South Dakota Medical Board Revokes Annette Bosworth’s Medical License

“I don’t like to brag about me… I don’t enjoy being in the media,” said Annette Bosworth to the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners yesterday, shortly before the board revoked her medical license for committing twelve felonies. Bosworth then went to the cameras to keep talking about herself and her story:

“I was praying for them to stand in my shoes and understand the story. That’s where I was,” Annette Bosworth said.

Emotions ran high for Bosworth, Thursday, as she pleaded to keep her license.

“I feel I did a good job explaining the story of being my own best voice. I prayed a really big prayer. God used me. This is what it looks like in South Dakota,” Bosworth said [“Bosworth Speaks Out Following State Medical Board’s Decision,” KSFY, 2015.09.10].

AP reports Bosworth’s words as asking, “God, use me.” Whichever the accurate quote, I invite readers to tell me what the rest of Bosworth’s nonsense means.

Bosworth went on to say, “Tomorrow… I’ll assess what I’ve got left and figure out how can I serve with those skills and those talents, how can I serve the best with what I’ve got left.”

Evidently she has quite a bit left. After sending two of her sons on expensive foreign trips in the midst of closing her clinic, and after finishing only half of her 500-hour community service sentence, Bosworth was able to take another expensive family fishing trip to Alaska at the end of August:

Annette Bosworth in Alaska, Screen cap, Facebook, 2015.08.27
Screen cap, Facebook, 2015.08.27

Bosworth’s Senate campaign Facebook page lights up with boosters blaming Obama. Really:

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 7.09.01 Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 7.09.40 Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 7.09.15

Elsewhere on Facebook, Carol Peterson Erpelding, who just last year gave Bosworth’s clinic a favorable review, says the medical board could have revoked Bosworth’s license for malfeasance having to do with her medical practice:

I personally witnessed Dr Bosworth in a couple different arenas. Her loss of license is not (in my opinion) undeserved for several reasons. First; she was convicted of felonies and under SD law should loose her license. Additionally what I observed first hand caused me to believe she did not deserve to have a license to practice medicine. I witnessed her lying to a patient, prescribing drugs inappropriately and allowing non licensed personel to preform tasks that the person was not trained to do. This should have been reported and her license would have been long gone. There is much more that I could relate but her punishment has been delivered. So I wish Dr Bosworth luck in whatever she sets out to do. She is an intellegent [sic] woman who does care about some people and her children deserve to be able to move beyond this mess [Carol Peterson Erpelding, Facebook comment, under “Board Revokes Bosworth’s Medical License,” KDLT-TV, 2015.09.10].

Add that accusation to Bosworth’s violation of medical ethics by leveraging her professional relationship with patients to get their signatures on her political petition, as testified to under oath by her own receptionist, plus Bosworth’s past run-ins with the state medical board for her erratic, narcissistic behavior and with the Attorney General for misconduct in Medicaid billing, and we can see that the board has taken action that was long overdue to protect South Dakota patients and the profession from Bosworth’s ongoing unprofessional behavior.

Now let Bosworth have her wish. Let her no longer be in the media. Let her stop telling her story. Let her and her husband stop exploiting others and turn to the mundane business of honest work.


33 Responses to South Dakota Medical Board Revokes Annette Bosworth’s Medical License

  1. Her prayer was answered. The Board understood the story.

  2. prescient

  3. Very well stated as always, Cory. This was long overdue. I agree, let her have her stated wish and dissapear from the public and the media.

  4. mike from iowa

    The Medical Board apparently has a better grasp of the problem than Grudz’s Lady Doc Friend. Wonder if she knows she can’t legally practice medicine w/o a license? Somehow,I doubt that would bother her.

  5. Roger Cornelius

    Our long national nightmare is over!!!

  6. She may not necessary done yet. She might be able to appeal the Board’s decision, and/or file a lawsuit.

  7. owen reitzel

    was Chad there?

  8. http://onahealthcare.com/pdf/ONA-HealthCare-Provider-FAQ.pdf
    She will continue to practice on the SD Reservations… I have no doubt.

