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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Rhode Island Vs. Dr. Jerry Mills II

Please check out part one of this story if you have not already done so.

The story of Dr. Jerry Mills' battle with the entire apparatus of the state of Rhode Island starts in earnest in the summer of 1993. Dr. Mills was working as a pediatrician at St. Joseph's Community Hospital in Rhode Island. She felt she was being overworked and she approached the head of pediatrics at the hospital, Dr. Al Tosselli. She had been working hundred hour plus work weeks regularly and she was scheduled for a grueling day and a half shift, followed by twelve hours off, followed by forty eight hours on. Whether merely by coincidence or by causation, six months after she approached Dr. Tosselli, her contract with St. Joe's was not renewed. The Vice President of the hospital, Mark Hough, did inform Dr. Mills that the administration felt that they got the impression that she no longer wanted to work there.

Dr. Mills ended up out of work for nearly a year and nearly had her finances destroyed as a result.

After nearly a year she finally was able to open up her own pediatric practice. Any private physician must also be affiliated with at least one hospital so that their patients have somewhere to go in case more extensive treatment is necessary. In a bit of curious irony, she was accepted back on staff at her former employer, St. Joseph's Community Hospital. She also applied at Rhode Island's Hasbroh Community Hospital. At her confirmation hearing, she was informed that she would not be accepted. Later, transcripts revealed that Dr. Tosselli had in fact poisoned the waters on her application. He described Dr. Mills to Dr. John Cronan, the head of the committee that reviewed her application as

psychotic, litigious, and incapable of doing her job

Furthermore, Dr. Tosselli told Dr. Cronan that the only reason he hired her back at St. Joe's was because he feared she would sue if he didn't.

This chain of events also may have happened in a vacuum or they may have lead directly to another chain of events that started in 1998 and continue today.

In 1997, Dr. Mills received two peculiar patients that were the center of her problems. The first patient we will call J.S. The first matter was regarding forwarding medical records to a new doctor in a timely manner. The rules on such things were pretty clear. The doctor has thirty days from the time the patient signs a release form. J.S. asked that her patient records be forwarded to her new doctor in August. Dr. Mills sent out the consent form on September 4th. On September 11th, she was contacted by J.S.' insurance carrier United Health Care. Dr. Mills made sure that it was noted that before she could release the records J.S.' parents needed to sign the consent form. She even had the insurance company send her a letter stating as such.

Now, if you think this might be somewhat paranoid check out what happened simultaneously to this. Let's call another patient B.C. Her father came in August 17th, 1998. He was complaining about a bill and in the conversation he wanted to switch doctors and wanted his records forwarded. Dr. Mills explained the procedure and that he needed to sign release forms. He wanted to take care of the forms right there, but Dr. Mills explained that she was seeing patients right then but that he could come back later. He never did comeback that night, so Dr. Mills sent out the forms on September 4th. On September 11th B.C.'s mother called and said this

"(Dr. Mills is) preventing the continuity of care of my child"

That's a rather peculiar statement to make however it also happens to be the legal term for a doctor that doesn't provide medical records to the next doctor.

Of course, Dr. Mills had done nothing wrong, however on September 29th, She received a formal complain from the Rhode Island Medical Board, lead by Bruce Mcintyre. The complaint stated that multiple complaints regarding the transfer of medical records on patients, she was to be evaluated. Of course, at this point Dr. Mills knew of no patients that complained let alone multiple.

She was forced to hire an attorney, Seth Bowerman, on October 15th. The attorney had told her that BC had signed the complaint and that it had a litany of charges including, but not exclusively, sending out the paperwork too late. This was startling and ironic because this particular patient had been coming to Dr. Mills for about four years and never complained about anything.

Dr. Mills was about to be the victim of sham peer review. At the end of February this sham had what is known as an investigative committee hearing. This is like an arbitration or even a trial in which testimony is taken and evidence is presented. While it is still quite unclear what it was that Dr. Mills did, the board decided that she needed to be evaluated.

Normal procedure in such cases would have the board forward a list of psychiatrists and have Dr. Mills choose one. In this case, she was only given one name, Dr. Jeff Hunt. Of course, Dr. Hunt was a child psychologist and so that made no sense.

Then the board made no effort to send out anymore names until Dr. Mills, herself, complained. This time they sent her a list of four doctors and Dr. Hunt was one of them.

On September 22nd, Mr. Mcintyre suspends Dr. Mills' ability to see patients until she was evaluated. Even though she had never been given a list of psychologists, she was suspended until she saw one. On September 24th, she received the list, it was only four, and Dr. Hunt was one. The first psychologist, Iris Shuey, MD, even refused to see Dr. Mills. Finally, Dr. Mills was scheduled to see Dr. Lea Cullen. She would never keep that appointment.

In the interim Dr. Mills began studying the charges and medical records of BC in order to prepare a defense. Besides the complaints of BC there was complaint from another patient that I will call JB. In this case, the father was ironically enough a child abuse investigator. Medical history on JB was scant. When JB first came to see Dr. Mills, her mother told her that her records had been lost because they had moved around in the Navy previously. Furthermore, Dr. Mills only saw one out of four children. The mother had mentioned that in 1990, JB had been diagnosed with apnea. In preparing for her defense, she discovered information about the family that unfortunately likely lead to the removal of Dr. Mills' license.

The main break came when Dr. Mills contacted Bridgeport Hospital, the hospital where JB had been diagnosed with apnea. She was told that the records hadn't been lost at all and in fact they were still available on microfiche. From this discovery, Dr. Mills unraveled a mystery in which she discovered that each of the four kids had been diagnosed no less than 27 times with peculiar injuries including fractures, bone breaks, and other injuries that strongly suggested child abuse. More than once, multiple siblings would have fractures and breaks within days of each other.

In cases of suspected child abuse, a medical professional is obligated to report even if there is only suspicion of abuse. This is known as mandated reporter. That's exactly what she did, and she reported her findings to the Rhode Island Department of Children and Youth Services (DCYF). Rather than having her suspicions investigated, it is likely that as a result she was retaliated against.

That's because within weeks of reporting on the abuse, her license was officially suspended. She has never regained her license and continues to this day to fight the entire Rhode Island court system which has over and over affirmed the decision of the Rhode Island Medical Board. This includes Superior Courts within Rhode Island, and even the Federal Court of Rhode Island. In the interim she has reached out to most Rhode Island politicians including Jack Reed, Lincoln Chafee, Sheldon Whitehouse, among a plethora of other less well known local and state politician. NONE has been willing or able to help her. Sheldon Whitehouse, when he was Attorney General, actually represented Bruce Mcintyre and the Rhode Island Medical Board in a civil case AGAINST Dr. Mills. It is unclear what was the final disposition of the case of child abuse, though I suspect that nothing much was done with it. In the meantime, Dr. Mills languishes having to do odd jobs to make a living while it is going on nearly ten years since she was able to practice medicine. None of the perpetrators of this sham peer review have faced any disciplinary action. Furthermore, you will find scant if any media attention to this case. In other words, the entire state of Rhode Island has perpetrated a fraud and corrupt sham in which Dr. Mills civil rights were systematically violated and no one in the media seems to care in the slightest.

Dr. Mills has created a web site where her case is discussed in great detail. What you will find on that site is documentation supporting each and every charge made here.

Here is part three and the conclusion of this amazing tale.

1 comment:

Gary said...

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