Edward James Walko, D.O.; License # 0102049902
Nature of Complaint:
The physician from approximately 2000 to 2007 failed to properly manage the care and treatment of seven patients.
The physician from approximately November 2004 to February 2007 regularly prescribed narcotics to Patient A without having an adequate medical indication or diagnosing a medical condition warranting such prescriptions.
The physician on numerous occasions prescribed narcotics to Patients B, C, E, and G without first performing a physical examination, evaluation or assessment. The physician did not adhere to his own policy requiring physical examinations every three months or sooner in that the physician continued to write narcotic prescriptions to these patients during those intervals.
The physician failed to appropriately monitor and manage his patients usage of narcotic medications in that the physician did not enter into controlled substance/pain management or similar contracts with Patients A, C, D, E, F, and G until one or more years after the physician had began prescribing narcotics to them.
The physician failed to appropriately respond to signs of patient misuse or abuse of prescribed medications or to other indications that such medications were contraindicated. The physician frequently authorized refills of or provided additional narcotic prescriptions to Patients A, B, D, E, F, and G when the patients ran out of their medications earlier than they should have if they had been taken as prescribed.
The physician admitted to not conducting physical examinations during the noted timeframes for Patients B, C, G, and E. The physician explained that he hired a prescription refill assistant to help him with managing patient refill calls for patients the physician viewed as stable. The physician would see the patient after the refill assistant had met with the patient and the physician would then issue the prescription after briefly meeting with the patient. The physician stated that for some reason the medical refill assistant's follow-up notes did not make it into the file for these particular patients.
The Virginia Board of Medicine has ordered that the physician's license shall be subject to the following terms and conditions:
- The physician within six months shall submit proof to the Board verifying that the physician has completed at least fifteen hours of board approved continuing medical education in medical recordkeeping.
- The physician within ninety days shall develop and submit for board approval a pain management protocol for use in his practice.
- The physician upon receiving approval of the pain management protocol from the Executive Director of the Virginia Board of Medicine shall immediately implement the approved protocol.
- The physician within thirty days shall submit written certification to the Board that has read and shall comply with the laws governing the practice of medicine and surgery (Title 54.1, Chapter 29 of the Code); the Regulations Governing the Practice of Medicine, Osteopathy, Podiatry, and Chiropractic (18 VAC 85-20-10 et seq.); the Drug Control Act (Title 54.1, Chapter 34 of the Code; and Drug Laws for Practitioners.
April 26, 2010-Terms Terminated
The physician has complied with the terms of the 11-30-2009 Order. The Virginia Board of Medicine has terminated the terms placed on the physician's license. The physician currently has a full and unrestricted license in the State of Virginia.