronic pain patient body for 5 minutes. I want my Dr. back, I am tired of staying home, staying in bed and suffering every minute of every day in pain. I pray this is the first step to VICTORY.

-- Posted by PainPatient on Fri, Nov 26, 2010, at 10:11 AM

i really hope she gets her license back. i would rather see a doctor who is trying to help people, even if she did prescribe to many pain drugs, than a sheriff that is taking tax payers money and putting it into his own little fund.

-- Posted by sentinel on Fri, Nov 26, 2010, at 11:36 PM

It looks like Oldenberg's patients are crawling out from under the rocks and standing up for their "Doctor of choice." It would be nice if they could spell, use proper grammer and have an issue to stand on besides the thread of "if she wants to give to many pain medications, well, that's okay with me." The fact that she has been before the Arkansas State Medical Board many times for the same infractions should be a warning to anyone thinking of returning to her for her services. She admitted in her last hearing that she did not comply with Board stipulatons and prescribed Schedule II drugs while on probation. What can be done to stop this so called doctor; certainly she will not abide by the laws and regulations set forth for physicians in Arkansas. She also had problems in Louisanna so it looks like she runs from State to State when the frying pan gets too hot. She says she hasn't "killed" anyone yet when there are three different instances in one of the above articles where the person who died was directly involeved with her the the unlawful dispensing of medicatons. Schedule II drugs are reserved for those who are terminally ill; she is giving them to anyone who says they have pain and/or are anxious. One patient I talked to who was going through withdrawal said he had "pains all over his body" but could not identify a single area specifically where he hurts. In the world of medical practice a person who "hurts all over" and cannot pinpoint or describe the pain is usually a drug seeker and will go from doctor to doctor until he/she finds one who will dispense what they want. Would it be good medicine if every doctor gave every patient whatever they asked for? A physician's job is to access, form a plan of care, set goals for response and evaluate the treatment. When there is NO follow up, how can progress or lack of it be measured? Is the patient's word, "They needed it," good enough to place a medical practice at risk. Dr. Oldenberg put herself in this position by playing fast and loose with standards of medical practice and indiscrimate practice of prescribing medications that should be reserved for the terminally ill. You bet the patients love her, they get better drugs from her than they can buy on the street...and there are some of her patients who get their drugs and then sell them on the street. It's a nice easy way to make a living and she continues to fall for the same old "song and dance" of "I hurts all over my body." It's also interesting to note that her lawyer and the judge who issued the stay have been close friends for many years and are members of a well-oiled political machine. I wonder if a judge in Little Rock would see this the same way that Judge King did. If there are sanctions that can be taken against judges and lawyers for mal-practice, they should be evaluated for misconduct. When this comes out in the light of the day and all is said and done, when the appeals go high enough in the court system to reach someone that is not in the "good old boy" network, the outcome may be significantly different. In the meantime I urge those patients who are running as fast as they can back to their best friend, Dr. Oldenberg, to take a good hard look at their life and ask themselves if they really need Schedule II medications. Evidently they went for weeks without them and I've heard that some of them actually have clear minds now and are going out in public and interactiing with their families vs waiting for the next "pill." What a sorry way to live your life...dependent on a doctor and the pills that provide an escape from reality, not a true progress toward good health.

-- Posted by reflections on Mon, Dec 6, 2010, at 10:18 AM

First off, let me say that I am not a patient of Dr. Oldenberg-YET- However, I have been disabled since 1991 and from what I know and experience with cronic pain can only be understood by the person that experiences it. Anybody that has not rode in this rodeo has not a clue as to what they are talking about. Sometimes people let their high and mighty attitude about pain reveal volumes as to their ignorance. God does not cure. That job is left up to the very few physicians that have the knowledge, experience and determination to make life better for the patient. So, before you make a blanket verdict- get on the bus and go for a ride. This community should embrace Dr. Oldenberg.

