Friday, September 27, 2013

Judge considering lawsuit over law targeting Hope doctor

Posted By on Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 7:41 AM

The curious case of Dr. Lonnie Joseph Parker, a Hope physician targeted by a 2013 law to prevent him from receiving Medicaid reimbursment, was taken up in federal Judge Billy Roy Wilson's court yesterday. Stephens Media reports. 

The judge said he wants a report on studies done elsewhere about the dangers of having a doctor like Parker, who was convicted of possession of child pornography, practice medicine. Parker has been written about extensively here. He contends his conviction was wrong and Mara Leveritt wrote extensively about problems in the prosecution, including an unlicensed prosecutor. Nonetheless, he does have a record. But the state Medical Board allowed him to resume practice and he's done so without incident since at least 2006.

The fact bothered somebody enough that a special audit was done to add up the money sent to Parker through Medicaid since 2006 — almost $500,000, or about $75,000 a year. With that special audit, Sen. David Sanders passed without dissent a law that didn't name Parker but had only one target, Parker. It takes away most of his practice , though, as the DHS lawyer argued lamely, he can still practice medicine should anybody care to seek him out with private insurance, their own money or barter.

Parker is seeking to have the law enjoined. The judge is taking a look at the constitutionality of legislation targeting one person.


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