On September 27, 2018 the Petitioner, Board of Registration in Medicine, issued a Statement of Allegations ordering the Respondent, Paula Nelson, M.D., to show cause why she should not be disciplined after her license to practice medicine in the State of Maryland was revoked for the failure to provide details of medical records to three of her patients, the failure to respond to the Maryland Board of Physicians’ three separate requests for a response to three separate patient complaints, and the improper billing for care that she provided for three of her patients.
Pursuant to 801 CMR 1.01(10)(a), a pre-hearing conference was scheduled for December 12, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. The Notice of Pre-hearing Conference was issued on October 10, 2018. (Attachment A.) On October 17, 2018 the Notice of Pre-hearing Conference that was addressed to the Respondent at 629 Beaver Run Road, Suite B, Lilburn, GA 30047 was returned to the Division of Administrative Law Appeals with the notation “Return to Sender. Not deliverable as addressed. Unable to forward.” (Attachment B.)
In a letter dated October 25, 2018, Senior Board Counsel Debra Stoller informed the Respondent that it was re-issuing the pleadings set forth in the Statement of Allegations following the September 27, 2018 Board meeting to 4499 Garmon Road NW, Atlanta, GA. The Respondent was further informed that, as a condition of licensure, it was her (Respondent’s) responsibility to maintain updated contact information. The Respondent was asked to contact the Board’s Licensing Division to update her contact information. (Attachment C.) Also on October 25, 2018, Complaint Counsel James Paikos informed the Administrative Magistrate that the Respondent’s current address is 4499 Garmon Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30328-3829. (Attachment D.) The Notice of Pre-hearing Conference was re-issued to the Respondent at this address on November 2, 2018. (Attachment E.) This notice was not returned to the Division of Administrative Law Appeals.
Complaint Counsel appeared for the Pre-hearing Conference on December 12, 2018. The Respondent failed to appear. Accordingly, an Order to Show Cause was issued to the 4499 Garmon Road NW, Atlanta, GA address. (Attachment F.) The Respondent failed to respond to the Order to Show Cause by the December 28, 2018 deadline. She has not responded to date.
No sufficient explanation has been offered as to the Respondent’s failure to file an Answer to the Statement of Allegations or her failure to appear for the Pre-hearing Conference from the Respondent or counsel. 801 CMR 1.01(6) (d) requires that a Respondent file full, direct and specific answers to an Order to Show Cause. The Respondent has failed to file any response. Further, Respondent’s failure to appear at the Pre-hearing Conference and her failure to respond in writing to the Order to Show Cause are both indicative of her lack of any intention to defend this action. Thus, as permitted by G. L. c. 30A, s. 10 (2), the Respondent should defaulted.
The Respondent’s blatant disregard of the DALA hearing process, Order to Show Cause and the authority of the Board of Registration in Medicine implies either her lack of intent to zealously defend herself against the Board’s action, or a furtive attempt to delay the process. As a consequence of the default, each of the allegations contained in the Statement of Allegations is deemed to be true.
Accordingly, I recommend that the Board of Registration in Medicine impose appropriate sanctions against the Respondent.
Division of Administrative Law Appeals,
DATED: January 4, 2019