Computerless 84-year-old physician fights to keep her medical license

Anna Konopka, MD, has treated patients in New London, N.H., since 1989. The 84-year-old solo practitioner has a loyal patient following in the town of 4,400 — but no computer or EHR.

Dr. Konopka heads to court Nov. 3 to get her medical license reinstated, according to ABC News. She says the New Hampshire Board of Medicine forced her surrender it by Oct. 13 amid concern about her prescribing practices and medical decision-making, which are linked to her lack of technology.

The concern stems from at least two separate incidents. Dr. Konopka's treatment of a 7-year-old patient with asthma prompted a patient complaint to the state, which triggered an investigation. She allegedly left dosing levels for one medication up to the child's parents and failed to treat the patient with daily inhaled steroids. Dr. Konopka claims she never harmed the patient and that the boy's mother disregarded her instructions. Dr. Konopka also refuses to register with the state's mandatory opioid-monitoring program, which was enacted in 2014 and requires a computer.

Dr. Konopka only has a landline phone in her office, which she runs alone. She does not know how to operate a computer.

"The problem now is that I am not doing certain things on computer," she told ABC News. "I have to learn that. It is time consuming. I have no time."

Dr. Konopka said she would be willing to learn computer skills, but she says she cannot afford to spend the money to create an electronic record system for her office. "Everything is expensive," she said. "I would have to raise the fee and many people don't have insurance."

Dr. Konopka does not require insurance. Instead, she sees anyone willing to pay $50 in cash.

Several of Dr. Konopka's patients attended her hearing Nov. 3. As of Monday afternoon, the New Hampshire Superior Court confirmed to Newsweek that no ruling had been made on Dr. Konopka's case. 

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