Disciplinary Actions against
Alexander Thermos, D.O.
Stephen Barrett, M.D.
In 2011, Alexander W. Thermos, D.O., D.C., agreed to relinquish his Colorado osteopathic medical license. The stipulation and order (shown below) indicates that (a) from 2003 through 2008, he treated a young woman with excessive amounts of tranquilizers and narcotic painkilling drugs, and (b) he failed to document objective findings for diagnosing the patient with interstitial cystitis, fibromyalgia, and chronic abdominal pain. The agreement states that after two years he can apply for reinstatement provided that the Colorado Physician's Health Program clears him as safe to continue practice.
Thermos acquired a California license in 2009 and subsequently worked at various clinics that offer a range of nonstandard methods. In 2013, based on Colorado's action, the Osteopathic Medical Board of California issued a stipulated settlement and disciplinary order under which he agreed to (a) pay $4,016 for costs, (b) serve five years on probation, (c) take courses in pharmacology and medical ethics, (d) take extensive clinical training, and (e) complete a professional enhancement program.
In 1997, when Thermos practiced in Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services disciplined him for prescribing controlled substances after his controlled substance sregistration had expired. In 1999, after Thermos had applied for a license in Colorado, the Colorado board granted his license but entered into a stipulation under which he agreed to be placed on probation for five years, during which he was required to have psychiatric treatment. In 2007, the board sent a letter warning Thermos that it had received complaints that he had "consistently refused" to provide a number of his patents with a copy of their medical records and that he was required to do so.
BEFORE THE COLORADO MEDICAL BOARD
STATE OF COLORADO
CASE NO. 2010·002092-A
STIPULATION AND FINAL AGENCY ORDER
IN THE MATTER OF THE DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDING REGARDING THE LICENSE TO PRACTICE MEDICINE IN THE STATE OF COLORADO OF ALEXANDER THERMOS, D.O. LICENSE NUMBER 38341,
IT IS HEREBY STIPULATED and agreed by and between Inquiry Panel A ("Panel") of the Colorado Medical Board ("Board") and Alexander Thermos, D.O. ("Respondent") as follows:
JURISDICTION AND CASE HISTORY
I. Respondent was licensed to practice medicine in the state of Colorado on November 19, 1999, and was issued license number 38341, which Respondent has held continuously since that date.
2. The Panel and the Board have jurisdiction over Respondent and the subject matter of these proceedings,
3. On or about October 14, 2010, the Panel reviewed case number 2010-002092-A and thereupon referred the matter to the Attorney General pursuant to Section 12-36-118(4)(c)(IV), C.R.S., for disciplinary proceedings.
4. It is the intent of the parties and the purpose of this Stipulation and Final Agency Order ("Order") to provide for a settlement of all matters set forth in case number 2010·002092-A, without the necessity of holding a formal disciplinary hearing. This Order constitutes the entire agreement between the parties, and there are no other agreements or promises, written or oral, which modify, interpret, construe or affect this Order.
Respondent understands that:
a. Respondent has the right to be represented by an attorney. of the Respondent's choice and Respondent is represented by counsel;
b. Respondent has the right to a formal disciplinary hearing pursuant to section 12-36-118(5), C.R.S.;
c. By entering into this Order, Respondent is knowingly and voluntarily giving up the right to a hearing, admits the facts contained in this Order, and relieves the Panel of its burden of proving such facts;
d. Respondent is knowingly and voluntarily giving up the right to present a defense by oral and documentary evidence, and to cross-examine witnesses who would testify on behalf of the Panel;
e. Respondent is knowingly and voluntarily waiving the right to seek judicial review of this Order.
6. Respondent specifically admits and the Panel finds that:
a. Respondent is a licensed physician in the State of Colorado who specializes in family medicine.
b. Respondent treated Patient K.B., a female patient, from approximately April of 2003 to August of 2008, ("Treatment Period"). Patient K.B. was 22 years old in August 2008.
c. During the Treatment Period Patient K.B. complained of ongoing abdominal pain.
d. Respondent treated Patient K.B.'s abdominal pain by overprescribing multiple narcotics in progressively increasing doses. Respondent initially prescribed Percocet, then Dilaudid, and finally prescribed Fentanyl, injectable Demerol, and Opana. During the period of time that Respondent was prescribing high doses of Fentanyl, Demerol, and Opana, he increased the risk to Patient K.B. by also prescribing benzodiazepines such as Alprazolam and Lorazepam.
e. During the Treatment Period, Respondent did not document objective findings for diagnosing Patient K.B. with interstitial cystitis, fibromyalgia, and chronic abdominal pain.
f. In October 2008, approximately two months after Respondent discharged Patient K.B. from his care, Patient K.B. consumed a toxic amount of fentanyl, promethazine, and oxycodone remaining from the medications Respondent had prescribed to her during the Treatment Period.
