Dr. Randall Meyer of Jefferson City, has been accused of unnecessarily placing stents in the arteries of  patients which are used to help prevent heart attacks by helping blood flow through arteries. In 1991, Dr. Meyer founded the Central Missouri Cardiology in Jefferson City. The board that polices Missouri doctors recently acted on behalf of patients by exercising an emergency license suspension of the physician while investigating his actions as criminally irresponsible. On 4-February 2013, Dr. Meyer will be allowed to argue for reinstatement of his license at an administrative hearing.
In 2010, a Saint Louis Post-Dispatch investigation confirmed that the the board failed to use the emergency suspension in the case where another doctor was accused of sexual misconduct where he had allegedly assaulted non-consenting patients. After the investigation, the Legislature enacted a law that went into effect in August 2011 to expand the board’s power; however, the law still does not give the board unilateral power to issue an emergency suspension. If a doctor fights, then the case goes to the Administrative Hearing Commission. But the law lowered the burden for winning an emergency suspension from “a preponderance of evidence” to “probable cause” that a doctor’s conduct is dangerous to a patient or the public.
Apparently, in the complaint against Dr. Meyer, the board reviewed the patients’ records discovered that none of the patients were ill enough to require such an invasive procedure. Allegedly, Dr. Meyer negligently placed  stents in a patient’s coronary arteries that were not actually blocked arteries. In another case, he advised a patient that she would have died overnight without him adding three stents which she agreed to. Later, the board determined that there was no medical cause for Dr. Meyer’s procedure. Dr. Sidney Wolfe, a patient advocate who directs health research for the Washington-based consumer watchdog organization Public Citizen, lauded Missouri regulators, saying the emergency suspension was a “very pro-patient move” that he hopes other states emulate.
Reportedly, Dr. Meyer has been sued by at least four former patients for medical malpractice by claiming that they can no longer lead normal productive lives because of his procedures. In a lawsuit filed in circuit court in Cole County, Rebecca Watkins, of Jefferson City, said she went to the emergency room at St. Mary’s Health Center in Jefferson City in February 2010 with chest pain. She underwent a cardiac catheterization to investigate the cause of her pain. Meyer placed three stents in her coronary arteries, the suit said. The board said it found Meyer had told the patient that her arteries had been 90 percent blocked and that she was lucky she came to the hospital because she might not have lived through the night. But the board said its review of records found that there was no medical basis for the stents.
Patricia Trinklein said in her lawsuit that she went to Capital Region Medical Center in November 2010 to fix what was diagnosed as a significant blockage in her right coronary artery. Meyer put in two stents. A few weeks later, Trinklein came back to the hospital with chest pain, and Meyer found that the stents had caused a tear in the artery, according to the suit. He put another stent in. The board found the arteries were blocked no more than 30 percent, not enough to justify invasive surgery. The board’s attempt to suspend Meyer initially failed.
The Administrative Hearing Commission rejected the suspension after Meyer denied acting negligently and said he had stopped doing the procedure. But the board appealed, arguing that the law required the commission only to find there was probable cause that Meyer’s actions had put a patient or the public in danger. In November, the commission reversed its decision, acknowledging that the board had met the burden.