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“DEA Decisions: In the Matter of Hoi Y. Kam, M.D.

DEA Chronicles By Leah M. McNeely

In the Matter of Hoi Y. Kam, M.D. (October 22, 2013) In July 2011, the New York Department of Health revoked Dr. Hoi Kam’s medical license on the ground that he previously committed Medicaid fraud and had been excluded from the Medicaid program in 2006. Three months later, however, the State’s Administrative Review Board (ARB) vacated the revocation of Dr. Kam’s medical license, voted to instead suspend Dr. Kam’s license for five years, and then stayed the suspension in full. Shortly after Dr. Kam’s medical license was reinstated, the DEA sent Dr. Kam a letter stating that he could voluntarily surrender his DEA registration because his medical license had been revoked (even though it no longer was). Dr. Kam did not surrender his DEA registration, and in fact renewed his registration in December 2011. On the renewal application, Dr. Kam indicated that he had never “surrendered for cause or had a state professional license or controlled substance registration revoked, suspended, denied, restricted, or placed on probation.” DEA renewed Dr. Kam’s registration. On August 29, 2012, DEA issued an Order to Show Cause proposing the revocation of Dr. Kam’s DEA registration. Specifically, DEA alleged Dr. Kam falsified his renewal application and that his registration was inconsistent with the public interest because he failed to surrender his DEA registration and issued six prescriptions for controlled substances while his medical license was revoked. Dr. Kam never requested a hearing, but he did submit two letters that the Administrator deemed to be a written statement of position. Regarding the material falsification allegation, Dr. Kam stated that he made a mistake on the application. As for the allegation that he had written six prescriptions while his state license was revoked, Dr. Kam denied writing five of the six prescriptions and asserted that he post-dated one prescription at the request of a patient. According to Dr. Kam, the post-dated prescription was written before his license had been revoked, at the request of the patient. A DEA diversion investigator reviewed the six prescriptions allegedly written by Dr. Kam and determined that Dr. Kam had only written one of them—the post-dated prescription. The patient who received this post-dated prescription wrote a letter corroborating Dr. Kam’s story. Upon review, the Administrator determined that Dr. Kam falsified his renewal application, but the false answer was not material. By the time Dr. Kam submitted his renewal application, the state revocation order was vacated and the suspension issued by the ARB was stayed. Accordingly, DEA could not have denied his renewal application on the ground Dr. Kam lacked state authority. In addition, DEA did not set forth any evidence that the Medicaid exclusion was based on grounds that would allow DEA to revoke his registration. As for the public interest allegations, the Administrator concluded that Dr. Kam was never obligated to surrender his DEA registration when his medical license was revoked; he was only prohibited from using the registration. The Administrator did find, however, that Dr. Kam violated the Controlled Substance Act either by issuing a prescription when he lacked state authority to do so or by post-dating a prescription. But because there was no evidence that Dr. Kam acted outside the usual course of professional practice and lacked a legitimate medical purpose when issuing the prescription, the Administrator only ordered a six month suspension of Dr. Kam’s DEA registration.

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