  9. Bill Dithmero

    http://physicians.uslegal.com/revocation-and-suspension-of-physician-licenses/
    The burden of proof is on the applicant seeking restoration of a medical license. The applicant must adduce sufficient evidence so ineluctable in its implications that it would compel restoration of license by the Board.

    Who would AB sue?

    I’m not a betting man, but if I was I would bet that we aren’t through with the x doc. That duck will continue to make noise but will never quack in the healing field again.

    The Blindman

  10. owen reitzel

    http://www.rightsidesd.com/?p=23196

    Gordon, Gordon, Gordon. I’m no fan of Jackley. I distrust him a lot. But 12 peers found Bosworth guilty. Were they all “in on it or were they stupid?” Are all the members of the Medical Board in on it? Are they also all dumb?

    It’s time for this to go away!

  11. Would it be poetic justice if her children talk back to their parents and use their parents circular illogic on the parents. as the parents used on us. These apparent dysfunctional adults need shut-up and just go away.

  12. I heard the news this morning on the way to work and was kinda shocked to be honest. Had she taken a plea she could have surrendered her medical license and had a plan to get it back, say, work along side a physician for 2 years, 2-3 counseling sessions a week among other things.

    Does anyone know if she can possibly practice medicine in another country?

  13. We’re all in on it, Owen. And we won.

    Yes, I hear Chad was there. As a Twitter friend noted, he must have gotten the day off work. ;-)

  14. Dale, I assume many things are possible. Documentation is probably sketchy at best in Haiti….

  15. Lars Aanning

    How about this…I personally notified the SDBMOE about Sossan back in December of 2012…after the son and daughter had me evaluate their mother’s chart who had died in great pain after multiple unnecessary operations by him…nothing happened…even sent a letter to the South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care…nothing happened…Sossan kept on operating…never lost his license to practice medicine…frustrated and stonewalled, the family finally found an attorney…living proof that the people of South Dakota were, in Sossan’s case, poorly served and definitely not protected from further harm…now compared to Sossan, Bosworth was never accused of patient harm, much less causing the death of any patient…

  16. barry freed

    My Dad’s PA at Fort Meade Hospital is still working after telling me my Dad was faking his illness so he could live at their wonderful facility full time, but he was a man’s man of the post war era who worked hard and lived life large, that was not his way.
    He, in fact, was septic and had edema. I intervened and took him to RC Regional, but his kidneys had already shut down and his good heart had sustained valve damage. He died two weeks later.
    Nice to know a ballot violation will end a career, hopefully that PA at Fort Meade will make a similar mistake to Bosworth and lives will be saved.

  17. Being convicted of a felony is a serious thing. It’s a life-changing thing, or should be. Such a conviction should cause a person to do a lot of reflecting. It is appropriate for licensing boards to revoke the license of people convicted of felonies, for the protection of patients and the profession itself, at least long enough to see how the professional reacts to the conviction and if the professional learns anything from it.

    Running a stop sign and causing a collision had nothing to do with Bill Janklow’s ability to practice law either, but he lost his law license and later had to convince the state bar he had worked through any issues surrounding the conviction and was ready to resume his practice.

    Bosworth will have that same opportunity, but I suspect her standing within her profession and with her licensing board before the conviction was not anywhere comparable to that of Bill Janklow.

  18. She could get a job at the rehab place Josh Duggar supposedly went to. You don’t need any sort of license to work there, just lots of religiosity.

  19. Please, just let Boz fade away. This SD reality show needs to be cancelled once and for all.

  20. Somebody pick me up one of those Dr. Bos calendars Mr. H is selling at the exclusive picnic he is hosting. Don’t spill food on it please; I hear there is plenty enough even for ol’ grudznick to have a taste so if there are take home bowls…

  21. She can still practice in South Dakota within the VA Health Care System or the IHS if she can manage to convince the licensing board of one US state/territory to give her a license. This will be hard with 12 felony convictions, but not impossible. The Federal Government allows practice in government owned facilities as long as licensure is maintained in at least one state/territory.
    This is not the last of Annette Bosworth.

