June 11, 2014

London Dr.’s license revoked

Stokes accused of several violations

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — A London doctor accused of several violations of medical practice has had his license revoked.

The order of revocation against Christopher Todd Stokes went into effect on May 12 after he failed to appear before a Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure panel in February.

Stokes is now restricted from performing any act pertaining to the “practice of medicine” that includes diagnosis, treatment, or correction of any illnesses, conditions, ailments, diseases, injuries or infirmities in any form, according to the Order of Revocation released last week. He cannot apply for another license for two years and even if that license is approved, Stokes must be under probation for two to five years. Any violations during that probationary period will result in automatic revocation of the license.

Stokes must also pay for the costs of the hearings, which total over $6,000.

The revocation came after one hearing panel upheld a motion for “default ruling” in January due to Stokes’ failure to respond to allegations made against him.

In the original complaint, Stokes was accused of authorizing his staff to write prescriptions for controlled substances on prescription blanks he had pre-signed. Stokes, at that time, was on active military duty and was out of the state.

The Board also believed that an alleged burglary in Stokes’ medical office, located on the Kentucky 30-Bypass, was staged to avoid complying with a subpoena to produce medical records of 22 of his patients. Stokes did challenge that allegation, denying any such actions.

The Board also claimed that Stokes lied during his hearing for the “Emergency Order of Suspension” by denying that he signed the prescription pads that were seized from his office. Stokes denied that the signatures on these prescriptions were his, although documents detail the testimony of a handwriting expert who confirmed that the signatures matched.

According to the revocation order and attachments, Stokes was notified of the hearing and sent documents outlining the time frame for any responses in early November 2013. He was also sent notices requiring him to respond and that failure to do so would result in an order finding him in default. These notices were sent out in mid-December.

Stokes’ medical license was suspended in May of last year, then overturned during an appeals hearing because none of the witnesses were present to testify against the accusations against him. But his license was suspended under an emergency restraining order by the Jefferson Circuit Court just months later.

The situation came to light after an investigation by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure stemming from incidents occurring in 2011 and 2012. An investigator visited Stokes’ office in late 2011 and discovered that a nurse practitioner was issuing prescriptions during Stokes’ absence. But when that employee left, Stokes’ sister reportedly took over running the office and told staff to follow Stokes’ orders issued through phone conversations with her. None of Stokes’ employees were authorized to issue controlled substances as was allegedly happening. Persons with no medical training were also performing standard operations in the office.

A backup with the KASPER system, which reports the issuance of controlled substances by physicians, caused concern and further investigation revealed no entries between July 3 and October 31, 2012.

On Feb. 27, 2013, Stokes received a subpoena to produce records for 22 patients. But on March 16, Stokes’ father reported a break-in at Stokes Medical Center on Ky. 30, in which all the computers with patient records were missing.

Stokes’ office building has since undergone foreclosure and was sold for $443,000.

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