State suspends license of Washougal physician assistant Scott Miller

Miller Family Pediatrics founder, a vocal anti-masker, accused of promoting unfounded COVID-19 'cures,' interfering with critically ill patients' care

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Scott Miller (left), a physician assistant and founder of Washougal Family Pediatrics in Washougal, speaks at the Camas School Board meeting on Aug. 23, 2021, in opposition to a state mandate requiring students and school staff to wear face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Screenshot by Kelly Moyer/Post-Record)

The Washington Medical Commission (WMC) has suspended the license of a Washougal physician assistant accused of promoting unfounded COVID-19 “cures” and interfering with hospitalized COVID-19 patients. 

The WMC said today it has suspended the license of Scott C. Miller, head of the Washougal-based Miller Family Pediatrics clinic, “pending further administrative proceedings.” 

Miller is accused of promoting the ivermectin as a cure for COVID-19 and has prescribed the drug — typically used to treat infections caused by parasitic worms and head lice in humans and as a dewormer in farm animals — “without adequate examination to at least one person, with no reliable clinical studies that establish its efficacy in preventing or treating COVID-19,” according to the WMC. 

The WMC also alleges that Miller, who has been a vocal opponent of COVID-19 mandates, and often appears in-person at Camas School Board meetings to rail against mask requirements and remote education, interfered with the care of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, “engaging in a hostile and threatening public campaign against both hospitals and individual physicians regarding COVID-19 treatment.” 

Complaint: At least two people being treated by Miller have died of COVID-19

The WMC has accused Miller of treating at least four COVID-19 patients with medication not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

Those patients included a 39-year-old man who spoke to Miller over the phone for about 20 minutes in May 2021, and told Miller he was experiencing congestion, cough, headache and fatigue and had tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the WMC, Miller placed the patient on a regimen of vitamins, ivermectin and other prescription medications without conducting a physical examination and “failed to counsel (the patient) on the possible interaction between ivermectin and dexamethasone and did not order follow-up testing to monitor and address possible impact on (the patient’s liver) function.” 

Miller also is accused of prescribing ivermectin to an unvaccinated patient who had been admitted to the hospital after becoming “unresponsive with unreadable stats” and respiratory failure due to COVID-19. After refusing intubation and leaving the hospital against medical advice on Sept. 3, 2021, the patient received a prescription from Miller for ivermectin “to treat head lice,” according to the WMC. The patient’s wife called 911 that same day because her husband “had acute hypoxic respiratory failure and needed to be sedated and intubated.” That man died eight days later, according to the WMC documents.

The WMC also alleges that, in July 2021, Miller treated another unvaccinated COVID-19 patient with ivermectin and sent her an oxygen tank to use at home. The patient came into the hospital one week later, on July 19, after running out of oxygen at home, and died on July 27, according to the WMC.  

“Ivermectin is not part of the hospital protocol in treating COVID-19 patients,” the WMC states in its complaint against Miller. “These protocols are not considered standard of care treatment for COVID-19.”

Miller also is accused of threatening hospital staff and physicians and of convincing family members of ill COVID-19 patients to push for their loved ones to receive unproven treatments, including ivermectin. 

One patient sought care from a local hospital emergency room on July 17, 2021, according to the WMC complaint. He was unvaccinated and suffering from symptoms of COVID-19. The patient’s family sought an emergency injunction to have the man treated with ivermectin — something the patient’s wife told hospital staff her children had convinced her to push for after getting medical advice from Miller — despite the fact that Miller had never treated or examined her husband. The man died from COVID-19 complications less than three weeks later. 

The WMC complaint states that Miller has violated state code related to unprofessional conduct for a medical provider, including “incompetence, negligence or malpractice, which results in injury to a patient or which creates an unreasonable risk that a patient may be harmed;” as well as “an act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty or corruption … whether that act constitutes a crime or not;” and “promotion for personal gain of any unnecessary or inefficacious drug, device, treatment, procedure or service.” 

Miller cited by California Physician Assistant board in 2014
Miller also is accused of lying on his initial Washington medical licensing application by denying the existence of another investigation by the California Physician Assistant Board.

Public records show that, in March 2014, the California Physician Assistant Board cited Miller for providing medical care to patients “without supervising physician authorization to do so,” writing prescriptions “without conducting physical examinations,” writing drug orders for controlled substances “without the approval of a supervising physician,” and for failing to document and maintain medical records for patients. 

“The case was initiated based on a complaint submitted to the Medical Board of California alleging that while employed at Cal Family Health you wrote drug orders for controlled substances for family and friends who were not patients of Cal Family Health,” wrote the executive director of the Physician Assistant Board in the citation order. “You were not authorized (by) your supervising physician to provide medical treatment or write drug orders for persons who were not patients of your supervising physician or Cal Family Health. You did not receive the approval from your supervising physician to write drug orders for controlled substances.”

The board ordered Miller to “immediately cease treating persons and issuing drug orders for persons that are not patients of your supervising physician or the practice where you are employed,” pay a $2,500 fine and enroll in an ethics course. 

According to California records, Miller, who graduated from San Joaquin Valley College in 2006, relinquished his California physician assistant license before it came up for renewal in 2015. Miller and his wife, Shelly, moved to the Camas-Washougal area in 2014, according to the Miller Family Pediatrics’ website.  

The WMC said Miller applied to the Washington Medical Commission for a physician assistant credential in October 2013. Though the California investigation had started in August 2012, with investigators interviewing Miller in February 2013, the WMC said Miller marked “no” on his application when asked if he was the subject of an investigation by any licensing board.

During its investigation into Miller in October 2020, the WMC asked the Washougal physician assistant about any past investigations by other licensing boards. The WMC said Miller falsely claimed he had already disclosed the California investigation in his initial application.

GoFundMe raises $47K to help Miller’s legal defense

Miller has hundreds of supporters in the Camas-Washougal area who have spoken in defense of the Washougal pediatric care provider since the WMC investigation began.

In July, a Camas man named Joshua Brock started a GoFundMe to raise money for Miller’s legal fund in the face of the Washington Medical Commission complaints. 

“Our community’s beloved family health practitioner, Scott Miller, P.A., is the subject of multiple unfounded complaints to the (Washington Medical Commission),” Brock wrote on the GoFundMe page. “The expenses to defend his license to practice medicine and managing those who are denied access to care are mounting. He needs our help if he is to continue serving our community.” 

On the GoFundMe page, Brock describes Miller as a health care practitioner many parents turn to after striking out with other providers. 

“He is known to readily find answers to difficult childhood health issues that other pediatricians are either stumped by or brush off as something that will pass,” Brock wrote about Miller. “Scott is sought out by parents who have tried multiple physicians, therapists and practitioners without success. In so many cases, Scott is able to find solutions for these children and their distraught parents.” 

As of Oct. 15, the GoFundMe had been shared more than 2,000 times, and nearly 300 people had donated a total of $46,947 to help Miller fund his legal defense. 

Miller has 20 days to respond to the WMC’s suspension notice. 

Stephanie Mason, the WMC’s public information officer, told The Post-Record in late September the WMC was investigating 17 cases against Miller and had recently authorized an investigation into Miller’s supervising physician. A public records request to the Washington State Department of Health shows Dr. Rick L. Jackson, of the Vancouver-based Ashbrook Medical clinic, is listed with the state as Miller’s current supervising physician. 

The Post-Record was unable to reach Miller or Jackson for comment in time for this article’s publication. 

This is a developing news story. For more information, pick up a copy of the Oct. 21 Post-Record or visit us online at