-- Posted by oldandintheway on Wed, Dec 15, 2010, at 2:27 PM

I will attempt to be brief and reflect on "reflections". Before the grammer lesson you should have previewed your own post. You have many errors, really too many to post. You really should be careful what you infer in your post. Nothing is ever in confidence IP numbers can be traced and in no time the people you have libled can band together and you might find yourself in front of the Hon. Judge Kevin King. You might want to reflect on your reflections and keep your words of wisdom to yourself. Oh,by the way I have a college degree. How about you?

-- Posted by PainPatient on Thu, Dec 23, 2010, at 4:52 PM

Response to "Reflections" Comments

Accusations and gossip are not facts! The source of your information is interesting and suspicious. Your comments are false and defamatory and if I knew your name I could sue you for defamation; but YOU HIDE behind the fictitious name "Reflections". Please be honest enough to give out your name and let us go to court and let the courts decide the TRUTH. I practiced in Louisiana for one year without any accusation or incidence. I married an Arkansan and soon after getting my Arkansas Medical License, I moved to Arkansas 22 years ago. In my 22 years of practice in Arkansas, no patient has ever appeared before the board and testified against me. All my patients are well; except those who died of natural causes or as a result of conditions not connected to me. However, as you probably read in the "Oldenberg wins first round" article; you might have realized six (6) of my former chronic pain patients died without any pain medication. Two patients died from gun-shot wounds to their head (one of these patients was 46 and had a satisfactory quality of life on schedule 2 pain medication for 16 years without any complications), two chronic pain patients died from a hypertensive crises-most likely do to under-treated pain (a real CRISES in Arkansas), one died from a bleeding ulcer probably due to a combination of alcohol and aspirin-(he never was known to take a drop of alcohol while I treated his chronic pain condition), another chronic pain patient died of a heart attack, age 42, because of going to the street for pain relief and got a street drug (methamphetamine)which is known to cause heart attacks, and the other chronic pain patient died in her sleep due to a breathing problem and depression (there were no pain medications in her system). Don't you think the families of these patients (victims of a 'war against doctors' who treat chronic pain with opioid medications) now have a right to sue the Medical Board in a "wrongful death law-suit"?

You obviously have no education or training in pain management. My practice methods are within the standard of care and are based on those recommended by the Federation of State Medical Boards. These standards are also taught in the seminars I attended that were recommended by this same Medical Board; when I went before them in 1997 (after winning a court order that reversed their original decision of 1995) as well as the seminars in 2003-2005 that were required for me to take in order to continue treating chronic pain in this rural area.

Your claim that I got my license back because of a political machine etc, is outragious. You obviously did not hear the public deliberations of this Medical Board or you would know that the Board is in error and VIOLATED several ARKANSAS LAWS and CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS i.e. the 4th and 14th Amendment "Due Process". They made at least 33 major mistakes in deliberations alone according to my lawyers. For instance, Mr. Trice, the Boards lawyer, (and at the same time0 was also the prosecuting lawyer against me. This is a conflict of interest and a violation of "Due Process" which should reverse the Board - in and of itself at the next hearing.

Your malicious remarks show your bias and ignorance as well as your dishonesty. It would be more honest to identify yourself and we fight this blow by blow in a court of law; whether the court is here locally or in Little Rock - where more than likely the Board's lawyer is friends with every judge. What you need to realize is that a Judge is OBLIGATED to base his decisions on the LAW and not on biases or political friendships. The "law" in my case is the "Chronic Intractable Pain Treatment Act of 2003" which states 'The Medical Board shall not discipline a physician solely for prescribing large doses of scheduled pain medication when prescribed for a legitimate patient in chronic pain'. Also, the Administrative Procedures Act 25-15-211 which states 'No revocation, no suspension of a license is lawful; unless the licensing agency (Board) notifies the licensee (MD) in writing of the charges, and the licensee (MD) is given a chance to correct the charges in order for the licensee (MD) to RETAIN THEIR LICENSE. There were, of course, the other 31 errors or violations of procedures made by this Board during the 10 hour hearing. Also, it is interesting to note that the Board members (themselves) are the JURORS, then they deliberated in secret, and then they came back the next day as JUDGES. Doctors that serve on the Medical Board are 'NOT LEGAL JUDGES' or even people trained in or know the law-by which they judge or rule to take another doctors medical license away. [What a travesty of justice for the 100 medical doctors who havealready lost their medical license in the past 9 years to this type of system.]

