"Anti-Aging" Doctor Repeatedly Placed on Probation
Stephen Barrett, M.D.
Since 1994, Edmund Chein, M.D., has operated the Palm Springs Life Extension Institute in Palm Springs, California, which, according to its Web site, "utilizes his own patented scientific methods to "measure and then dramatically reduce the cellular and biological age of his patients." In 1995, he was placed on three years probation, the terms of which included an ethics course, psychiatric evaluation, practice monitor, and payment of investigation and prosecution costs. In 2002, the Medical Board of California charged him with a total of 13 counts of gross and repeated negligence, incompetence, prescribing without medical indication, inadequate recordkeeping, general professional misconduct, dishonesty, and dispensing controlled substances unlawfully. The accusation document stated that he prescribed hormones inappropriately for two patients and purchased a controlled drug (micronized testosterone) using his sister's DEA license. The case was settled in 2005 with a stipulation (shown below) under which Chein agreed be on probation for five years, during which he must (a) pay $10,000 to the State of California for costs, (b) take courses in ethics, prescribing practices, and recordkeeping, (c) refrain from making unsubstantiated advertising claims, and (d) either have his practice monitored or participate in an intensive professional enhancement program.
In 2010, following an incident in which he displayed a handgun and slashed the tires of someone's car, Chein was convicted of vandalism and placed on summary probation for three years. He was also ordered to serve thirty days in jail, pay fines and fees totaling $180, and complete three months of anger management. In 2011, the Medical Board of California charged Chein with violating the terms of his medical license probation by getting into trouble and by failing to report the conviction to the board. In 2012, the case was settled with an agreement under which he was placed on probation that ended in November 2016.
Attorney General of the State of California
DOUG MACCARTEE, State Bar No. 91214
Deputy Attorney General
California Department of Justice
110 West A Street, Suite 1100
San Diego, CA 92101
P.O. Box 85266-5266
Telephone: (619) 645-2072
Facsimile: (619) 645-2061
Attorneys for Complainant
DIVISION OF MEDICAL QUALITY
MEDICAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA
DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
In the Matter of the Accusation Against:
EDMUND CHEIN, M.D.
Physician and Surgeon's Certificate No. A 38678
Case No. 19-2000-107723
OAH No. 2004090346
STIPULATED SETTLEMENT AND DISCIPLINARY ORDER
IT IS HEREBY STIPULATED AND AGREED by and between the parties to the above-entitled proceedings that the following matters are true:
1. David T. Thornton is the Executive Director of the Medical Board of California (Complainant). He brought this action solely in his official capacity and is represented in this matter by Bill Lockyer, Attorney General of the State of California, by Doug MacCartee, Deputy Attorney General.
2. Respondent Edmund Chein, M.D. (Respondent) is represented in this proceeding by attorney Philip W. Boesch, Jr., whose address is 330 Washington Boulevard, Suite 600, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292.
3. On or about July 2, 1982, the Medical Board of California issued Physician’s and Surgeon's Certificate No. A 38678 to Edmund Chein, M,D. The certificate will expire on October 31, 2007, unless renewed.
JURISDICTION4. Accusation No. 19-2000-107723 was filed before the Division of Medical Quality (Division) for the Medical Board of California., Department of Consumer Affairs, and is currently pending against Respondent. The Accusation and all other statutorily required documents were properly served on Respondent on May 13, 2002. Respondent timely filed his Notice of Defense contesting the Accusation. A copy of Accusation No. 19-2000-107723 is attached as Exhibit A and incorporated herein by reference.
ADVISEMENT AND WAIVERS
5. Respondent has carefully read, fully discussed with counsel and understands the charges and allegations in Accusation No. 19-2000-107723. Respondent has also carefully read, fully discussed with counsel, and understands the effects of this Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order.
6. Respondent is fully aware of his legal rights in this matter, including the right to a hearing on the charges and allegations in the Accusation; the right to confront and cross-examine the witnesses against him; the right to present evidence and to testify on his own behalf: the right to the issuance of subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents; the right to reconsideration and court review of an adverse decision; and all other rights accorded by the California Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable laws.
7. Respondent voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently waives and gives up each and every right set forth above.
8. The Division agrees this Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order is intended to resolve all of the following: 1) all allegations in Accusation No. 19~2000-107123; 2) all activity or omissions that were the subject of any charges, accusations, and investigations completed or pending with the Board as of September 1, 2005; and, 3) any disciplinary action taken by another stale or the federal government based on the conduct alleged in Accusation No. 19-2000-107723 and In the Matter of Edmund Chein, M.D., Docket No. 02-9 and 02-43 pending before the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.
