Spring Grove administrator reassigned Doctor on probation for ordering improper medication for patients

November 09, 1991|By Suzanne Wooton

The superintendent of Spring Grove Hospital Center has been removed from his job because a state medical board placed him on probation for improperly writing prescriptions at his private psychiatric practice.

Dr. Bruce L. Regan, administrator of the state's largest mental hospital since 1987, has been assigned to the Mental Hygiene Administration's division overseeing clinical services for mental hospitals, a health department spokesman said yesterday.

Earlier this month, the state Board of Physician Quality Assurance found that Dr. Regan had prescribed narcotics in a manner "clearly outside the accepted standard of care." He was ordered to undergo psychiatric therapy during the three years' probation. In one case, the board described as "very chaotic" Dr. Regan's treatment of a profoundly disturbed patient who was a borderline substance abuser. Even though he raised the possibility of overmedication in his records, Dr. Regan continued to prescribe tranquilizers for the patient.

The investigation was prompted by a May 1990 complaint to the state Division of Drug Control by a pharmacist who filled the prescriptions for that patient, according to a spokesman for the quality assurance board.

The board investigated Dr. Regan's practices at the hospital as well as his Catonsville private practice. It found that he was "perfectly fine in his hospital practice." Dr. Regan's duties at Spring Grove in Catonsville are administrative and do not involve direct patient care.

But health department spokesman Mike Golden said yesterday: "In light of the publicity about the board's action, we thought it was the best step to take."

Dr. Regan declined to comment. But Mr. Golden said yesterday "this is something Bruce is agreeable to and something he understood."

A Harvard University graduate, Dr. Regan, 42, received his medical degree from the University of Maryland. He was director of psychiatric education and training for the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for six years prior to assuming the job at Spring Grove. He was one of two physicians who were superintendents of state mental hospitals.

Dr. Regan will begin work at the downtown offices Monday with no reduction in his $85,459 a year salary. William Landis, assistant superintendent at Spring Grove, will serve as acting superintendent until a successor is found.

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