Dr. Thomas S. Powers' History of Poor Record Keeping Catches Up with Him

Dr. Thomas Powers is a veteran Orange County physician.EXPAND
Dr. Thomas Powers is a veteran Orange County physician.
Screen grab from opencaremedicalclinic.com

A Santa Ana doctor could lose his medical license due to sloppy record keeping and prescribing himself pain medication.

The same physician was accused of poor record keeping seven years ago, when he was told to take a class, and he's previously shown up on the state's delinquent taxpayer list.

According to the Sept. 2 complaint by Kimberly Kirchmeyer, the Medical Board of California executive director who forwarded her case to state Attorney General Kamala Harris, a hearing is being sought to consider having Dr. Thomas S. Powers' license revoked or suspended.

Powers—who specializes in anti-aging and preventive medicine, cosmetic medicine, stress management, pain management, addiction recovery, weight management and regenerative medicine at Open Care Medical Clinic in Santa Ana—prescribed a patient varying amounts of hydrocodone bitartrate acetaminophen (known by the brand name Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), alprazolam (Xanax) and promethazine HCL codeine phosphate (Promethazine with Codeine syrup) between December 2011 and December 2013.

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Those narcotics are addictive and can be abused, but when medical board investigators asked about the treatment plan for that patient, Powers failed to produce records as to why they were prescribed, how much was prescribed or any other details, according to Kirchmeyer's complaint, which alleges that constitutes "gross negligence."

Between October 2011 and October 2014, Powers prescribed hydromorphone, ketamine (Ketalar), oxycodone (Oxycontin) and the Vicodin compound to a patient who suffered from back pain and insomnia but, again., the doctor could provide no records or explanation about any treatment plan, although he did recall the fellow saying his brother once stole his medications. This, according to Kirchmeyer's complaint, also constitutes gross negligence.

Between 2011-2014, the doctor prescribed a third patient oxycodone, carisoprodol (the muscle relaxer Soma), hydrocodone bitartrate acetaminophen and the Promethazine with Codeine syrup. Again, Powers could not recall why those drugs were prescribed nor could he produce any records—and you know by now what this constitutes, as alleged in the complaint.

And so it goes for a fourth patient, who died in 2013 after being treated by Powers for neck and back pain.

The doctor claimed in August 2015 that medical records were lost in a tenant dispute with his landlord in Huntington Beach. Powers operated there under the business names Powers MD Wellness and Diva Aesthetics Medical Group. 

However, he should have known better to back up his records for his own easy access, because in May 2009 another Medical Board of California regime sent him a public reprimand for poor record keeping. Powers was directed at the time to complete a medical record keeping course.

The new complaint adds another alleged "cause for discipline:" Powers prescribing himself Soma and suboxone (the pain reliever Buprenex) in violation of state law and ethics rules for California physicians.

Before the California Franchise Tax Board in June updated its list of the top 500 tax delinquents in the state, Powers appeared on it for owing more than $490,000. His name has since been removed, which is a good thing for him because state law dictates: "The Medical Board of California is required to deny an application for licensure and to suspend the license/certificate/registration of any applicant or licensee who has outstanding tax obligations due to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) or the State Board of Equalization (BOE) and appears on either the FTB or BOE's certified lists of top 500 tax delinquencies over $100,000."


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