Fairfield doctor fined for prescribing too many opioids
The state Medical Examining Board has disciplined three doctors and fined them a total of $25,500 for lapses in the care of patients.
The board, meeting in Hartford on July 16, reprimanded Dr. Naeem Sarfraz of Fairfield and fined him $7,500 for prescribing excessive doses of opioids for five patients in 2017, a consent order he agreed to said.
Sarfraz, whose license was placed on probation for 18 months, failed to coordinate his patients’ care with specialists, failed to document exams of the patients’ injuries and failed to provide non-medication treatment for the patients, the order said.
Sarfraz chose not to contest the allegations with the medical board. In 2017, he reached an agreement with the state Department of Consumer Protection to stop prescribing controlled substances. If he obtains permission to once again prescribe them, the medical board will impose another year of probation on Sarfraz, state records show.
During his 18-month probation, he must take courses in pain management and medical documentation and hire a doctor to review a portion of his patient records.
The board reprimanded Dr. William Guinan of South Windsor and fined him $10,000 for failing to perform PAP smears on one of his patients for six years after having diagnosed her with cancer in 2009, state records show.
Guinan surgically removed the woman’s uterus and one ovary to treat the cancer, a consent order he agreed to said. In 2015, she was diagnosed with Stage III metastatic vaginal cancer. The order said Guinan had failed to adequately document a treatment plan for her in 2009, failed to instruct the patient about her long-term cancer risks and failed to review her medical history during exams over the next six years.
State records say that Guinan no longer practices gynecology and obstetrics but works for a New Britain company, diagnosing and treating work-related injuries.
The board also placed his medical license on probation and gave him three months to complete a course in medical documentation. He must also hire a physician to review a portion of his patient records and treatment plans. Guinan did not contest the allegations.
The board reprimanded Dr. James Bucci of Colchester and fined him $8,000 for repeatedly prescribing high doses of opioids for patients in 2016 and 2017 without adequately assessing the risk, a consent order he agreed to said. Between 2016 and 2018, he also prepared medical records months after the actual dates on which he cared for patients, the order said.
In May, state Department of Public Health officials had asked for a reprimand and a one-year probation of Bucci, but the board rejected that, with some members saying the penalty was not stiff enough.
State records show that in 2017, Bucci surrendered his state and federal registrations to prescribe controlled substances, and in a consent order he signed, he agreed not to apply to have those reinstated.
While admitting no wrongdoing, Bucci chose not to contest the allegations. It is the second time in three years that he has been disciplined by the board. In 2016, it imposed a one-year probation on Bucci’s license, with state records showing that he inadequately documented opioid prescriptions for four patients.
This story was reported under a partnership with the Connecticut Health I-Team, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to health reporting.