In 1991, after 14 years of practice as a physician with a focus on the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, Dr. Steenblock found himself facing accusations he had misdiagnosed and mistreated a 13 year old girl and also a male patient.
The (California) Department of Consumer Affairs investigated Dr. Steenblock (focusing entries in the medical charts of two patients) and declared him in the clear
The Osteopathic Medical Board (OMBC) then got involved and managed to come up with a litany of charges..
What followed was a legal struggle that basically forced Dr. Steenblock to accept a “plea bargain” on the charges brought against him.
The only violation Dr. Steenblock signed off on in the Regulatory Action agreement with the OMBC concerned charting and use of injectable iron (And Dr. Steenblock contested these even as he begrudgingly signed off on the agreement).
In 1997 Dr. Steenblock was charged with using three (3) unlicensed physical therapy assistants.
Dr. Steenblock paid $10K and in 2000 paid a licensed physical therapist to supervise others doing this sort of work in his clinic
The Regulatory Action or judgment issued by the powers-that-be included this highly revealing statement: "....respondent was acting in good faith and at no time were his patients at risk of receiving substandard treatment."
In August 2009, a medical board investigation and its subsequent actions were triggered by a snafu on the part of Medicare. Simply put, a Medicare payment due a chronic stroke patient treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (among other things) by Dr. Steenblock was mistakenly sent to Dr. Steenblock's clinic and was thus delayed in reaching the patient. The patient and his wife got upset and filed a complaint with the state medical board, despite the fact this violated the Physician Patient Arbitration Agreement and the Advanced Beneficiary Notice (ABN.) the patient had signed (which spelled out dispute resolution recourses).
In Dr. Steenblock’s case the Medical Board of California (MBOC) carried out their investigation and concluded the complaint had no merit and should not go forward.
The Osteopathic Board of California (OMBC) then jumped in and went through Dr. Steenblock's records on the patient. They subsequently came up with a litany of charges, most of which concerned issues they had with charting plus their belief he had done too many hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) treatments (And this despite the fact the patient improved and requested more HBOT treatments! )
The OMBC also took issue with 2 old entries on Dr. Steenblock's websites concerning board certifications he had held in the past. These were supposed to be expunged from the websites in question by a biostatistician/assistant to Dr. Steenblock long before the OMBC came along but had not been (An all too human oversight on the overworked assistant's part).
After a prolonged tug-of-war, the Board put Dr. Steenblock on probation which included paying a hefty fine, taking a medical record keeping course, and filing quarterly statements of compliance with the terms of his probation.
As you can well imagine Dr. Steenblock had every reason to feel he had been railroaded by the OMBC and was thus not especially eager to do everything asked of him. After failing to file some of the aforementioned quarterly compliance reports, the Board took action to revoke his license but were stopped by the fact Dr. Steenblock's attorney took matters to the San Francisco Superior Court and tried to get the Board's decision stayed or set aside and Steenblock's probation terminated. Ultimately, the Board had its way and the old probation terms plus some new ones were imposed. Dr. Steenblock's probation will be completed during January 2017.
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