9. Respondent understands and agrees that the charges and allegations in Accusation No. 19-2000-107723, if proven at a hearing, constitute cause for imposing discipline upon his Physician's and Surgeon's Certificate.
10. For the purpose of resolving the Accusation without the expense and uncertainty of further proceedings, Respondent agrees that, at a hearing, Complainant could establish a factual basis for the charges in the Accusation, and that Respondent hereby gives up his right to contest those charges.
11. Respondent full)' understands and agrees that, if he petitions for modification or early termination of probation, all of the charges and allegations contained in Accusation No. 19-2000-107723 shall be assumed to be true for the sole purpose of the Division determining whether to grant or deny the petition.
12. Should Respondent ever apply or reapply for a new license or certification, or petition for reinstatement of a license, by any other heath care licensing agency in the State of California, all of the charges and allegations contained in Accusation No. 19-2000-107723 shall be deemed to be true, correct, and admitted by Respondent for the purpose of any Statement of Issues or any other proceeding seeking to deny or restrict licensure.
13. Respondent agrees that his Physician's and Surgeon's Certificate is subject to discipline and he agrees to be bound by the Division's imposition of discipline as set forth in the Disciplinary Order below.
14. This stipulation shall be subject to approval by the Division. Respondent understands and agrees that counsel for Complainant and the staff of the Medical Board of California ma)' communicate directly with the Division regarding this stipulation and settlement, without notice to or participation by Respondent or his counsel. By signing the stipulation, Respondent understands and agrees that he may not Withdraw his agreement or seek to rescind the stipulation prior to the time the Division considers and acts upon it. If the Division fails to adopt this stipulation as its Decision and Order, the Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order shall be of no force or effect, except for this paragraph, it shall be inadmissible in any legal action between the parties, and the Division shall not be disqualified from further action by having considered this matter.
15. The parties understand and agree that facsimile copies of this Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order, including facsimile signatures thereto, shall have the same force and effect as the originals.
16. In consideration of the foregoing admissions and stipulations. the parties agree that thee Division may, without further notice or formal proceeding, issue and enter The following Disciplinary Order:
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Physician's and Surgeon’s Certificate No. A 38678 issued to Respondent Edmund Chein, M.D., is revoked. However, the revocation is stayed and Respondent is placed on probation for five (5) years on the following terms and conditions.
1. CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES - MAINTAIN RECORDS AND ACCESS TO RECORDS AND INVENTORIES Respondent shall maintain a record of all controlled substances ordered, prescribed, dispensed, administered, or possessed by respondent. and any recommendation or approval which enables a patient or patient's primary caregiver to possess or cultivate marijuana for the personal medical purposes of the patient within the meaning of Health and Safety Code section 11362.5, during probation, showing all of the following: 1) the name and address of patient; 2) the date; 3) the character and quantity of controlled substances involved; and 4) the indications and diagnosis for which the controlled substances were furnished.
Respondent shall keep these records in a separate file or ledger, in chronological order. All records and any inventories of controlled substances shall be available for immediate inspection and copying on the premises by the Division or its designee at all times during I business hours and shall be retained for the entire term of probation.
Failure to maintain all records: to provide immediate access to the inventor)', or to make all records available for immediate inspection and copying on the premises, is a violation of probation.
So long as respondent does not order, prescribe, dispense, administer, or possess any controlled substance or issue an recommendation or approval which enables a patient or patient's primary caregiver to possess or cultivate marijuana for the personal medical purposes of the patient within the meaning of Health and Safety Code section 11362.5, respondent shall not be required to maintain records regarding such substances.
2. PRESCRIBING PRACTICES COURSE Within 90 calendar days of the effective date of this Decision, respondent shall enroll in a course in prescribing practices, at respondent’s expense, approved in advance by the Division or its designee. Failure to successfully complete the course during the first nine months of probation is a violation of probation.
A prescribing practices course taken after the acts that gave rise to the charges in the Accusation, but prior to the effective date of the Decision may, in the sole discretion of the Division or its designee, be accepted towards the fulfillment of this condition if the course would have been approved by the Division or its designee had the course been taken after the effective date of this Decision.
Respondent shall submit a certification of successful completion to the Division or its designee no: later than 15 calendar days after successfully completing the course, or not later than 15 calendar days after the effective date of the Decision, whichever is later.
3. MEDICAL RECORD KEEPING COURSE Within 90 calendar days of the effective date of this decision. respondent shall enroll in a course in medical record keeping, at respondent's expense, approved in advance by the Division or its designee. Failure to successfully complete the course during the first nine months of probation is a violation of probation.
