HELENA — A state judge has intervened in the suspension of Helena doctor Mark Ibsen's medical license.
On Tuesday, the state medical board voted to strip Ibsen of his license indefinitely due to what it saw as poor record-keeping. Two days later, District Judge James Reynolds issued a temporary restraining order and injunction against the Montana State Board of Medical Examiners.
Ibsen alleges the board denied him due process rights and "unfairly prejudices" him.
The board's attorneys must respond to the order within 30 days. Ibsen's license will remain valid in the meantime.
The judge responded to the petition to intervene within an hour of it being filed Thursday.
Ibsen's attorney, John Doubek, wrote in his petition the board committed "numerous mistakes, misstatements of the record and other procedural and substantial errors." Doubek is asking the judge to reverse the board's order finalized Tuesday and the subsequent sanctions against Ibsen.
In its 90-page final order, the board determined Ibsen must meet several conditions, including attending a one-day course in record-keeping before regaining his license. Other sanctions included supervision of Ibsen's work and annual audits of his charts.
This case began in July 2013, when an investigation into allegations of over-prescribing painkillers began. However, a hearing officer for the Montana Department of Labor and Industry later deemed Ibsen’s pain-pill prescriptions were for legitimate medical reasons and said that he employed and encouraged alternatives to medication for chronic pain.
In November, the board rejected an order that would have placed Ibsen's medical license on probation. The 50-page order written by the hearing officer called for Ibsen's medical license to be placed on probation for 180 days. The order was submitted in June.
As part of the petition for judicial review, Doubek is asking the hearing officer's order be accepted in place of the board's.
The order followed four days of hearings in December 2014 spawned by allegations by a former employee of Ibsen. More than 20 witnesses testified.
Meanwhile, Ibsen closed his practice, Urgent Care Plus, in December.