Noted Tri-City OBGYN Has License Suspended, Allegations of “Substandard Care”
Dr. Alex Ortolano, who practices out of Arbor Healthcare for Women, has had his license suspended - pending a potential hearing - by the Washington State Department of Health.
The news came down Thursday, as the Medical Quality Assurance Commission said Dr. Ortolano was "engaged in a pattern of grossly substandard care" which created a situation of patient risk and harm. They suggested he was taking on too many baby deliveries and performing unnecessary procedures for financial gain.
According to the Commission, Dr. Ortolano performed a large volume of "billable medical services, at the expense of quality care and safety." The Commission also noted the doctor delivered some 386 babies between January and September of 2012. They said that's an unusually high number, high enough in their opinion, to suggest there was insufficient time to provide the proper care and attention to the infants and mothers.
According to reports, nurses at Kadlec claimed the babies delivered by Dr. Ortolano had lower Apgar (birth health) scores than others, and more of his deliveries ended up in the NICU (baby intensive care) than other providers. They also claimed he induced considerably more mothers-to-be than other OBGYN's.
The state paperwork also claims a "pethora of unnecessary surgical procedures," and the quality of work was substandard. The papers claim several of his patients sustained uteran damage due to his work and now cannot have children.
Examples from 17 patients were cited to the Commission and led to the allegations. Dr. Ortolano is currently suspended from practicing medicine effective immediately, and he has 20 days to appeal the suspension and request a hearing.