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DATE: 8/11/2006
Arizona Medical Board Dismisses Abandoned Records Case Against Tucson Physician

Scottsdale, Ariz. - The Arizona Medical Board today dismissed the case involving abandoned medical records against Justin F. Weiss, M.D., a Tucson diagnostic radiologist.

The Board had begun an investigation on May 16, 2005 after numerous patient medical records were discovered in a dumpster at a Tucson self-storage facility. A complaint filed against Dr. Weiss alleged that he failed to notify his patients when he closed his radiology practice after filing bankruptcy and abandoned X-rays and mammograms without an index file or legend.

After a lengthy investigation, the Board determined that Dr. Weiss was unaware that a bankruptcy court approved the abandonment of the medical records.

There is a conflict of laws between the state and the federal government. Arizona statutes require a physician to maintain control of medical records for six years. But federal bankruptcy law requires all assets of a debtor‘s estate, including medical records, be turned over to the bankruptcy trustee. Once the trustee took possession of the records, Dr. Weiss no longer had a legal right to access them.

During its two-day meeting in Scottsdale, the Arizona Medical Board also voted to approve the recommended orders for revocation from Administrative Law Judges in the cases of two physicians. The Board revoked the license of H. Lee Mitchell III, M.D., a Mesa psychiatrist, for prescribing inappropriate controlled substances. It revoked the license of Wahid A. Ibrahim, M.D., who is board certified in Critical Care Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Disease, for violating a Board order concerning substance abuse.

These were two of the 58 cases involving 66 physicians the Board considered during its two-day meeting.

In other action, the Medical Board approved the draft rules drawn up by a Board subcommittee for Office Based Surgery, allowing them to be submitted for public comment.

Another Board subcommittee on Internet Prescribing met for the first time to begin work on a Substantive Policy Statement.