A medical record keeping course taken after the acts that gave rise to the charges in the Accusation, but prior to the effective date of the Decision may, in the sole discretion of the Division or its designee, be accepted towards the fulfillment of this condition if the course would have been approved. by the Division or its designee had the course been taken after the effective date of this Decision.
Respondent shall submit a certification of successful completion to the Division or its designee not later than 15 calendar days after successfully completing the course, or Dot later than 15 calendar days after the effective date of the Decision, whichever is later.
4. ETHICS COURSE Within 90 calendar days of the effective date of this Decision, respondent shall enroll in a course in ethics, at respondent's expense, approved in advance by the Division or its designee. Failure to successfully complete the course during the first year of probation is a violation of probation.
Respondent shall submit a certification of successful completion to the Division or its designee not later than 15 calendar days after successfully completing the course, or not later than 15 calendar days after the effective date of the Decision, whichever is later.
5. MONITORING PRACTICE Within 30 calendar days of the effective date of this: Decision, respondent shall submit to the Division or its designee for prior approval as a practice monitor, the name and qualifications of one or more licensed physicians and surgeons whose licenses are valid and in good standing, and who are preferably American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) certified. A monitor shall have no prior or current business or personal relationship with respondent, or other relationship that could reasonably be expected to compromise the ability of the monitor to render fair and unbiased reports to the Division, including, but not limited to, any form of bartering, shall be in respondent's field of practice. and must agree to serve as respondent’s monitor. Respondent shall pay all monitoring costs.
The Division or its designee shall provide the approved monitor with copies of the' Decision(s) and Accusation(s), and a proposed monitoring plan. Within 15 calendar days of receipt of the Decision(s), Accusation(s), and proposed monitoring plan, the monitor shall submit a signed statement that the monitor has read the Decision( s) and Accusation(s), fully understands the role of a monitor, and agrees or disagrees with the proposed monitoring plan. If the monitor disagrees with the proposed monitoring plan, the monitor shall submit a revised monitoring plan with the signed statement.
Within 60 calendar days of the effective. date of this Decision, and continuing throughout probation., respondent's practice shall be monitored by the approved monitor. Respondent shall make all records available for immediate inspection and copying on the premises by the monitor at all times during business hours, and shall retain the records for the entire term of probation.
The monitor(s) shall submit a quarterly written report to the Division or its designee which includes an evaluation of respondent's performance, indicating whether respondent's practices are within the standards of practice of medicine and whether respondent is practicing medicine safely.
It shall be the sole responsibility of respondent to ensure that the monitor submits the quarterly written reports to the Division or its designee within 10 calendar days after the end of the preceding quarter.
If the monitor resigns or is no longer available, respondent shall, within 10 calendar days of such resignation or unavailability, submit to the Division or its designee, for prior approval, the name and qualifications of a replacement monitor ho will be assuming that responsibility within 15 calendar days. If respondent fails to obtain approval of a replacement monitor within 60 days of the resignation or unavailability of the monitor, respondent shall be suspended from the practice of medicine until a replacement monitor is approved and prepared to assume immediate monitoring responsibility, Respondent shall cease the practice of medicine within 3 calendar days after being so notified by the Division or designee.
In lieu of a monitor, respondent may participate in a professional enhancement program equivalent to the one offered by the Physician Assessment and Clinical Education Program at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, that includes, at minimum, quarterly chart review, semi-annual practice assessment, and semi-annual review of professional growth and education. Respondent shall participate in the professional enhancement program at respondent's expense during the term of probation.
Failing to maintain all records, failing to make all appropriate records available for inspection and copying on the premises on 48 hours notice, and failing to comply with this condition as outlined above is a violation of probation.
6. EMPLOYEE SUPERVISION During probation, at least once a. month, respondent shall review not less that 90% of the charts of each of his employee-physicians in California.. Respondent shall cosign and date each chart reviewed and make a log of me reviewed charts. If respondent's review finds any deviations from standard of care or departure from his protocols, he shall not~ that finding in the patient's chart and on his log. The log shall include the patient's name, the patient’s medical record number, tile date the reviewed care was rendered, the name of the physician who provided the reviewed care and the departures, If any, found by respondent. Upon request from tie Division or its designee, respondent: within 48 hours of the request, shall make the log available for on-site inspection and copying subject to redaction of patient names, but Dot medical record numbers.
7. PROHIBITED PRACTICE During probation, respondent is prohibited from doing either of the following on the Internet: A) posting any pre-signed forms or other forms that can be used by individuals to obtain laboratory testing; and, B) making any statement related to the practice of medicine that constitutes a violation of Business and Professions Code section 2271.
