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Indiana panel suspends nurse midwife's license

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis nurse midwife's license has been suspended for one year after officials say she abruptly shuttered her business and left behind her patients' medical files.

The Indiana State Board of Nursing voted unanimously to suspend Barbara Ann Bechtel's advanced practice nurse license and directed her to continue her education on security and record-keeping practices.

The owner of the Indianapolis building where Bechtel had practiced found the medical records after she closed her business, but she never responded to his requests for her to claim the abandoned records.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller sought the suspension of Bechtel's license. His office claimed the medical records and is working to return them to patients.

Zoeller says abandoning medical records exposes patients to the risk of becoming victims of identity theft.