- A New Hampshire judge has denied a request from solo practitioner family physician Anna M. Konopka, MD to regain her medical license in part because of her decision to practice without an EHR system.
The octogenarian was forced to stop seeing patients as of October 13 when the New Hampshire Board of Medicine challenged her patient health record keeping, prescribing, and clinical decision making methods.
According to STAT, the state of New Hampshire took issue with Konopka’s limited computer skills, which kept her from using New Hampshire’s mandatory electronic prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP). The PDMP requires prescribers of opioids to register to allow officials to track dosages in an effort to reduce the chance of overdose.
Konopka attempted to reapply for her license after surrendering it, but was denied by Court Judge John Kissinger on November 15. Kissinger stated Konopka failed to show she was forced to give up her license as alleged.
Konopka has requested Kissinger reconsider his decision. Kissinger has not responded to her request.
“I’m not upset about anything,” Konopka told STAT. “The legal system is a game. You move. They move. It’s full of tricks and different movements.”
Konopka uses two file cabinets in the waiting room of her 160 year-old house to hold the majority of her patient health records. She does not use a computer, an EHR system, a nurse, an assistant, or a secretary. The only technology in her office is the landline telephone on her desk, according to STAT.
“I am fighting,” she said. “Therefore as long as I am fighting, I have some hope.”
The investigation into Konopka’s patient health record keeping, prescribing, and clinical decision making practices concluded in September. Konopka told the New Hampshire Union Leader she believes the current healthcare system values EHR use and computerized medicine over professional judgement, and favors expensive specialists over individualized care.
The family physician stated she has had issues with the healthcare system since 2013. Konopka has been licensed to practice medicine in New Hampshire for 49 years. Prior to the allegations, Konopka was seeing 25 to 30 patients each week and had never been sued for malpractice. She charges patients $50 per office visit.
Patients submitted statements to the Attorney General’s Office defending Konopka and her care.
“It’s fine if you are with the system,” she told the New Hampshire Union Leader. “If you are not, you are an enemy of the system.”