Barry L. Beaty, D.O. Charged with
Administering Unnecessary Chelation Therapy

Stephen Barrett, M.D.


In 2015, Barry L. Beaty, D.O., who operated the North Texas Institute for Healing and Wellness in Fort Worth, Texas, was accused of administering unnecessary chelation therapy to a patient. For several years, his clinic Web site invited people with "vague symptoms that have not resolved with conventional treatments" to undergo heavy metal testing to see whether chelation might be appropriate for them. The Texas Medical Board's complaint (shown below) states that the patient's chart did not contain an appropriate evaluation or treatment plan and that at least five of the treatments were administered after Beaty noted in the chart that the treatment was no longer necessary In 2016, the board and Beaty entered into an agreed order in which the board found that he had not followed proper procedure in attempting to discharge the patient and ordered him to take at least four hours of continuing medical education courses in physician-patient communication.


HEARING CONDUCTED BY THE
TEXAS STATE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS SOAHDOCKETNO. 503-15-2008
TEXAS MEDICAL LICENSE NO. F-3746

IN THE MATTER OF THE

COMPLAINT OF

BARRY LEE BEATY, D.O.

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BEFORE THE

TEXAS MEDICAL BOARD

COMPLAINT

TO THE HONORABLE TEXAS MEDICALBOARD AND THE HONORABLE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE TO BE ASSIGNED:

COMES NOW, the Staff of the Texas Medical Board (the Board), and files this Complaint against Barry Lee Beaty, D.O. (Respondent), based on Respondent's alleged violations of the Medical Practice Act (the Act), TEX. OCC. CODE ANN., Title 3, Subtitle B and would show the following:

I. INTRODUCTION

The filing of this Complaint and the relief requested are necessary to protect the health and public interest of the citizens of the State of Texas, as provided in Section 151.003 of the Act.

II. LEGAL AUTHORITY AND JURISDICTION

1. Respondent holds Texas License No. F3746, issued on August 19, 1979. All jurisdictional requirements have been satisfied. Respondent's license was in full force and effect at all times material and relevant to this Complaint.

2. Respondent received appropriate notice of an Informal Settlement Conference (ISC). The Board complied with all procedural rules, including but not limited to, Board Rules 182 and 187, as applicable.

No agreement to settle this matter has been reached by the parties. All jurisdictional requirements have been satisfied.

III. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

Board Staff has received information and based on that information believes that Respondent has violated the Act. Relying on such information and belief, Board Staff alleges the following facts:

1. Respondent first saw Patient 11 on September 6, 2012. The initial consultation was to determine the use of chelation therapy for unspecified heavy metal poisoning. Respondent's records indicate he personally saw Patient 1 on September 25, 2012; October 11, 2012; January 17, 2013; February 25, 2013; April 8, 2013; June 5, 2013; August 13, .2013; August 20, 2013; and September 10, 2013.

1Identification of patient at issue in this Complaint will be provided by separate document under seal.

2. Respondent's medical records show that Patient 1 was treated with chelation therapy on the following dates: September 10, 2012; September 25, 2012; September 27, 2012; October 2, 2012; October 4, 2012; October 9, 2012; October 11, 2012; October 16, 2012; October 23, 2012; October 25, 2012; November 12, 2012; November 20, 2012; November 26, 2012; January 3, 2013; January 17, 2013; January 21, 2013; January 28, 2013; February 4, 2013; February 11, 2013; February 18, 2013; February 25, 2013; March 4, 2013; March 11, 2013; March 13, 2013; April 1, 2013; April 8, 2013; April 15, 2013; April 22, 2013; May 5, 2013; May 9, 2013; May 14, 2013; May 28, 2013; May 30, 2013; June 5, 2013; June 10, 2013; June 17, 2013; June 25, 2013; July 2, 2013; July 9, 2013; July 16! 2013; July 23, 2013; August 1, 2013; August 13, 2013; August 20, 2013; August 26, 2013; August 28, 2013; and September 10, 2013.

3. Respondent's chelation therapy consisted of providing ethylene tetra-acetic acid (EDTA) to the patient. Respondent's medical records do not reflect the method of administration of EDT A therapy.

4. Respondent's medical records for Patient 1 do not show a patient assessment containing: (A) an appropriate medical history and physician examination of Patient 1; (B) whether conventional medicine options were discussed with the patient; (C) any prior conventional medical treatments attempted and outcomes obtained or whether conventional medical options were refused by Patient 1; and (D) whether the chelation therapy would interfere with any other recommended or ongoing treatments.