  22. MD, I suspect that last line is what Chad is chanting around the apartment right now.

  23. mike from iowa

    She can always declare she gets her licenses from gawdalmighty and that trumps mere mortal laws.

  24. gee that sounds familiar lately:) kentucky

  25. Brett Snodgrass

    Greetings,

    I have never heard of this doctor before, but I find it odd that she committed “12 felonies” and only received 500 hours of community service. Charging a doctor with 12 felonies is not the same as her being convicted of them. As far as asking her patients to sign up to vote for her, well that was dumb, but not necessarily a reason to revoke her license. In addition, many doctors miscode things, and its good to catch that early. As far as her lying to patients, no example was given.

    I’m not saying that she should have a medical license. In addition, I am also not saying that she shouldn’t have a license. One really needs more information to make an evidence-based decision on her conduct, professionalism, and competency. In addition, doctors are over paid. That’s just how it is. I think they should be paid less, but do not be surprised when you see doctors sending their kids off to fancy schools. #WePaidForIt

    Best regards,
    -Brett

  26. Hi, Brett. She was convicted on twelve felony charges:

    http://dakotafreepress.com/2015/05/28/team-bosworths-best-argument-false-circulators-oath-not-material/

    Judge John Brown sentenced her to 500 hours of community service and three years probation:

    http://www.keloland.com/newsdetail.cfm/bosworth-sentenced-to-probation-community-service-for-election-law-violations/?id=181942

    You can read the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners’ findings of fact and conclusions of law in their September 10, 2015 Final Order on their website:

    https://login.sdbmoe.gov/Public/BoardAction/ActionsByYear?year=2015

  27. bearcreekbat

    Thanks for posting those links Cory. This response is lengthy because I need to quote extensively from the findings to respond to your earlier questioning.

    After reading the Hearing Officer’s findings in the reported proceedings I have to stand by my earlier agreement with Wiken. Bosworth has been punished too harshly by license revocation. I quote why from the Board’s findings and orders:

    Bosworth initially got in trouble with the Board in 2012 because she “Employed an unlicensed physician assistant without an approved supervision agreement to practice.” From “the “Final Order” dated 6-27-2012.

    This case settled by stipulation where Bosworth agreed to obtain psychological counseling and release information from her files to Board doctors. The next proceeding alleged that she failed to notify the Board about her efforts to obtain psychological treatment and failed to sign the required release of information.

    On November 24, 2012, The Hearing Officer found:

    “12. Although the specifics of the testimony from each witness varied, the majority of the testimony centered on Dr. Bosworth’s performance as a physician, including her medical abilities and treatment of patients. The testimony was favorable to Dr. Boswell, painting a picture of her as an excellent member of the medical profession who cares deeply for her patients. . . . ”

    . . .

    14. Dr. Rajesh Singh, Dr. Bosworth’s treating psychiatrist . . . Submitted a letter . . . [stating] ‘During the course of her treatment, from a psychiatric standpoint, she has been adherent to my recommendations and has complied fully with my medical advice.’ . . . .”

    From the Hearing Officer’s Conclusions of Law –

    “4. In the Petition here at issue, Board staff challenged neither Dr. Bosworth’s competence nor her patient skills. The Petition simply alleged that Dr. Bosworth had failed to comply with the terms of the parties’ prior settlement by failing to undergo treatment with a South Dakota licensed psychologist and to provide signed releases.”

    . . .

    “6. . . . there is testimony from which it could be found that Dr. Bosworth was in the process of pursuing a treatment relationship with a licensed psychologist, [but] that is not what the Mentoring Agreement requires. . . . .”

    “7 . . . Dr. Bosworth believed that her verbal grant of permission to Drs. Talley and Singh to review materials contained in her file satisfied the Mentoring Agreement’s release requirement . . . . ”

    That brings us up to date concerning Bosworth’s prior troubles with the Board. These findings do not support any sort of revocation and the Board did not revoke. Bosworth subsequently complied with both Board’s orders by offically notifying the Board she was under the psychiatrist’s care and signed the written release, thereby keeping her license.

