The medical license of a Frederick physician was revoked months ago, but a website is still advertising the doctor's services to those browsing the Internet.
A phone number and email address listed on the website are disabled. But there are misleading statements posted on the website about Dr. Nicola M. Tauraso being "licensed in the State of Maryland," even though his license was revoked on June 9.
The Maryland Board of Physicians confirmed Tuesday that Tauraso's medical license has been permanently revoked and said the board was unaware of false advertising on www.drtauraso.com. The state does have rules about doctors posting false advertisements, but the state could not comment about Tauraso's website because board members were not aware of it, said John T. Papavasiliou, the board's deputy director.
The physician's website still explains charging, billing and payment methods for the Tauraso Medical Clinic in Frederick. According to the site, Tauraso charged $85 an hour for a medical consultation, which could be done by email or over the phone.
Services offered on the website led to the revocation of Tauraso's license and a $50,000 fine from the state. The board charged Tauraso with selling, prescribing, giving away or administering drugs for illegal or illegitimate medical purposes, according to Papavasiliou, who said the charges were administrative.
"He was not examining his patients," he said, adding that Tauraso did not keep accurate medical records.
According to documents from the Board of Physicians, Tauraso was seeing up to 50 clients a day, prescribing narcotics without seeing patients, and altering medical records. In one case, a young girl nearly overdosed on OxyContin, but Tauraso continued to prescribe the drug even after the incident, the documents state. Another case involved two patients who allegedly sold OxyContin prescribed by Tauraso.
According to the document, it is possible that Tauraso may not have known about the illegal drug sales.
Tauraso explains on his website his ability to prescribe medicines to patients no matter where they are. He goes on to say that drugs can be prescribed when they are needed.
During an investigation, medical records from Tauraso's clinic were subpoenaed as evidence after a number of complaints were filed with the state, according to Papavasiliou.
Tauraso's license was suspended in 2010.
A suspension eventually led to the imposition of the board's most severe penalty -- revocation.
A blog linked to Tauraso's website was last updated on Nov. 21, but there was no mention of his license being revoked.
The most recent entry written referred only to politics.
In 2010, Tauraso blogged about his clinic being investigated by the Frederick County Drug Task and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. In one entry Tauraso said both agencies "conspired to present a biased case against me by concentrating and making public some aspects of my medical practice which may appear negative."
In November 2010, Tauraso's medical clinic at 7051 Poole Jones Road was destroyed by fire.
Tauraso's whereabouts is unknown, and attempts to reach him Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Cases involving drug abuse are not uncommon, according to Papavasiliou, who said that "we have seen an increase in drug-related cases not only in Maryland, but across the country."
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