In addition, during probation, unless respondent has documentary evidence supporting the claims on the Internet respondent shall not make any advertising claims related to the practice of medicine that (1) purport to be based on factual, objective, or clinical evidence; (2) compare the product's effectiveness or safety to that of other brands or products; or, (3) purport to be based on any fact. Within 15 days of a written request from the Division or its designee for documentary evidence supporting a claim, respondent shall provide such evidence. Failure to provide the written evidence upon which the claim is made will be a violation of probation. Further, if the provided evidence does not support the claim, respondent shall, within five days of written notice of such determination by the Division or its designee, cease and desist from making the claim. If respondent ceases and desists from making the unsubstantiated claim, no further action shall be taken regarding the unsubstantiated claim unless the unsubstantiated claim also violates Business and Professions Code section 2271 or any other provision of the Medical Practice Act, state law or federal law, including regulations adopted pursuant to either state of federal law. If the unsubstantiated claim does constitute such a violation or violations, the making of the claim will be a violation of probation and subject to further discipline even if he ceases and desists from making it.
8. COOPERATION During probation, respondent shall make himself available to Board investigators inquiring into any matter about which they believe: respondent may have knowledge. Respondent shall answer all questions truthfully and completely. If called as a witness in any administrative proceeding, whether by the complainant or the respondent in such proceeding, respondent shall make himself available to testify and shall testify truthfully and completely. Respondent stall not be subject to further discipline arising from any information be provides pursuant to this paragraph, provided that information relates to acts occurring before the effective date of this decision.
9. NOTIFICATION Prior to engaging in the practice of medicine, the· respondent shall provide a true copy of the Decision(s) and Accusation(s) to the Chief of Staff or the Chief Executive Officer at every hospital where privileges or membership be extended to respondent, at any other facility where respondent engages in the practice of medicine, including all physician and locum tenens registries or other similar agencies, and to the Chief Executive Officer at every insurance carrier which extends malpractice insurance coverage to respondent. Respondent shall submit proof of compliance to the Division or its designee within 15 calendar days.
This condition shall apply to any change(s) in hospitals, other facilities or insurance carrier.
10. SUPERVISION OF PHYSICIAN ASSSISANTS During probation, respondent is prohibited from supervising physician assistants.
11. OBEY ALL LAWS Respondent shall obey all federal, state and local laws, all rules governing the practice of medicine in California., and remain in full compliance with any court ordered criminal probation, payments and other orders.
12. QUARTERLY DECLARATIONS Respondent shall submit quarterly declarations under penalty of perjury on forms provided by the Division, stating whether there has been compliance with all the conditions of probation. Respondent shall submit quarterly declarations Dot later than 10 calendar days after the end of the preceding quarter.
13. PROBATION UN1T COMPLIANCE Respondent shall comply with the Division's probation unit. Respondent shall, at all times, keep the Division informed of respondent's business and residence addresses. Changes of such addresses shall be immediately communicated in writing to the Division or its designee. Under no circumstances shall a post office box serve as an address of record, except as allowed by Business and Professions Code section 2021(b).
Respondent shall not engage in the practice of medicine in respondent's place of residence. Respondent shall maintain a current and renewed California physician's and surgeon's license.
Respondent shall immediately inform the Division, or its designee, in writing, of travel to any areas outside the jurisdiction of California which lasts. or is contemplated to last, more than 30 calendar days.
14. INTERVIEW WITH THE DIVISION, OR ITS DESIGNEE Respondent shall be available in person for interviews either at respondent's place of business or at the probation unit office, with the Division or its designee, upon request at various intervals, and either with or without prior notice throughout the term of probation.
15. RESIDING OR PRACTICING OUT-OF-STATE. In the event respondent should leave the State of California to reside or to practice, respondent shall notify the Division or its designee in writing 30 calendar days prior to the dates of departure and return. Non-practice is defined as any period of time exceeding 30 calendar days in which respondent is not engaging in any activities defined in Sections 2051 and 2052 of the Business and Professions Code.
All time spent in an intensive training program outside the State of California which has been approved by the Division or its designee shall be considered as time spent in the practice of medicine within the State. A Board-ordered suspension of practice shall not be considered as a period of non-practice. Periods of temporary or permanent residence or practice outside California will not apply to the reduction of the probationary term. Periods of temporary or permanent residence or practice outside California will relieve respondent of the responsibility to comply with the probationary terms and conditions with the exception of this condition and the following terms and conditions of probation: Obey All Laws; Probation Unit Compliance; and Cost Recovery.
