SAN DIEGO, CA: An admitted alcoholic, Dr. Greer has had a long history of alcohol abuse, having started drinking when he was about 15 years old and continuing through medical school. He has been convicted of DUIs three separate times.
As a result of his alcoholism, Dr. Greer entered the Medical Board's now-defunct diversion program, which kept his addiction secret from his patients. During this aborted attempt at treatment, Dr. Greer relapsed, freezing clean urine samples and using the clean samples to hide the fact that he was drinking again.
The Medical Board reported that between April 2012 and July 2012, Dr. Greer also self-administered Hydrocodone and regularly prescribed Hydrocodone, Norco, and Xanax to his fiancée. Dr. Greer would also steal his fiancée's medication and take it for his own personal use.
In May 2012, Dr. Greer allegedly sent five threatening voicemails to a patient saying he would “split his head open with an axe.” When the patient attempted to defuse the situation by driving to Dr. Greer’s residence, Dr. Greer ran after his patient for 15 minutes, striking him with the hatchet, and forcing him to flee back into his car. Dr. Greer then waved the hatchet over his head and sliced two four-inch gashes into the car.
Later that night, as reported by the Medical Board, Dr. Greer, smelling of alcohol, knocked his fiancée unconscious. When she woke up, she asked Dr. Greer to take her to the hospital but he refused. She called 911 and was taken to the hospital. Dr. Greer showed up later at the ER but was disruptive and was told to leave. The next day, his fiancée called the police and Dr. Greer was taken into custody for suspected domestic violence.
Dr. Greer went back into treatment, but tested positive for opiates and Oxycodone. During treatment, a psychiatrist wrote of Dr. Greer: "I also don't think there can be any question that if Dr. Greer continues to abuse alcohol patient care will be compromised. The question is not if it will happen but when." The psychiatrist noted that Dr. Greer's past dishonesty made monitoring more difficult, and that random testing was "essential."
In order to allow him to continue to practice, the Medical Board required Dr. Greer to undergo twice-daily drug testing. However, Dr. Greer failed to do so on 39 separate occasions.
It took until May 2014 for the Medical Board to take disciplinary action, placing him on only thirty day suspension, followed by probation. The probation would require the same twice-daily drug testing that Dr. Greer has demonstrated a failure to follow. Even though Dr. Greer is an acknowledged alcoholic, with a long history of flouting regulations in place to protect patient safety as well as a history of violence, it took years until Dr. Greer was suspended from practice. His 30 day suspension begins October 24, 2014.
Proposition 46, the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act, will enact the first law in the nation to require random drug and alcohol tests of physicians in hospitals, modeled after the Federal Aviation Administration testing program that has successfully reduced substance abuse by pilots. Doctors found to be impaired on the job will have their license suspended.
Prop 46 would also require prescribers to check California's existing and secure prescription drug database, known as CURES, when prescribing Schedule II-III narcotics. If this provision had been in effect, it's likely that Dr. Greer's inappropriate prescribing to his fiancée would have been discovered.
Hall of Shame: Insurance Companies Backing No on 46
Cooperative of American Physicians $10,161,489.04
The Doctors Company $10,000,000.00
NorCal Mutual Insurance Company $10,000,000.00
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan $5,000,000.00
Medical Insurance Exchange of California $5,000,000.00
The Dentists Insurance Company $1,620,000.00
The Mutual Risk Retention Group $1,000,000.00
All Insurers: $42,781,489.04
Insurance companies have spent nearly $43 million dollars to oppose Prop 46 in order to shield dangerous doctors like Dr. Greer from punishment, at the expense of patient safety, in order to protect their already substantial profits. In total, the opposition to Prop 46 has over $58 million dollars in their warchest, outspending consumer and patient safety advocates more than 8:1.
Learn more about Proposition 46 and the campaign for patient safety at: www.yeson46.org
Paid for by Yes on Prop. 46, Your Neighbors for Patient Safety, a Coalition of Consumer Attorneys and Patient Safety Advocates – major funding by Consumer Attorneys of California Issues and Initiative Defense Political Action Committees and Kabateck, Brown, Kellner, LLP.