An obstetrician and gynecologist who faces multiple medical negligence lawsuits and whose license was restricted by the state last year has closed his Richland practice.
Dr. Alexander M. Ortolano’s Arbor Healthcare for Women shut its doors on Jan. 15, according to its Facebook page.
“I want to personally thank each and every one of (you) for your continued support throughout the years,” the post said.
Ortolano is involved in seven medical negligence lawsuits in Benton County Superior Court.
His license was suspended by the state last year amid allegations of performing unnecessary procedures, providing substandard care and other issues.
The suspension ultimately was lifted, with Ortolano able to practice medicine provided he meets numerous conditions, from completing clinical competence and professional assessments to being supported by a second opinion for surgeries.
He’s subject to four years of oversight by the state Medical Quality Assurance Commission.
Christopher Mertens, his attorney, said Ortolano is complying with the state’s order, and “I believe he has every intention to continue to practice medicine.”
He closed his practice because of insurance reimbursement issues resulting from the order, Mertens said.
Kristi McKennon, an attorney handling three of the negligence cases against Ortolano, said her clients are relieved to hear Arbor Healthcare has closed.
“The big question all of our clients have is, because (his license is active) — if and when he will practice again. Our clients have concerns about his continuing to practice medicine,” she told the Herald.
Along with the three filed cases, McKennon also represents other patients who may file lawsuits.
She said she’s heard from several former Arbor Healthcare patients who have had trouble getting ahold of their medical records so they can seek care from another provider.
Women in that situation should send a letter to Arbor asking for their records, then follow up with the state Medical Quality Assurance Commission if they don’t get a response, she said.
Arbor Healthcare’s address is P.O. Box 925, Richland, WA 99352.
Ortolano was the owner of Arbor Healthcare for Women. Some employees have opened their own Kennewick practice, called Desert Sky Women’s Healthcare.