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Physician Assistant charged in connection with patient's death

Posted: 6:00 PM, Sep 01, 2017
Updated: 2017-09-05 18:08:54Z

A Physician Assistant with a disciplinary record in two states is under fire again, facing charges in connection with a patient's death.  

Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears first broke the story of the troubled "Modern Medical" practice and its owner, Angela Lorenzo, back in 2012.

The state of California revoked Lorenzo's Physician Assistant license in 2015.  

It was suspended in Nevada , but, after probation, she got it back.

The Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners says Lorenzo renewed her license based in part on a lie.

She's accused of marking the "No" box on her renewal application--denying previous disciplinary action by the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy involving dispensing controlled substances .  When we asked why the medical board didn't double check her answers before renewing her license, the executive director said they don't have the time or resources to do that--relying instead on applicants to be honest.  

Now, one patient is dead and Lorenzo is facing eighteen new counts of alleged disreputable conduct and medical malpractice.  

It's all contained in a complaint filed August 22 by the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners .

Lorenzo owns Modern Medical and Wellness on Buffalo and Washington. According to the state's complaint, she was treating a 60-year-old female patient for "Depression, anxiety, agoraphobia and obesity, although the patient was not obese."  

Lorenzo allegedly wrote repeated prescriptions over two years for excessively high doses of Percocet, Morphine, Prozac, Lexapro, and Xanax--a dangerous cocktail of drugs that proved deadly in April 2016, when the patient died due to  "Oxycodone and alprazolam intoxication."  

The complaint says Lorenzo failed to properly examine, document, support, or monitor the patient's treatment and repeatedly injected her with "Fat burner diet injections" and various other unnamed substances.  

Lorenzo is neither a medical doctor nor a pain medicine specialist.  

She's a Physician Assistant who the state says is "practicing beyond the scope of her training and competence."

Lorenzo is also accused of repeatedly prescribing high doses of opioid medications to two other patients.

"This is not what I want," Lorenzo told Contact 13 in 2013 when we spoke to her about multiple lawsuits involving unpaid insurance claims. "I want my patients sitting in my exam rooms and I want them high-fiving me because their cholesterol has dropped. I want them high-fiving me because they've lost weight."

She declined to comment on the record about the new charges.  

In addition to malpractice, the state medical board also accuses Lorenzo of lying to a state investigator about a sexual relationship with a patient.  

According to the state, Lorenzo and that patient sent $185,070 dollars through the mail in vacuum heat-sealed bundles.  

The cash was intercepted by law enforcement and half of it was ordered forfeited to the federal government as suspected drug money.

Lorenzo will have the chance to file an answer to the state's complaint before authorities schedule a formal hearing.  

Contact 13 will be closely following the case.

UPDATE:

After our deadline passed, Ms. Lorenzo emailed the following statement, which is posted here in full:

"It is always my intention to be honest and truthful. I have been a PA-C for 15 years and it is my practice to follow the standard of care, and the REMS protocol for safe opioid prescribing.  This complaint is subjective, and slanderous.  The allegations are embellished bold fabricated falsifications and are subjective libel. There are many errors, concerns, and facts that will be addressed by my legal counsel. I respect my profession and am confident the NSMBE will cooperate in resolving this matter.

The Medical Board was contacted in 2013 about how to properly answer license renewal questions. I was misguided by the staff, which I believe to be a misunderstanding.  The items listed were public and previously reported.

 

In 2012 a NSBME complaint against my license and other investigations reached a settlement agreement with prejudice on December 8, 2013 ((Protected from any further actions and permanently finalized.).

 

Cash was seized via Fed Ex in February of 2013. The money was claimed through a civil process. A confidential settlement was reached in April 2014 that agreed that a percentage of the assets be returned, and some cash was forfeited. This civil matter was settled with prejudiceAgain, the NSMBE has had complete knowledge of this civil matter since April 2013.  The allegations in #11 are simply lies.

The accusations (listed in the 2017 NSMBE complaint) were either resolved with prejudice in 2013 or they were during my probation period while I was being monitored extensively. The NSBME took no action on any of these matters until someone from my past (years ago) was charged with a felony thus bringing unwanted attention and scrutiny on my practice.

 

The calculations of the opioid Morphine Milligram Equivalent (MME) are wrong on this complaint. Correct guidelines by the CDC are available on how to properly calculate the dosage. The calculations alleged for the MME are not even humanly compatible with life. The math is simply wrong!

 

Patient A’s Morphine Milligram Equivalent (MME) is incorrect in the complaint: “900-1800 mg/day”, but is actually only 22.5mg of MME/ day  (90 MME is a more critical patient) (see paragraphs 31,33). These calculating medical dosing errors continue through Patient “B”, “C”.  Please verify the severity. My practice has been a standard of reasonable care, not the fabricated numbers of what was reported.

 

The Medical Board was informed about the intentional death of Patient “A” before 7/2016. No action to date was taken for more than a year because there was no professional medical malpractice. No one provider should be responsible or liable for an individual’s decision to not follow medical advice.

 

Now that an individual from my past was arrested and is being investigated, it is my belief this is the source of motivation for the NSMBE to take professional disciplinary action on these actions.

 

Old allegations are being portrayed to be new except to the above statement.  The counts seem to be repeated for each patient. They aren’t patient specific and the dates and facts are simply wrong. The accuracy of this complaint has questionable merit due to the libel and obvious MME calculation errors, which are humanly incompatible with life.  Again, I respect my profession and am confident the NSMBE will cooperate in resolving this matter."