BOSTON (CBS) – A New England psychiatrist with a lengthy history of disciplinary action will remain under the watchful eye of another doctor for six more months, the WBZ I-Team learned.
The Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine voted Tuesday night to continue the supervised probation of Dr. Reinaldo de los Heros.
The psychiatrist’s probationary status could have been lifted this week. However, because of continuing concerns about de los Heros’ prescriptive practices, the Board decided to keep him under supervision.
The psychiatrist’s monitoring doctor also recommended the supervision continue, a Board spokesman said.
In April, an I-Team investigation revealed how a New Hampshire woman’s death raised questions about the care she received from Dr. de los Heros.
Police found Kelly Deyo, a recovering heroin addict, dead inside her apartment in 2015.
She was surrounded by 19 empty pill bottles that had all been prescribed by de los Heros, who Deyo had started seeing only a month earlier at his Maine office.
The I-Team discovered a paper trail of troubling medical care connected to de los Heros.
Records show he was repeatedly disciplined or warned about his prescribing habits. He even lost his medical license in Massachusetts for several years after a felony conviction for Medicaid fraud in 1997.
Deyo’s mother, Elizabeth Marquis, filed a complaint with the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine after her daughter’s death.
However, despite the doctor’s history, the Board placed the psychiatrist on six months of supervised probation.
“What will it take for that doctor to lose his license?!” an emotional Marquis told WBZ in April.
The decision was also criticized by experts, who said it points to a trend of state medical boards protecting doctors more than the public.
De los Heros initially ignored an I-Team inquiry, but later defended his practice, saying the Board had found him fit to continue providing care to patients. He also called Deyo’s death a “tragic loss.”
A week after the I-Team report, de los Heros submitted the resignation of his medical license in Massachusetts. The doctor had not possessed an active license since allowing it to lapse in 2009.
Meantime, Marquis is continuing to gather records in an effort to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit for her daughter’s death.
De los Heros’ status in Maine will be up for review again in March.
Ryan Kath can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter or connect on Facebook.