Johnson City Press: State board revokes Erwin dentist's license accused of over-prescribing narcotics

State board revokes Erwin dentist's license accused of over-prescribing narcotics

Becky Campbell • Nov 15, 2018 at 11:48 PM

An Erwin dentist’s license was revoked and he was fined $13,000 for inappropriately doling out narcotics prescriptions to more than a dozen patients over a three-year period, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

Dr. Michael R. Tittle had been a licensed dentist since 1978, according to documents from department. The Board of Dentistry filed the disciplinary report Oct. 18, but it was released in a health department press release on Thursday with other actions taken in October.

According to the board’s order revoking Tittle’s license, he was found “guilty of prescribing controlled substances in amounts or for durations not medically or dentally necessary and pre-signing blank prescription forms or using pre-printed or rubber stamped prescription forms containing the dentist’s signature.”

His license was already on probation for five years over “multiple infection control violations.”

That disciplinary was implemented in July 2016.

During that probation, the Department of Health received complaints that Tittle was inappropriately prescribing narcotics. During an investigation of the complaint, the department found records of 13 instances in which it said Tittle “failed to include a concise description and justification for the amount and frequency of controlled substances prescribed to patients.”

Some examples of prescriptions Tittle handed out were:

• One patient received 71 prescriptions for Lortab between August 2017 and January 2018, for a total of 710 pills. Five of the prescriptions were written in a two-week period.

• Another patient received 49 prescriptions of Lortab and 14 prescriptions for Percocet between October 2016 and September 2017, for a total of 630 pills.

• A third patient received 41 Percocet prescriptions between February 2018 and May 2018, for a total of 365 tablets.

• A fourth patient received 24 prescriptions between May 2017 and April 2018 after a root canal. The type of narcotic was not indicated for that patient in the documentation.

• A fifth patient received two prescriptions for Percocet and two for Lortab between August 2015 and November 2015 for a total of 110 tablets. There was no documentation of the patient ever being seen in the office.

Tittle also admitted to the board that he had a pre-signed blank prescription in his office that was copied onto security paper to generate additional pre-signed prescription slips.

In addition to having his license revoked, Tittle was fined $1,000 for each patient he gave prescriptions to inappropriately for a total of $13,000.

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