    In the recent September 2015 proceedings the Hearing Officer found:

    “2. Dr. Bosworth devoted a portion of her practice to underserved areas within the state. Several patient-witnesses . . . testified that they received attentive, competent care from the doctor, and further provided that their condition was improved by Dr. Bosworth’s treatment. Dr. Bosworth has a demonstrated capacity to effectively treat patients.”

    . . .

    “4. Dr. Bosworth has been involved in a Medicaid billing investigation and in a dispute over pay for her employee.”

    The rest of the findings addressed Bosworth’s felony convictions for her Petition violations. There was no finding posted that identified any alleged facts concerning Bosworth’s Medicaid and employee disputes, nor any resolution of those disputes for or against Bosworth.

    Several of the posts in this and other threads claim a litany of wrongdoing in addition to the felony convictions.

    The posted findings, however, show an error in hiring, and error in failing to notify the Board when Bosworth sought psychological counseling and and error by giving oral consent for the Board to examine her record instead of signing a release.

    Reliance on unresolved allegations concerning disputes with an employee and Medicaid makes absolutely no sense. Had the Hearing Examiner made findings to resolve these disputes against her, then we might have a different picture, but he did not (although he mentioned these allegations again in his recommendations).

    This makes a mountain out of a molehill of prior problems and in my mind cannot support using them to justify suspending her license. And since the felony convictions are totally unrelated to a practice that the Hearing Examiner found to have helped her rural patients and was considered competent medical practice, suspension of her license seem draconian and against the public interest.

  28. BCB, I can understand that it is problematic that the official SDBMOE record does not reflect all of Bosworth’s wrongdoing. Even without all of those wrongdoings written into the SDBMOE record, SDBMOE needed only one of Bosworth’s 12 felony charges to legally justify its action September 10.

    I’ll make the analogy to Al Capone: lots of people knew Al Capone had committed multiple criminal acts. He was really good at hiding prosecutable evidence of his criminal acts. The government busted him on tax evasion, which seems like a molehill compared to his greater crimes but which is all the government needed to put Capone in prison. Those other crimes didn’t need to be brought to the jury’s attention; the one prosecutable crime was enough to take the action that was needed, separating Capone from the power he had to harm others.

    We have taken from Bosworth one of the best tools she had to take advantage of people. We have done so in perfect compliance with the law. Justice has been done. South Dakota patients and the South Dakota medical profession are better off.

  29. bearcreekbat

    Cory, you are correct that a single felony gives the Board the option of suspending a license. The Board also has the option of imposing a lesser restrictive sanction or remedy. In either case, “justice” has been done provided the Board complies with the law.

    As for imposing punishment for alleged, but unproven conduct, you might be surprised to learn about the extent of a judge’s authority and discretion in fashioning a sentence.

    For example, imagine a hypothetical case in the federal system where the defendant is charged with 8 felonies. The jury, however, acquits on the 7 most serious felony counts, but then convicts on count 8, which is the least serious. At sentencing a federal judge has the authority to increase the severity of the final sentence on convicted count 8 by expressly choosing to treat the 7 acquitted counts as convictions!

    Add to that the judge’s authority to increase the sentence based on uncharged allegations and hearsay evidence and you have a system that seems strangely inconsistent with the Constitution’s guarantee of “trial by jury,” don’t you think?

  30. bearcreekbat

    Here is a recent explanation of this odd sentencing scheme by SCOTUSblog:

    http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/10/the-jury-acquits-the-judge-still-sentences-can-that-be/

  31. On judge’s authority, yes, I’m alarmed to learn that a judge can treat acquittals as convictions. That’s call X not-X, and that’s wrong.

    I would also agree that sentencing on uncharged allegations and hearsay is as problematic as conviction on such shaky ground. You’re right: the record and due process exist for a reason.

    That said, neither Judge Brown nor SDBMOE acted on hearsay and uncharged allegations.

    Judge Brown issued his sentence—and, in his harshest move, denied suspended imposition of sentence—based on what he read as Bosworth’s unwillingness to accept responsibility for her actions. Do you think Judge Brown acted irresponsibly in weighing that issue in his sentencing.