Please understand 'A MEDICAL LICENSE IS A PROPERTY RIGHT THAT CANNOT OR SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AWAY WITHOUT A FAIR HEARING - BEFORE AN IMPARTIAL JURY OR JUDGE OR JUDGES'. Also, note that some state medical boards use a (real) ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE to hear cases involving the revocation or suspension of a medical license. Also, a neutral PROSECUTING ATTORNEY is appointed by the Attorney General's office. Then at a real hearing (not a kangaroo court that now exists in the Arkansas State Medical Board - which is made up of 12 doctors, 2 lay persons and their own lawyer, Mr. Trice, whot also acts as the prosecuting attorney),a hearing where several Board Members along with their Board lawyer bring up the charge or charges against the doctor before the Administraive Law Judge to rule on the facts presented by both sides. A thorough investigative report from both sides is heard and depositions are allowed to find out facts and the basis and the source of the accusations. Then at these hearings, there is a prosecuting attorney representing the State (people), the doctor with his or her own attorney and the Administrative Law Judge who thens rules based on the LAW.

In conclusion, I look forward to a final hearing before a neutral Judge. I recent, very much, your accusations. Please wait for the judge to rule before you engage in another false attack on me. Respectfully, Denise Oldenberg, M.D.

-- Posted by PAIN DOCTOR on Sat, Dec 25, 2010, at 8:27 AM

Reflection! What kind of name is that??? First off you don't know any thing about pain. Because if you did you wouldn't be talking about those who do.It is hard for me to get out of bed, there are weeks that all I can do is stay in bed, what kind of life is that. I can't be the mother,or the wife I use to be, I didn't ask for this pain, I was giving it by a car wreck. As if you care anyway. I have a sister who just went thru a heart operation, because of a tumor. She was taken darvoset, the kind thats not schedule 2 and the ones they just took off the market. Also they have decovered that Tyenol is worst on the body than the other pain medication. I have crippled hands and it's hard for me to type, and it' getting worse everyday. So before you go running your chopps, you need to know the facts first,and get the truth cause everyone is not the same. Say what you want to cause there just words anyway. God Bless! Pain Patient!!!!! robinhawk

-- Posted by robinhawk on Sun, Jan 16, 2011, at 7:34 PM

This is to the most. Special doctor and woman I know. My faily and I thank you for everything u have done for me. If it wasn't for u I would not be alive today if it hadn't been for your referral to the Gastric Bypass Surgueon in Little Rock I would not b here today. I have now been insu.in free now for 5 years and have lost more than 240lbs and am eternally greatfull. My teenage daughter n the rest of my family r also eternally greatfull as well. The family n I want u to know that we r and always will b here for u regardless of what happens. But with our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ we believe that Judge King will make the best and correct decisiion for u and your patients. We Love You Very Much and hope to b back in your care very soon. God Bless n don't give up.

-- Posted by angeleyes825 on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 6:54 PM

DR. oldenberg is my doctor of more than eight years.She is dedicated,caring and she does monitor her patients.She has us come back every one to two months.she does wts.vitals listens to what has helped or not helped.she changes our meds if they don't help or if they do.I think she has been unfairly judged.She paid for her problems in the past,it shouldn't have any baring on the present.Doc tries different things to help you.She gave me instructions on exercise that might help releave the back pain.I would like to comment on what "reflexions" said about hurting all over is a sign of drug seeking.Have you ever heard of fibomyalgia? Excuse me,but you do hurt all over.It must be nice to lable people when you don't understand some medical problems they are having.I am not a drug abuser or addict,and i don't like be labeled one.I would not abuse the trust my doctor has in me.I hope she gets the respect she deserves and the charges our aquitted.we need her in our community,we have a right to have .Dr.Oldenberg treat us.May God richly bless you doc and let the nightmare be over.my name is Deborah and i am her patient and I stand with her,because of the injustice.I can'

t believe she has to pay for being investigated.That is so wrong!!

-- Posted by grammy56 on Sun, Apr 10, 2011, at 2:50 PM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: