Barrington doctor allegedly violated law, behaved badly

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The Rhode Island Department of Health issued a consent order on Thursday, Nov. 14, calling for Dr. Joseph DeLuca, who practices in Barrington, to pay a fine and attend a course that addresses disruptive physician behavior.

According to the consent order, Dr. DeLuca displayed conduct that violated state law when he spoke to a department of health official regarding a delivery of vaccines and also failed to supply a patient's medical records to another doctor after that patient had switched practices.

The consent order stated that on July 10, 2012, an official with the health department called Dr. DeLuca to tell him that he had stopped by his office at 310 Maple Ave. in Barrington and tried to deliver some vaccines. He said Dr. DeLuca was not at his practice and therefore the official brought the vaccines back to the warehouse.

According to the consent order, Dr. DeLuca "was upset and complained to the coordinator. … The Board (of Medical Licensure and Discipline) believes the Respondent's (Dr. DeLuca's) conduct constitutes a violation of Rhode Island General Laws 5-37-5.1." That law specifies unprofessional conduct.

The consent order also stated that Dr. DeLuca failed to transfer a patient's medical records to another physician after the patient requested that action and signed a release request. In Aug. 2012, the other physician filed a complaint with the board regarding the situation.

"Phone calls were exchanged between the Respondent (Dr. DeLuca) and the other physician's office in July and October 2012 in an attempt to obtain the medical records. On October 10, 2012, the Respondent (Dr. DeLuca) hand-delivered a copy of Patient A's medical record to the physician's office," stated the consent order.

The board ruled that Dr. DeLuca should pay a $600 fine to cover the staff time spent investigating and reviewing the complaint, as well as register for a board-approved course that addresses disruptive physician behavior. Both actions must be completed within a set time period.

"In the event that any terms of this consent order are violated, the director of the department of health shall have the discretion to summarily suspend the Respondent's (Dr. DeLuca's) license," stated the order.

Dr. DeLuca is a pediatrician who works at Alpha Pediatrics at 310 Maple Ave., and has privileges at Rhode Island Hospital and Women and Infants' Hospital.

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