7. Respondent admits and the Panel finds that the acts and/or omissions described in paragraph 6 above constitute unprofessional conduct pursuant to section 12-36-117(1)(p), C.R.S., which states:
(1) "Unprofessional conduct" as used in this article means:
(p) Any act or omission which fails to meet generally accepted standards of medical practice.
8. Based upon the above paragraphs 6 and 7, the Panel is authorized by section 12-36-118(5)(g)(III), C.RS. to order conditions upon Respondent's practice that it deems appropriate.
RELINQUISHMENT OF LICENSE
9. Commencing on the effective date of this Order, Respondent's license to practice medicine ("license") in the State of Colorado issued by the Board is deemed relinquished. Following relinquishment of Respondent's License, Respondent shall perform no act requiring a license issued by the Board, nor shall Respondent perform any act in any other location pursuant to the authority of a license granted by the state of Colorado.
10. After Respondent's license is deemed relinquished pursuant to this Order, Respondent shall not be entitled to apply for renewal, reinstatement, or reactivation of his license until after he has been issued a new license by the Board.
11. Respondent agrees that he shall not be entitled to apply for a new license issued by the Board within two years of the effective date of this Order.
12. After two years from the effective date of this Order, Respondent may apply for a new license to practice medicine consistent with sections 12-36-107 and 12-36-111, C.R.S. Such request must be accompanied by a report from the Colorado Physician's Health Program ("CPHP") indicating that Respondent is safe to practice medicine and otherwise meets the qualifications for licensure. Respondent understands and agrees that if he applies for a new license, the Panel may, in its discretion, deny his application. Alternatively, the Panel may, in its discretion, require Respondent to fulfill additional requirements that the Panel deems necessary to protect the public health, safety, 'and welfare. These requirements may include, but are not limited to, submitting to a mental and/or physical examination and/or evaluation by physicians designated by the Board, a probationary period, treatment monitoring, an educational assessment, and practice monitoring. Respondent shall be required to complete an educational assessment by the Center for Personalized Education for Physicians ("CPEP"). Additionally, Respondent will be required to demonstrate continued competency pursuant to section 24-34-102(S)(d)(II), C.R.S., and any related Board rules and/or policies, and will also be required to comply with any other statutory or regulatory requirement related to reinstatement. The parties agree that the Panel's decision regarding such application and requirements shall be made at the sole discretion of the Panel. Respondent waives the right to appeal the Panel decision on additional requirements.
The terms of this Order were mutually negotiated and determined, Both parties acknowledge that they understand the legal consequences of this Order; both parties enter into this Order voluntarily; and both parties agree that no term or condition of this Order is unconscionable.
15. All costs and expenses incurred by Respondent to comply with this Order shall be the sole responsibility of Respondent, and shall in no way be the obligation of the Board or Panel.
16. So that the Board may notify hospitals of this agreement pursuant to section 12-36- 118( 13), C.R.S., Respondent presently holds privileges at the following hospitals:
- NONE -
17. This Order and all its terms shall have the same force and effect as an order entered after a formal hearing pursuant to section 12·36-1 18(5)(g)(III), C.R.S., except that it may not be appealed. This Order and all its terms also constitute a valid board order for purposes of section] 2-36-117(1)(u), C.R.S.
18. This Order shall be admissible as evidence at any future hearing before the Board.
19. Invalidation of any portion of this Order by judgment or court order shall in no way affect any other provision, which shall remain in full force and effect.
20. During the pendency of any action arising out of this Order, the obligations of the parties shall be deemed to be in full force and effect and shall not be tolled.
21. This Order shall be effective upon approval by the Panel and signature by a Panel member or other authorized person. Respondent acknowledges that the Panel may choose not to accept the terms of this Order and that if the Order is not approved by the Panel and signed by a Panel member or other authorized person, it is void.
22. Upon becoming effective, this Order shall be open to public inspection and shall be publicized pursuant to the Board's policies and procedures. Additionally, this Order shall be reported to the Federation of State Medical Boards, the National Practitioner Data Bank/Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank and as otherwise required by law.
ALEXANDER THERMOS, D.O.
THE FOREGOING was acknowledged before me this 19th day of October, 2011 by Alexander Thermos, D.O., in the County of Orange, State of California.
GARRETT RUSSELL VOGE
THE FOREGOING Stipulation and Agency Order is approved and effective this 16th day of November 2011.
FOR THE COLORADO MEDICAL BOARD
INQUIRY PANEL A
APPROVED AS TO FORM
CAPLAN AND EARNEST, LLC
FOR THE COLORADO MEDICAL BOARD
JOHN W. SUTHERS
This page was posted on September 5, 2013.