State suspends Anna Nichole's psychiatrist; only the latest in string of black marks
April 2, 2012
In local Los Angeles news today, a story is running about how the Los Angeles District Attorney is seeking to have criminal charges reinstated against psychiatrist Khristine Eroshevich.
To the casual observer, it might seem as if Eroshevich, who is best known as being a friend of deceased actress and model Anna Nicole Smith, was just a doctor in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, that’s just the apparency. She is actually a psychiatrist with a history of dishonest acts for which she has recently had to answer for.
In early 2007, Eroshevich and others accompanied Smith to Florida, where the actress later died of what the Broward County Medical Examiner’s report described as “acute combined drug toxicity due to ingestion of multiple prescription medications.” Investigators found 11 prescription drug containers in Smith’s hotel room, all of which contained drugs that were prescribed by Eroshevich. Though all the drugs were prescribed for Smith’s use, none of the prescriptions were written in her name. It was this issue that formed the basis of the L.A. District Attorney’s criminal case against Eroshevich.
On October 28, 2010, a Los Angeles County jury convicted Eroshevich on four charges of: conspiring to commit the crime of obtaining a controlled substance by false name or address; issuing a prescription that is false or fictitious; obtaining a prescription of opiates by fraud, deceit or misrepresentation and obtaining a prescription for opiates by giving a false name or address. In January 2011, the judge threw out all the charges except one misdemeanor, in what the District Attorney is characterizing as the judge’s bias in making a “celebrity exception” to the law.
While it is illegal to prescribe drugs to a person in the name of another, what is largely overlooked is that Eroshevich had already begun to show signs of less-than-honest activity even before her involvement in Smith’s death. In July 2006, the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association terminated Eroshevich, whom they had previously contracted with to conduct psychiatric evaluations, because Eroshevich used psychologists working under her to conduct fact-to-face examinations of Association members. The Association cited this as a violation of the agreement between itself and Eroshevich, which called for the examinations to be carried out a board-certified physician, Eroshevich, not an unqualified psychologist.
And it is conduct similar to this that caused Eroshevich to have her license suspended. The California Medical Board’s document states that in two instances, Eroshevich submitted claims for psychiatric evaluations which she indicated she’d conducted when in fact he had never met with either of the patients. In one case, which occurred in late 2006, a workers compensation claimant met with an employee of Eroshevich’s who took a psychiatric history and then with a colleague who performed a mental status exam. The claimant did not at any time meet with Eroshevich but the 38-page report for which she the State Compensation Insurance Board contained the attestation that “I, Kristine Eroshevich, M.D., Ph.D, personally took the pertinent history of the applicant and performed the psychiatric examination.” In the other instance, which occurred in 2004, a claimant met with a colleague of Eroshevich’s, who took a psychiatric history and performed a psychiatric examination but never met with Eroshevich. Nevertheless, Eroshevich provided a 44-page report which contained numerous statements such as “I took the applicant’s history and performed the psychiatric evaluation,” which were false.
The state of California thus suspended Khristine Eroshevich on March 30, 2012 for 90 days on charges of dishonest acts, creation of a false record, gross negligence, repeated negligent acts, unprofessional conduct and conviction of a crime.
The last charge regards Eroshevich’s conviction in the Smith case, though it appears to regard a prescription she wrote for the painkiller Vicodin (not among the drugs found at Smith's deathbed) for a person who was never a patient, which she picked up from the pharmacy herself. The birthdate on the false prescription was the same as Eroshevich’s husband’s birth date.
The terms of her license suspension include five years of disciplinary probation, during which Eroshevich must submit to the monitoring of her practice and her billing by a Board-approved supervisor and the prohibition against supervising physician assistants, among other things.
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