5. Respondent's medical records for Patient 1 do not document that Respondent disclosed the following to Patient 1: (A) the objectives, expected outcomes, or goals of the chelation treatment; (B) the risks and benefits of chelation treatment; (C) the extent the chelation treatment could interfere with any ongoing or recommended medical care; (D) a description of the underlying therapeutic basis or mechanism of action of the chelation treatment purporting to have reasonable potential for therapeutic gain that is written in a manner understandable to Patient 1; and (E) if applicable, whether the EDT A used in the chelation treatment is approved for human use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or exempt from FDA preapproval under the Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act (DSHEA).

6. Respondent's medical records for Patient 1 do not reflect a clear treatment plan. In particular, Respondent: failed to document Patient 1's pertinent medical history; there are a lack of previous medical records even though Patient 1 informed Respondent of numerous previous hospital and physician visits; failed to document a physical examination; and failed to document the need for further testing, consultations, referrals, or the use of other treatment modalities.

7. Respondent's medical records for Patient 1 do not include the results of evaluations, consultations and referrals; treatments employed and the progress toward the stated objectives, expected outcomes, and goals of the treatment; the date, type, dosage, and quantity prescribed of the EDT A used for the chelation therapy; all patient instructions and agreements; or documentation of communication with Patient 1's concurrent healthcare providers informing them of the treatment plans.

8. Respondent treated Patient 1 with chelation therapy on roughly 47 occasions between September 6, 2012, and September 10, 2013.

9. On August 13, 2013, Respondent noted in his file that Patient 1 no longer needed treatment and according to that note, informed Patient 1 of such.

10. Respondent repeated this note in the file at Patient 1's visit on August 20, 2013. Respondent's office note from August 20, 2013, also states that he will continue providing chelation treatment "to keep [Patient 1] happy since she has been delusional in the past."

11. Respondent treated Patient 1 using chelation therapy on August 13, 2013; August 20, 2013; August 26, 2013; August 28, 2013; and September 10, 2013, dates which are after his own notes stating treatment is no longer necessary.

12. Respondent's office records reflect that he billed Patient 1's insurance for the chelation therapy sessions that took place on or after August 13, 2013.

13. Respondent's continued provision of chelation therapy on five occasions after his own notes stating treatment was no longer necessary constitute non-therapeutic prescribing or treatment of the patient and medically unnecessary service.

14. Respondent's medical records for Patient 1 are handwritten and difficult to read. The medical records do not contain notation of any sort of physical examination, no findings from any sort of physical examination; no assessment, clinical impression or diagnosis at each visit; no plan for care (including a discharge plan) at each visit; the rationale for and results of diagnostic testing; and Patient 1's progress, including any responses to the chelation therapy, or if Patient 1 was noncompliant with the treatment. Respondent also failed to document the relevant risk factors that should be identified. Respondent's records do not contain salient records from other providers even though Patient 1 informed Respondent that she had been in and out of the hospital in the month prior to beginning chelation treatment.

IV. STATUTORY VIOLATIONS

The actions of Respondent as specified above violate one or more of the following provisions of the Act:

1. Section 164.051(a)(l) of the Act authorizes the Board to take disciplinary action against Respondent based on Respondent's commission of an act prohibited under Section 164.052 of the Act.

2. Section. 164.051(a)(3) of the Act authorizes the Board to take disciplinary action against Respondent based on Respondent's violation of a Board Rule, specifically; Board Rules 165.1(a), failure to maintain an adequate medical record and 200.3, failure to adhere to those established standards for physicians practicing complementary and alternative medicine.

3. Section 164.051(a)(6) of the Act authorizes the Board to take disciplinary action against Respondent based on Respondent's failure to practice medicine in an acceptable professional manner consistent with public health and welfare as defined by Board Rules, including but not limited to the following: 190.8(1)(A), failure to treat a patient according to the generally accepted standard of care; 190.8(1)(C), failure to use proper diligence in one's professional practice; 190.8(1)(D), failure to safeguard against potential complications; 190.8(1)(G), failure to disclose reasonably foreseeable side effects of a procedure or treatment; 190.8(1)(H), failure to disclose reasonable alternative treatments to a proposed procedure or treatment; 190.8(1)(I), failure to obtain informed consent from the patient or other person authorized by law to consent to treatment on the patient's behalf before performing tests, treatments, or procedures; and 190.8(1)(K), prescription or administration of a drug in a manner that is not in compliance with Chapter 200' of this title (relating to Standards for Physicians Practicing Complementary and Alternative Medicine).