Respondent's license shall be automatically cancelled if respondent's periods of temporary or permanent residence or practice outside California total two years. However, respondent's license shall not be cancelled as long as respondent is residing and practicing medicine in another state of the United States and is on active probation with the medical licensing authority of that state, in which case the calculation of the two year period for cancellation shall begin on the date probation is completed or terminated in that state.
16. FAILURE TO PRACTICE MEDICINE - CALIFORNIA RESIDENT In the event respondent resides in the State of California and for any reason respondent stops practicing medicine in California, respondent shall notify the Division or its designee in writing within 30 calendar days prior to the dates of non-practice and return to practice. Any period of non-practice within California, as defined in this condition, will not apply to the reduction of me probationary term and does Dot relieve respondent of the responsibility to comply with the terms and conditions of probation. Non-practice is defined as any period of time exceeding 30 calendar days in which respondent is not engaging in any activities defined in sections 2051 and 2052 of the Business and Professions Code.
All time spent in an intensive training program which has been approved by the Division or its designee shall be considered time spent in the practice of medic me. For purposes of this condition, non-practice due to a Board-ordered suspension or in compliance with any other condition of probation, shall not be considered a period of non-practice.
Respondent's license shall be automatically cancelled if respondent resides in California and for a total of two years, fails to engage in California in any of the activities described in Business and Professions Code sections 2051 and 2052.
17. COMPLETION OF PROBATION Respondent shall comply with all financial obligations (e.g., cost recovery, restitution, probation costs) not later than 120 calendar days prior to the completion of probation. Upon successful completion of probation, respondent's certificate shall be fully restored.
18. VIOLATION OF PROBATION Failure to fully comply with any term or condition of probation is a violation of probation. If respondent violates probation in any respect, the Division, after giving respondent notice and the opportunity to be. heard, may revoke probation and carry out the disciplinary order that was stayed. If an Accusation, Petition to Revoke Probation, or an Interim Suspension Order is filed against respondent during probation, the Division shall have continuing jurisdiction until the matter is final, and the period ·of probation shall be extended until the matter is final
19. COST RECOVERY Respondent shall reimburse the Division the amount of $10,000.00 for its investigative and prosecution costs. The reimbursement shall be may be made in three equal installments, the first of which shall be paid within 90 days of the effective date of this decision. The second and third installments shall be paid no later than the end of the first and second years of probation, respectively. The filing of bankruptcy or period of non· practice by respondent shall not relieve the respondent of his obligation to reimburse the Division for its costs.
20. LICENSE SURRENDER Following the effective date of this Decision, if respondent ceases practicing due to retirement, health reasons or is otherwise unable to satisfy the terms and condition of probation, respondent may request the voluntary surrender of respondent's license. The Division reserves the right to evaluate respondent's request and to exercise its discretion whether or not to grant the request, or to take any other action deemed appropriate and reasonable under the circumstances. Upon formal acceptance of the surrender, respondent shall within 15 calendar days deliver respondent's wallet and wall certificate to the Division or its designee and respondent shall no longer practice medicine. Respondent will no longer be subject to the terms and conditions of probation and the surrender of respondent's license shall be deemed disciplinary action. If respondent reapplies for a medical license, the application shall be treated as a petition for reinstatement of a revoked certificate.
21. PROBATION MONITORING: COSTS Respondent shall pay the costs associated with probation monitoring each and every year of probation, as designated by the. Division, but maybe adjusted on an annual basis. Such costs shall be payable to the Medical Board of California and delivered to the Division or its designee no later than January 31 of each calendar year. Failure to pay costs within 30 calendar days of the due date is a violation of probation.
I have carefully read the above Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order and have fully discussed it with my attorney, Philip W. Boesch, Jr. I understand the stipulation and the effect it will have on my Physician's and Surgeon's Certificate. I enter into this Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order Order voluntarily, knowingly, and intentionally. and agree to be bound by the Decision and Order of the Division of Medical Quality, Medical Board of California.
DATED: Sept. 22, 2005
EDMUND CHEIN, M.D.
I have read and fully discussed with Respondent Edmund Chein, M.D. the terms and conditions and other matters contained in the above Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order. I approve its form and content.
PHILIP W. BOESCH, JR.
Attorney for Respondent
The foregoing Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order is hereby respectfully submitted for consideration by the Division of Medical Quality, Medical Board of California of the Department of Consumer Affairs
BILL LOCKYER, Attorney General
of the State of California
Deputy Attorney General
Attorneys for Complainant
This page was revised on January 2, 2017.