Psych Crime Reporter

May 3, 2011

California medical board placed psychiatrist Richard A. Hochberg on probation

Filed under: health care licensing board discipline — Psych Crime Reporter @ 11:53 am

n March 1, 2011, the Medical Board of California placed psychiatrist Richard A. Hochberg on probation for three years with terms and conditions.

This action was the result of a complaint filed by the Board against Hochberg, alleging gross negligence in the treatment of five patients, for which he failed to justify/explain his reasoning behind changing his initial diagnoses of paranoid schizophrenia to schizoaffective disorder; the use the same drugs on all patients in a general manner, without specific indications; failure to differentiate or specifically tailor treatment to the patient; prescribed a off-label (for “memory loss”) a drug specifically meant for treating Alzheimer’s or dementia with Parkinson’s disease—without a differential diagnosis, exploration or explanation; prescribed atypical antipsychotics without proper documentation or justification; failure to monitor the side effects of the drugs by not carrying out appropriate blood work; incomplete and redundant, “boilerplate” documentation patient to patient.

Further, Hochberg was disciplined by the Board in 2005 for similar failures, including diagnosing four patients—all in their mid-40s to early-50s—with Alzheimer’s disease and prescribing them the same drug—all cited by the Board as an “extreme departure from the standard of care.”

Source: Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order in the Matter of the Accusation Against Richard A. Hochberg, M.D., Case Nos. 06-2005-129383, 06-2007-188425 & 06-2008-190448, OAH Nos. 2009120137 and L-2004060531, Medical Board of California.

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