SKELTON, W.Va. — A Raleigh County doctor is accused of operating his practice as an unlicensed pain clinic until a county circuit judge entered an order Friday for him to cease business operations.
The West Virginia Attorney General’s Office and Department of Health and Human Resources sent a petition in March to halt Dr. Yasar Aksoy from continuing to run his business until he properly licensed his office as a chronic pain management clinic.
According to state code, a pain clinic requires certification if “more than 50 percent of patients in any one month of the clinic are provided treatment for chronic pain,” with prescribed drugs including Schedule II or III narcotics like oxycodone and opioid painkillers.
A Raleigh County circuit court petition stated 64 percent of Aksoy’s patients were “treated for chronic pain” between May 2016 and September 2016.
Jolynn Marra, director of the health department’s Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification, said the office had begun reaching out to Aksoy in January 2016.
“He’s been denied a license, he’s been ordered to be closed, we’ve assessed fines, we go back to verify if he’s adhered to our orders,” she said. “He has yet to adhere to any order.”
Contact between Aksoy and Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification started in September 2015, when the office sent a letter regarding if the practice met the legal definition of a chronic pain management clinic.
Aksoy responded a month letter with a letter, saying his office was not a pain clinic.
“I treat patients with musculo-sceltral pains,” Aksoy said. “I prescribe pain medicine and NSAID combination (hydrocodone and Motrin or napoxene or other.)”
NSAIDs are common pain relief medications and can be given by prescription or over the counter. The Cleveland Clinic describes musculoskeletal pains as pain caused by an injury to the bone or muscle.
Aksoy also said he was a retired anesthesiologist “by training,” with two years of experience at King County Hospital Center in New York and one year at “CVMH in Johnson City, Pennsylvania.” There is a Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
Marra said Aksoy lacked the education and competency to operate a clinic.
“Our surveyors go into a clinic and have to determine if Dr. Aksoy is following our orders to cease operating as a chronic pain management clinic,” she said. “In order to find that out, they Ave to review medical records, compare to the (state) Board of Pharmacy reports, look at the patient sign-in sheets.”
According to the circuit court petition, “at least” 68 patients lacked medical records. Later interviews confirmed no appointments were taken and Aksoy was aware he was treating in excess of 50 percent of patients.
Marra said the next step is making sure Aksoy is following Raleigh Circuit Judge Andrew Dimlich’s order, adding a court date will be likely be scheduled for a final injunction hearing.