State suspends license of doctor accused of overmedication

MARYSVILLE — The state Department of Health has suspended the license of Dr. Ann C. Kammeyer, alleging she overmedicated patients, at least one of whom died from taking high dosages of pain medications.

Documents outlining the state’s investigation say that Kammeyer had been trained as a family practice physician and did not have the required training to be a pain management specialist. Yet she told state officials that about 50 percent of her practice involved pain management.

One patient died March 22 from acute mixed drug intoxication, according to an autopsy report cited in the state documents. The patient had been treated for 14 years by Kammeyer for chronic pain, fibromyalgia and mental illness, according to the state.

It says the patient’s adult grandson died in November 2013 after one her pain patches was found in his mouth. The patient had suffered from guilt and depression following his death, documents indicate.

A second patient died Feb. 10. Blood tests showed a number of pain medications in her blood. Kammeyer told state officials that the 51-year-old patient, whose death certificate she signed, died of natural causes from other medical problems.

In taking its action the state said Kammeyer’s actions showed “a pattern of incompetence and negligence which created an unreasonable risk of harm” or death. Kammeyer allegedly routinely prescribed high dosages of pain medications that exceeded the state’s daily pain management rules, state documents say.

She also allegedly wrote controlled substance prescriptions for a fictitious patient she had never met or examined, the documents say. This fictitious patient was part of an undercover investigation by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

The state alleges it found problems with Kammeyer’s care of a total of 12 patients being treated for chronic pain management.

Kammeyer has 20 days to respond to the charges and request a hearing. She could not be reached for comment Thursday. She cannot treat patients until the case is resolved. She has been a licensed physician in Washington since 1981.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

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