BRANSON — State officials are investigating a Branson medical clinic, but won’t detail the nature of the investigation.
Meanwhile one of the clinic’s doctors has levied claims to the Branson Tri-Lakes News that his paychecks have bounced and the clinic’s owner has left town.
The Institute for Beauty and Women’s Health at 590 W. Pacific St. in Branson is being investigated by the state department of insurance, financial institutions and professional registration’s board for the healing arts.
A spokesman with the division would not confirm the investigation and said if an investigation was ongoing, he would not even be able to confirm its existence.
Richard Schurman, an investigator with the division of professional registration, visited the Branson Tri-Lakes News recently seeking information about advertisements the business placed with the newspaper.
Schurman asked Branson Tri-Lakes News staff about obstetrician/gynecologist prenatal care offered by the clinic in an advertisement and asked if the advertisement was placed specifically by Dr. Roy Neimark.
Neimark had his license restricted earlier this year for providing substandard care to a number of patients, according to a disciplinary report from the state.
According to a report from the state board of registration for the healing arts, Neimark’s license was restricted because of a failure to follow proper medical standard practices and procedures.
He had his hospital privileges at Skaggs Regional Medical Center suspended in April 2010, and since then entered into an agreement with a second physician to take referrals and deliver patients’ babies.
According to the state, Neimark failed to refer patients to the second physician prior to patients’ 30th week of pregnancy, as is the standard practice of care.
The board noted numerous occasions throughout 2011 in which Neimark failed to make the required referrals.
Neimark also was cited by the state for providing negligent care to a patient who was pregnant and under the age of 15.
In another instance, for a patient who’d had three previous miscarriages, Neimark ordered only one ultrasound and no stress tests.
Both patients’ pregnancies are classified by the state as high risk.
Neimark also was cited, on one count, for altering a patient's medical record.
The same advertisement sought by Schurman, placed in the newspaper’s 2012 fall medical directory, listed human chorionic gonadotrophin, or HCG, a prescription-only medication, as part of a weight-loss management service at the clinic.
Neimark was reprimanded by the state previously for prescribing HCG to patients without giving them an in-person examination.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruled HCG diet products illegal in December 2011, however.
“HCG is approved by FDA as a prescription drug for the treatment of female infertility, and other medical conditions. It is not approved for weight loss,” according to the FDA website. “In fact, the prescription drug label notes there ‘is no substantial evidence that it increases weight loss beyond that resulting from caloric restriction, that it causes a more attractive or normal distribution of fat,’ or that it decreases the hunger and discomfort associated with calorie-restricted diets.”
HCG is sometimes taken off-label in conjunction with steroids, as well.
Neimark and the Institute filed a request for a temporary restraining order against clinic owner George Myers dated Nov. 9. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Nov. 28.
Schurman told a reporter he couldn’t comment on the investigation and did not say what about the business he was investigating.
Earlier this month another doctor at the clinic, Dr. John Carpenter, filed a lawsuit against the office, according to the Missouri Courts website.
Carpenter told the Branson Tri-Lakes News that about $8,000 of paychecks from Myers had bounced.
Neimark and the Institute filed a request for a temporary restraining order against Myers dated Nov. 9. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28.
Carpenter said Myers had left town and has done the same thing previously in Arkansas and Oklahoma.
The clinic’s website, ibwhbranson.com, did not appear to be accessible as of Tuesday afternoon.
Calls to the Branson Police Department and the Institute for Beauty were not returned before the Branson Tri-Lakes News went to press.