Metairie doctor's license suspended pending hearing

Published on 10/27/98

By JOE GYAN JR., jgyan@theadvocate.comJ

New Orleans Bureau

NEW ORLEANS - The state board that licenses doctors and investigates complaints about their conduct has suspended the license of a 48-year-old Metairie obstetrician/gynecologist who was a former unpaid faculty member at LSU Medical Center.

East Jefferson General Hospital revoked Dr. Annelle Clayton Blanchard's right to practice at the Metairie hospital in 1994 after an investigative panel of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that she had ordered questionable or unnecessary treatments for 16 of 20 patients whose records the panel reviewed. East Jefferson had asked for the review.

Blanchard, an LSU Medical Center graduate, has sued East Jefferson and has denied wrongdoing in court documents. She could not be reached for comment Monday. Her Metairie office telephone number is no longer in service, and her home number is unpublished.

In a one-sentence news release, the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners said it suspended Blanchard's license Wednesday. The release, which does not say why the board acted against Blanchard, says the suspension will remain in effect "pending formal adjudicatory proceedings." The board did not specify a hearing date.

Board attorneys George Papale and Rosalyn Koretsky of New Orleans said those "adjudicatory proceedings" will not be open to the public, but they said a final decision would be. The lawyers said they could not elaborate on the news release.

"We're constrained as to what we can say right now," Papale said.

The late Dr. Thomas Elkins, former head of obstetrics and gynecology at LSU Medical Center, had criticized Blanchard for funneling patients to a home health company in which she had a partial interest. Elkins accused Blanchard in court documents of devising a scheme to convince women that they were in premature labor and then making money from their treatment.

"Dr. Elkins' family is very pleased that the Board of Medical Examiners has acted to protect patients from Dr. Blanchard," New Orleans lawyer Rick Kelly, who represented Elkins and now represents his estate, said Monday. "Dr. Elkins was very unequivocal in his determination that what Dr. Blanchard was doing was unethical and improper."


Blanchard hasn't practiced medicine since early 1996, when she lost her privileges at Kenner Regional Medical Center, where she practiced after losing her privileges at East Jefferson. Blanchard has said in a deposition that she was suspended from the Kenner hospital for health reasons.

East Jefferson revoked Blanchard's privileges even though the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists review panel recommended that other doctors monitor her practice for one year.

East Jefferson attorney Stewart Niles has said previously that the hospital decided to take immediate action against Blanchard "in the best interest of patient care, to reduce the substantial likelihood of immediate injury or damage to the mental and physical health or safety and well-being of any patient."

Elkins, who left LSU Medical Center for Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, died of a heart attack Aug. 12 in Baltimore, Kelly said. Elkins was a full professor and director of gynecology at Johns Hopkins, he said. Elkins claimed he was forced to leave LSU for blowing