FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SIXTH DIVISION [NO.
60CV-16-5765] HONORABLE TIMOTHY DAVIS FOX, JUDGE
Ragon Owen, P.A., by: Drake Mann, for appellant.
Trice, O'Dwyer & Wilson, P.A., by: Kevin M.
O'Dwyer, for appellee.
RAYMOND R. ABRAMSON, Judge
Mahmood Ahmad appeals the Pulaski County Circuit Court order
adopting the order of the Arkansas State Medical Board (the
Arkansas Board) revoking his Arkansas medical license. On
appeal, Dr. Ahmad argues that the Arkansas Board's
decision is (1) not supported by substantial evidence; (2)
arbitrary, capricious, and characterized by an abuse of
discretion; and (3) unduly harsh. We affirm.
Ahmad was a licensed medical physician in Alaska and
Arkansas. He is board certified in anesthesiology and holds a
subspecialty certification in pain management. Both the
Alaska State Medical Board (the Alaska Board) and the
Arkansas Board initiated disciplinary proceedings against Dr.
Ahmad. To resolve the issues on appeal, a discussion of both
disciplinary proceedings is necessary.
4, 2016, Alaska's Department of Commerce, Community, and
Economic Development, Division of Corporations, Business and
Professional Licensing (the Division) petitioned the Alaska
Board for a suspension of Dr. Ahmad's Alaska medical
license. The petition stated as follows:
This petition is made pursuant to AS 08.64.33 1(c), which
provides that the Board suspends a license before a final
hearing or during the appeals process if the Board finds
[illegible] licensee poses a clear and immediate danger to
the public health and safety if the [illegible] continues to
practice. If Ahmad's license is suspended under this
paragraph, he may [illegible] the suspension by requesting a
hearing conducted under the provision of the Administrative
Procedure Act (AS 44.62).
. . . .
The Division's petition is supported by the affidavit
of Division Investigator Winton. In her affidavit,
Investigator Winton states that the Division, on behalf
[illegible] received numerous complaints from licensed
pharmacists in the Anchorage ar[illegible] prescribing
practices of Ahmad. Investigator Winton compiled statements
[illegible] pharmacists who expressed concerns about possible
overprescribing by Ahmad and possible drug diversion by
Ahmad's patients. Investigator Winton's Affidavit
states, after a thorough investigation, all material compiled
was reviewed by an independent pain management expert, Dr.
Brett R. Stacey.
. . . .
Dr. Stacey determined Ahmad's inappropriate
assessment and treatment of his patients reflects a reckless
disregard for the safety of his patients, their families, and
others. Dr. Stacey concluded Ahmad demonstrated professional
incompetence, gross negligence, or repeated negligent
conduct; by prescribing controlled substances for every
patient with a complaint of chronic back pain.
Dr. Stacey also found that Ahmad violated prescribing
practices statutes and regulations in Alaska, and Ahmad
engaged in deceit, fraud, or intentional misrepresentation
while providing professional service or engaging in
professional activities. Dr. Stacey concluded Ahmad's
medical practice is at variance with established state
standards in any jurisdiction in the US; Ahmad's history,
documentation, diagnosis, and treatments, including his
prescribing practices, are not safe; and Ahmad poses a clear
and immediate danger to public health and safety. Such
conduct, which violates AS 08.64.326(a)(2)(7)(8)(A)(9) and 12
AAC 40.975, is also alleged in the attached accusation.
6, 2016, the Alaska Board issued an order granting the
Division's petition and ordering a summary suspension of
Dr. Ahmad's license pursuant to Alaska Statute
08.64.331(c). It found that Dr. Ahmad posed a clear and
immediate danger to public health and safety if he continued
to practice medicine. The order provided, "Dr.
Ahmad's license to practice medicine in Alaska will
remain suspended, until such time as Dr. Ahmad can
demonstrate to the Board that he is fit to practice in a
manner consistent with public safety." Dr. Ahmad
appealed the summary suspension.
19, 2016, the Arkansas Board issued an emergency order
suspending Dr. Ahmad's Arkansas license pending a
disciplinary hearing. The basis for the emergency suspension
was the May 6, 2016 order by the Alaska Board granting the
Division's petition for a summary suspension.
2, 2016, Dr. Ahmad voluntarily surrendered his Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA) permit to prescribe
controlled substances. At the June meeting of the Arkansas
Board, after a review of Dr. Ahmad's surrender of his DEA
permit, the Arkansas Board denied Dr. Ahmad's request to
convert the May 19, 2016 emergency order to a show-cause
June 27, 2016, following an expedited evidentiary hearing, an
Alaska administrative law judge (ALJ) entered an order
upholding the Alaska Board's summary suspension of Dr.
Ahmad's license. The ALJ found that the Division had
established that Dr. Ahmad violated Alaska Statute sections
08.64.326(a)(8)(A) and (a)(9) and 12 Alaska Administrative
Code section 40.975 and further that Dr. Ahmad's
prescribing practices constituted a clear and immediate
danger to the public health and safety pursuant to Alaska
Statute 08.64.331(c). In the order, the ALJ explained,
"Unless overturned, a summary suspension under AS
08.64.331(c) then remains in place until resolution of
disciplinary proceedings under AS 08.64.331(a)." The ALJ
further explained, "'The decision of the board
following a hearing on a summary suspension is final as to
the summary suspension order, but absent consent or prior
notice to the parties, it is not a final decision as to the
merits of a pending accusation for final disciplinary
action." On August 4, 2016, the Alaska Board
adopted the findings of the ALJ and upheld Dr. Ahmad's
August 4, 2016, at the August meeting of the Arkansas Board,
the Board voted to lift the emergency suspension of Dr.
Ahmad's license pending the Alaska proceedings, and it
scheduled a show-cause hearing for October 2016. The Arkansas
Board had yet to be notified of the Alaska Board's order
upholding the ALJ's decision.
August 11, 2016, the Arkansas Board issued Dr. Ahmad an order
and notice of its October hearing. The order referenced the
June 27, 2016 order from the Alaska ALJ upholding Dr.
Ahmad's summary suspension, and the Board alleged that
Dr. Ahmad had violated the Arkansas Medical Practices Act,
more specifically, Arkansas Code Annotated section
17-95-409(a)(2)(R)(Repl. 2010), by violating a statute, rule,
or regulation of another state involving the practice of
medicine. A hearing was set for October 7, 2016, to
decide whether Dr. Ahmad had violated the Act and, if so, to
decide the appropriate sanctions.
August 26, 2016, the Alaska Board accepted Dr. Ahmad's
voluntary surrender of his Alaska medical license "in
lieu of potential revocation of licensure for professional
incompetence, gross negligence, repeated negligent conduct,
and unprofessional conduct by Dr. Ahmad's opioid
a hearing on October 7, 2016, the Arkansas Board entered an
order on October 13, 2016, revoking Dr. Ahmad's license
pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated section
17-95-409(a)(2)(R) for violations of a statute, rule, or
regulation of another state involving the practice of
medicine. The Arkansas Board cited the Alaska Board's
adoption of the ALJ's findings on the summary suspension
of Dr. Ahmad's Alaska license.
Ahmad appealed the Arkansas Board's decision to the
circuit court, and on June 6, 2017, the court entered a
written order affirming the Arkansas Board's decision.
Dr. Ahmad ...