    SDBMOE referred to the Medicaid issue and the employee pay issue. They cite Exhibit 4, pp. 8–9, which is not included in the findings published but which I can document here:

    Medicaid settlement with State of South Dakota: http://atg.sd.gov/News/NewsReleases/NewsReleasesView/tabid/441/itemID/3070/moduleID/719/view/597/Default.aspx

    Non-payment of employees: http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2014/08/19/dismissal-denied-ruling-yet-bosworth-case/14272313/

    http://madvilletimes.com/2014/05/former-supporter-bosworth-shorted-my-pay-helped-me-apply-for-food-stamps/

    The November 2012 action was a result of Bosworth jerking the Board around on their June 2012 mentoring agreement. She dragged the board through a long dog-and-pony show about her skills as a doctor when the question at hand was not her skills but whether she was following the orders of the Board. Not following those orders is likely as much reason to yank a license as a specific, substantiated instance of malpractice. And remember: the 2012 order was a response to evidence that Bosworth had discontinued an after-care plan to deal with a diagnosed mental illness for which her prior employer had ordered her to submit to treatment in 2009–2010.

    So Strike 1: 2009, diagnosed with mental illness that puts public safety at risk.

    Strike 2: 2012, called to account for behavior suggesting she wasn’t staying on top of that problem, ordered to submit to mentoring/counseling to get her back on track.

    Strike 3: later in 2012, plays word games with SDBMOE, drags them through another hearing trying to finagle out of that year’s agreement.

    Strike 4: early 2013, Medicaid settlement with SD.

    Strike 5: 2013–2014, Multiple controversies over not paying staff.

    Strike 6: 2015, 12 felony convictions.

    I remain hard-pressed to say that SDBMOE is acting capriciously or trumping up charges to justify revoking a physician’s license.

  32. bearcreekbat

    Cory, I did not intend to criticize Judge Brown and with what little I know about what actually occurred during the criminal case it appears that the Judge’s actions were of the highest quality.

    I have no information on your Strike 1 – a 2009 diagnosis of a psychological problem as I didn’t see it mentioned in the Board’s decisions or Hearing Officer’s findings. And to the extent Boswell suffered from a mental illness I am uncomfortable labeling that as a “strike” against her, at least without more information about the nature of her mental illness.

    I think I already addressed strike 2 and 3.

    I read the link you made to identify Strike 4 and as best I can tell that was resolved by settlement without any finding or admission of wrongdoing. I think it is fairly standard practice to submit claims to insurance, medicare or medicaid to determine whether the claim will be paid. If the claim is for uncovered services it will be denied. Had Bosworth submitted a claim with false statements that would be a different matter.

    I also read your link to Count 5 and it appears that the matter had not been resolved either in favor of the employees or Bosworth. As indicated earlier, it seems troubling to consider an unresolved wage dispute as negative evidence against either party to the dispute.

    Anyway, I also agree that the Board did not use trumped up charges against Bosworth, nor did it act capriciously in the legal sense. I do stand by my opinion, however, that Bosworth had been sufficiently punished by Judge Brown. Since I saw no evidence that she harmed patients or that she was not a competent, caring physician I believe suspending her license to have been unnecessary on this record and contrary to the public interest, especially in light of this:

    http://dakotafreepress.com/2015/09/16/south-dakota-short-on-doctors-too-small-town-life-brutal-says-sdsma-president-ridgway/

    Why wouldn’t it have been in the public interest to condition Bosworth’s license on her agreement to serve rural needs for a lengthy period of time, with the caveat that any credible complaints about her noncompliance or incompetence would result the loss of the license?

  33. You ask much of me with that last question, BCB. The SDBMOE appears to be saying that, yes, we’re desperate for doctors in rural areas, but not that desperate. Bosworth already to have received two such chances: one after her erratic behavior and diagnosis with mental illness at Sanford in 2009, the other after her misbehavior in 2012. How many more chances should she get? How many more chances should the Board let her convince them that this misbehavior was her last?

    She’s not worth it. She uses her practice to identify and manipulate vulnerable people. The board had cause to revoke her license. They have protected South Dakotans from further harm.