Wichita The Kansas State Board of Healing Arts is seeking to suspend the medical license of a Haysville physician charged with illegally prescribing drugs in a scheme prosecutors allege caused the deaths of at least four patients.
The emergency order seeking the suspension of Dr. Stephen Schneider's license was filed Thursday with the Office of Administrative Hearings. Schneider, 54, and his wife, Linda, 49, face 34 federal charges centered on writing prescriptions for painkillers and other narcotic drugs.
It was not known when the case would go before an administrative law judge for a hearing, Kelli Stevens, litigation counsel for the board, told The Wichita Eagle. Stevens did not immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press on Friday.
Approval of the motion would result in the suspension of Stephen Schneider's medical license until the board's full case against him was resolved, Stevens said.
The petition was prompted in part by a 68-page federal indictment released last week. According to the indictment, 56 of Schneider's patients have died from accidental prescription drug overdoses in the last five years. However, the indictment alleges that only four deaths were directly caused by drugs Schneider's clinic prescribed and that the drugs were a contributing factor in 11 other deaths.
"The information available to the grand jury was not brought to light until the indictment was filed," said board Executive Director Larry Buening.
Schneider's court-appointed attorney, Jay Greeno, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Friday.
At hearing last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald Bostwick ordered that Schneider and his nurse wife remain in jail pending trial.
During the hearing, Greeno told the judge that Steven Schneider "still has patients out there that still need him." Greeno also said his client did not want to surrender his license as prosecutors had requested as a condition of release because he has patients with "real health issues" that need his care.
Although Schneider is jailed without bond, the board's petition noted that his clinic could continue to provide medical care because he still has an active license. Suspension of his license would mean the clinic could no longer operate.