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State board says no to settlement with Fort Wayne pain doctor

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Medical Licensing Board on Thursday rejected a settlement agreement that would have suspended Fort Wayne Dr. William Hedrick's medical license for at least two years and imposed a restrictive probationary period.

Members of the board seemed concerned that they didn't have specific information regarding allegations against the pain doctor and his possible involvement in seven patient deaths.

Hedrick had agreed to the two-year suspension as part of the settlement.

"What is uncomfortable is we don't have the underlying facts," said Board Chair Stephen Huddleston.

The Attorney General filed a complaint against Hedrick in December, and the doctor agreed to an emergency suspension of his license pending Thursday's hearing.

That suspension continues as both sides prepare for a full disciplinary hearing in February.

Hedrick is founder and president of the Centers for Pain Relief, which is based in Fort Wayne but has more than a dozen other locations in northern Indiana.

In the past few months, multiple lawsuits have been filed against him, and a number of patients have come forward claiming he got them addicted to controlled substances.

The six-count complaint accuses Hedrick of:

  • Treating chronic, non-cancer pain with opiate drugs without sufficient education, training or experience, causing caused negative effects in his patients.
  • Recklessly prescribing highly addictive pain medications for non-medical purposes.
  • Overusing steroid injections beyond what is medically acceptable.
  • Operating a pain clinic that operates outside the bounds of legitimate medicine.
  • Failing to apply current theories of appropriate pain management to treat his patients.
  • Failing to adequately supervise advance practice nurses and physicians' assistants for whom he was required to collaborate with and monitor for patient care and safety.
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