The Texas Medical Board temporarily suspended the license of a Dallas plastic surgeon for being a “continuing threat to the public welfare” for prescribing opioids at unregistered pain clinics that were the subject of a WFAA-TV investigation.
Dr. Philip Llewellyn Kelton Jr. could not be reached Thursday. His lawyer did not return phone messages, but previously said his client had done nothing wrong.
On Wednesday, a four-member Texas Medical Board disciplinary panel found that Dr. Kelton “operated an unregistered pain management clinic, permitted unlicensed office staff to order schedule II controlled substances, failed to maintain adequate medical documentation for the patients he treated and prescribed opioids to patients in a manner inconsistent with the public health,” records show.
In a story that aired last month, a WFAA undercover informant documented Dr. Kelton prescribing patients powerful painkillers without a medical exam.
WFAA also documented drivers picking up people near The Bridge homeless shelter in downtown Dallas and taking them to the clinics before dawn. WFAA’s undercover informant was paid $50 for coming to the clinic and having Dr. Kelton write him prescriptions for painkillers. Our informant said he did not receive the painkillers.
Dr. Kelton told WFAA during a visit to his clinics late last year that he had no knowledge of homeless people or anyone else being paid to come to see him for prescriptions.
He told WFAA he spent about a minute and a half with each of the approximately 30 patients he saw daily in each of the clinics before writing them prescriptions for opioids.
According to the temporary suspension order, Dr. Kelton told the Texas Medical Board disciplinary panel “he did not perform physical examinations on the patients” he saw – which WFAA documented as well.
After WFAA talked to Dr. Kelton at his clinic in November, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Texas Medical Board visited the clinics to investigate the practices there. Both clinics have since closed.
If Dr. Kelton does not voluntarily surrender his medical license, the Board could file a formal complaint with the State Office of Administrative Hearings in Austin.