Health Care

Judge: New Hampshire Doctor Who Doesn't Use Computer Can't Regain License

Anna Konopka, the doctor who does not use computer, surrendered her medical license earlier this year over allegations from the New Hampshire Board of Medicine.

But Konopka challenged that agreement last month, saying she signed it under duress. A judge now dismissed her request to regain her license. Konopka told the New Hampshire Union Leader she believes the current healthcare system values EHR use and computerized medicine over professional judgement, and favors expensive specialists over individualized care. Her practice came under scrutiny when she treated a 7 year old patient with asthma. Konopka was reprimanded by the board in May but she said in her defense that the boy's mother had not followed the instructions that Konopka had given.

On Nov. 15, Merrimack Superior Court Judge John Kissinger ruled that the doctor failed to show she was forced to give up her license as she claimed. She has a small waiting room and a cabinet that holds physical records of most of her patients. "To me, it is not medicine". Long suffering patients especially those with chronic pain often come to her for support as do patients with no insurance who can not afford costly healthcare. The monitoring program is mandatory by the state and keeps a close watch at the prescribed opioids to the general public. The details of those allegations are sealed, but Konopka admits she failed to use an online database required for doctors prescribing opioids.

By refusing to use electronic records, Konopka also essentially refused to participate in the program.

Dr. Anna Konopka agreed to surrender her license this fall to settle allegations from the New Hampshire Board of Medicine.

There have been four more complaints against the doctor, prompting the medical board to begin a disciplinary hearing.

Dr. Konopka has filed a motion with the judge to reconsider, and filed affidavits from roughly 30 patients supporting her case, according to the report.

"The court has admiration for Dr. Konopka's devotion to her patients", the judge wrote. Several of her patients were in attendance at the hearing. She has maintained a private practice in New London since 1968.

In October, Konopka surrendered her license to practice, but later asked for permission to continue seeing patients. Her motivation to seek an injunction allowing her to continue to practice comes from a honest desire to continue to help her patients. As such, Konopka is unable to see patients, numbering 20 to 25 weekly, as she used to. "I can guarantee you, half of [Konopka's patients] now, whatever they are on, if they can't go to another doctor, they're going to go to the streets".

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