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Archive for Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Disputed physician is LMH landlord

Hospital leases its south facility from doctor who gave up Missouri license

August 24, 2005

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— A physician whose credentials are in question after being appointed by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to a health care regulatory board is the owner of the building that houses Lawrence Memorial Hospital South.

LMH officials Tuesday confirmed the hospital leases the facility at 3500 Clinton Place from Dr. Howard Ellis of Leawood.

Ellis, 52, recently retired his Missouri medical license rather than face a disciplinary hearing. He admitted no wrongdoing.

The Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts alleged in a 2003 complaint that Ellis tried to convince another doctor to alter records and submitted erroneous medical records to investigators in another case.

Last month, Sebelius appointed Ellis to the Kansas Board of Healing Arts.

But then news reports surfaced of his problems in Missouri. Sebelius' office has said it will review his records, and stated that she didn't know of the Missouri allegations when she appointed him.

Ellis had served three previous terms on the Board of Healing Arts under previous governors, and was its president from 1996 to 1997 and 2002 to 2003.

The board licenses doctors, enforces state regulations of their practices and investigates allegations of malpractice or professional misconduct.

Aside from being LMH's landlord, Ellis has no privileges to practice at the hospital, and serves in no capacity with the facility, officials said.

But Ellis has had longstanding ties to Lawrence.

In the early 1990s, he was president of the Women's Health Care Group of Overland Park, which had offices in Lawrence.

During that time, he criticized LMH for its rule that said it would only admit a physician on its active medical staff or allow clinical privileges at its facilities if the physician both resided and had a primary office in the hospital's service area.

He said it was an attempt by LMH to monopolize local patients. LMH said the policy was needed to ensure adequate care and that physicians would be in reasonable proximity to their patients.

By the late 1990s, however, he and LMH were doing business. In 1999, he leased the building at 3500 Clinton Place to LMH to open its medical facility on the south side of town.

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