Prominent Kentucky pain doctor accused of unneeded pain treatment defends his practice
A Northern Kentucky pain doctor, who also was the owner of Kentucky Derby horses “Fast and Accurate” and “Hansen,” has been named as a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit.
But Dr. Kendall Hansen defended his practice in an interview with The Enquirer Thursday. He spent decades building his reputation, he said.
The lawsuit, filed in Kenton County Circuit Court, accuses Hansen and Interventional Pain Specialists of Crestview Hills of providing unnecessary and excessive injection therapy to an Independence woman with chronic pain.
One day later, federal officials served a search warrant at his office.
“We welcome the scrutiny,” Hansen said.
Dr. Kendall Hansen (left) reacts in 2012 at the Kentucky Derby after his horse is placed in the No. 14 post position. (Photo: Associated Press)
Eric Deters, spokesman of Deters Law in Independence, said the woman who filed suit, Candi McKinney of Independence, is one of many who were treated unnecessarily with epidurals.
“(Hansen) would not give individuals their pain medication … unless they capitulated in having an epidural,” Deters said Thursday.
“We’re suspicious of people who only want medication and don’t want to get better. Whatever was said between me and the patient” was twisted, Hansen claimed.
Deters said that he was asked to put any clients in contact with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and that he did so. However, he added that he did not know of any particular outcome.
Tim Reagan, resident agent-in-charge of the Cincinnati office of the DEA, said DEA officers were with federal agents at Interventional Pain Specialists for the search but his agency was not leading the search.
Hansen said he believed the search was a result of heightened scrutiny after one of his former nurses was caught stealing medication. Hansen said he reported the nurse to the DEA and local law enforcement.
“I think there’s a big spotlight put on us because of the incident last year,” Hansen said.
He added that medical records were examined by investigators.
“If I was them I would do that,” he said of the investigators conducting the search. “It’s our government dollars at work. We’re an amazing office. We do our due diligence prescribing.”
Hansen said he doesn’t expect future searches.
“My lawyer contacted the director that’s overseeing this in Washington,” Hansen said, “and it will be several months before they come back to us if they have any issues, but we’re confident there won’t be any serious issues.”
McKinney’s lawsuit was filed by Dominick Romeo of Deters Law. Judge Kathy Lape was assigned the case, and a summons was issued for Hansen to answer the suit. Once he receives it, he’ll have 20 days to respond, court documents state.
McKinney claims in the suit that her pain therapy started on Feb. 12, 2014, when she was prescribed oxycodone and a nerve-root block injection at the office. She got the injection Feb. 26 of that year, her lawsuit says.
She was written another prescription for oxycodone on March 26, the same year, the suit says, and then on April 15, she was told to have epidural injection therapy and her pain medication was increased, the suit claims.
“At least once a month, Plaintiff would undergo injection therapy and would be written a prescription for narcotic pain medication,” the suit states. She said she was afraid that if she didn’t undergo the “recommended injection therapy, her pain medication would be withheld from her.”
The suit also claims that McKinney asked about receiving Narcan, the antidote for opioid overdoses, because she already had prescriptions for a fentanyl patch and Percocet. Both of these are synthetic opiates that are commonly prescribed for pain.
The treatment continued until September 2018, the suit says, and that’s when she first saw Hansen and was given a new prescription for pain medication.
She saw Hansen Oct. 2, and medication was refilled, the suit claims. On Nov. 27, she says, Hansen recommended she undergo injection therapy again.
But she didn’t want an injection, the suit claims, and so Hansen “would not fill” her medication after Dec. 1, 2018.
She says in her suit that the injections caused “great pain and suffering due to the fact that they required pre-testing with probes on both sides of her spine” before she would get them.
Hansen said Interventional Pain Specialists treats about 4,000 patients and employs about 60 people.
The office performs about 50 different procedures, and roughly 10 percent of all procedures are of the “epidural variety,” he said.
The office’s philosophy is to perform procedures “to solve pain problems so (patients) are not so dependent on pain medication,” Hansen said.
He added he’s never been accused in this manner.
Other federal law enforcement agents did not return calls for comment.