4. Section 164.052(a)(5) of the Act authorizes the Board to take disciplinary action against Respondent based upon Respondent's unprofessional or dishonorable conduct that is likely to deceive or defraud the public or injure the public, as further defined by Board Rule 190.8(2)(1), providing medically unnecessary services to a patient or submitting a billing statement to a patient or a third party payer that the licensee knew or should have known was improper.

5. Section 164.053(a)(5) of the Act authorizes the Board to take disciplinary action against Respondent based upon Respondent's prescribing or administering a drug or treatment that is non-therapeutic in nature or non-therapeutic in the manner the drug or treatment is administered or prescribed.

6. Section 164.053(a)(7} of the Act authorizes the Board to take disciplinary action, against Respondent based upon Respondent's improper billing practices that violate Section 311.0025, of the Health & Safety Code.

V. AGGRAVATING FACTORS

Board Rule 190.15 provides that the Board may consider aggravating factors in reaching a determination of sanctions. In this case, the facts warrant more severe or restrictive disciplinary action. This case includes the following aggravating factors: harm to one or more patients; increased potential for harm to the public; economic harm to any individual or entity and the severity of such harm, and other relevant circumstances increasing the seriousness of the misconduct.

VI. APPLICABLE STATUTES, RULES AND AGENCY POLICY

The following Statutes, Rules, and Agency Policy are applicable to the procedures for conduct of the hearing this matter:

  1. Section 164.007(a) of the Act requires that the Board adopt procedures governing formal disposition of a contested case before the State Office of Administrative Hearings.
  2. 22 TEX. ADMIN. CODE, Chapter 187 sets forth the procedures adopted by the Board under the requirement of Section 164.007(a) of the Act.
  3. 22 TEX. ADMIN. CODE, Chapter 190 sets forth aggravating factors that warrant more severe or restrictive action by the board.
  4. 1 TEX. ADMIN. CODE, CHAPTER 155 sets forth the rules of procedure adopted by SOAH for contested case proceedings.
  5. 1 TEX. ADMIN. CODE, CHAPTER 155.507, requires the issuance of a Proposal for Decision (PFD) containing Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.
  6. Section 164.007(a) of the Act, Board Rule 187.37(d)(2) and, Board Rule 190 et. seq., provide the Board with the sole and exclusive authority to determine the charges on the merits, to impose sanctions for violation of the Act or a Board rule, and to issue a Final Order.

VII. NOTICE TO RESPONDENT

IF YOU DO NOT FILE A WRITTEN ANSWER TO THIS 'COMPLAINT WITH THE STATE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS WITHIN 20 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF RECEIPT, A DEFAULT ORDER MAY BE ,ENTERED AGAINST YOU, WHICH MAY INCLUDE THE DENIAL OF LICENSURE OR ANY OR ALL OF THE REQUESTED SANCTIONS, INCLUDING THE REVOCATION OF YOUR LICENSE. A COPY OF ANY ANSWER YOU FILE WITH THE STATE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS SHALL ALSO BE PROVIDED TO THE HEARINGS COORDINATOR OF THE TEXAS MEDICAL BOARD.

VIII. PRAYER

WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, Board Staff requests that an administrative law judge employed by the State Office of Administrative Hearings conduct a contested case hearing on the merits of the Complaint, and issue' a Proposal for Decision (PFD) containing Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law necessary to support a determination that Respondent violated the Act as set forth in this Complaint.

Respectfully submitted,

TEXAS MEDICAL BOARD

CHRISTOPHER PALAZOLA
Litigation Manager

SUSAN RODRIGUEZ
Lead Staff Attorney

By: ______________
Ketan N. Patel, J.D.
Attorney in Charge
Texas State Bar No. 24056099
Telephone: (512) 305-7082
FAX # (512) 305-7007
333 Guadalupe, Tower 3, Suite 610
Austin, Texas 55701

Filed with the Texas Medical Board on this 16th day of Jan., 2015.

__________________
Mari Robinson, J.D.
Executive Director
Texas Medical Board

This page was revised on January 1, 2017.

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