A Lexington plastic surgeon will no longer be able to treat female patients after claims of sexual misconduct were made to the state’s board of medical licensure.
Dr. Michael J. Bass agreed to have his medical license limited by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure after a five-month investigation into his practice. Bass is also prohibited from prescribing, dispensing or professionally using controlled substances, according to the board in documents produced Monday.
The investigation began in late June, when the board received a grievance from an 18-year-old female patient whose mother worked for him. Bass “invited her to his office after hours, where they engaged in sexual conduct on more than one occasion,” the documents stated. During one occasion, Bass gave the patient an alcoholic drink and kissed her. The patient also was given a lip injection for free. The patient’s mother quit her job with Bass after learning about his sexual relationship with her daughter.
The patient’s mother filed her own grievance against Bass on July 1, claiming that he “would make inappropriate sexual comments and that the licensee had engaged in sexual relationship with patients,” the documents stated.
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“She stated there were instances where the licensee (Bass) would not want a chaperone in the room while examining female patients,” the documents stated. “The mother of Patient A also alleged that the licensee wrote prescriptions for patients that he never saw.”
On Aug. 30, Bass’s psychiatrist notified the board that he had admitted to having a sexual relationship with two patients, the documents stated.
Bass formally acknowledged engaging in inappropriate sexual relationships with Patient A and the mother of Patient A on Sept. 19.
Bass must complete a handful of courses before the board will lift the restriction on controlled substances and treating female patients. This includes enrolling in the ProBE Program offered through the Center for Personalized Education for Physicians in Denver. Bass also is required to cover the cost of the investigation, totaling $2,625.
This is not the first time Bass has had his medical reputation threatened.
In 2014, Bass was sued by a former patient who claimed that he had left five surgical sponges in her leg during a procedure, causing an infection. The patient, Amanda Martin, also claimed that Bass told her to “Spread your legs like your boyfriend was here” and made judgmental personal remarks about her grooming during a post-surgery examination. At the time, Bass’s attorney said his client “met all applicable standards of care.”
Bass could not be reached by phone or email before publication. Bass is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, according to his practice’s website.
Fernando Alfonso III: 859-231-1324, @fernalfonso