BCH reaches agreement on employee opioid allegations

·2 min read

May 19—The U.S. Attorney's Office has reached an agreement with Boulder Community Health and two employees of its since-shuttered Mapleton Pain Clinic to resolve allegations of improper opioid prescriptions.

According to a release, Christopher Kreider, a physician assistant, and Bonnie Wilensky, a nurse practitioner, "regularly wrote prescriptions for opioids at high dosages and in dangerous combinations with other controlled substances... ignoring indications of patient substance use disorder, misuse and abuse of prescriptions, and mental health issues."

Prosecutors also said Boulder Community Health, which owned Mapleton Pain Clinic, "failed to properly supervise its employees' prescribing practices and implement appropriate controls to prevent the improper prescribing of addictive opioid medications and other controlled substances."

As part of the agreement, Kreider will have his practice supervised for the next two years and complete 60 hours of continuing education regarding the prescribing of controlled substances, addiction, and alternatives to opioids for pain management. Wilensky has agreed not to prescribe any controlled substances for a period of two years.

Boulder Community Health will pay a fine of $350,000. The Mapleton Pain Clinic, a multi-disciplinary clinic treating patients with chronic pain that operated in Boulder, closed in 2017.

"BCH closed its Pain Management Clinic over five years ago, due to the increasing complexity of managing chronic pain patients," officials with Boulder Community Health said in a statement. "Since then BCH has focused its efforts on managing chronic pain within the context of the opioid crisis. Recognizing the impact of this crisis, BCH established the PILLAR Program to provide free assistance to Boulder County residents with health care matters relating to chronic pain and/or opioid and other substance use disorders. The PILLAR Program provides short-term case management services and referrals to community agencies for higher levels of care."

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marcy E. Cook and Jessica E. Matthews.

"Medical professionals are required to follow proper professional practices when they prescribe opioids and other potentially dangerous drugs, and their employers are responsible for properly supervising those professionals," said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan in a statement. "When professionals violate the rules, our office will pursue them and their employers."