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Chaganti v. Missouri Board of Registration for Healing Arts

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Third Division

March 10, 2015

SURENDRA CHAGANTI, Appellant,
v.
MISSOURI BOARD OF REGISTRATION FOR THE HEALING ARTS, Respondent

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cole County, Missouri. The Honorable Jon Edward Beetem, Judge. Before Division Three: Victor C. Howard, P.J., James Edward Welsh, and Gary D. Witt, JJ.

Glenn Bradford, Kansas City, MO, Counsel for Respondent.

Nancy Skinner, Kansas City, MO, Co-Counsel for Respondent.

James Edward Welsh, Judge. All concur.

OPINION

James Edward Welsh, Judge.

Page 392

Surendra Chaganti appeals the decision of the Administrative Hearing Commission (AHC) finding that the Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts (Board) had cause to discipline his medical license pursuant to section 334.100.2(4) and (4)(g), RSMo Cum. Supp. 2010. The AHC found that, when SSM DePaul Health Center (DePaul) revoked Chaganti's courtesy staff privileges because Chaganti failed to list all hospital affiliations on his reapplication for active staff privileges at the hospital, it was a " final disciplinary action" taken by the hospital that was related to " unprofessional conduct." The AHC also found that, when SSM St. Mary's Health Center (St. Mary's) revoked Chaganti's staff privileges because Chaganti failed to update his information and report that DePaul had revoked his staff privileges, it was also a " final disciplinary action" taken by the hospital that was related to " unprofessional conduct."

On appeal, Chaganti claims: (1) that the terms " unprofessional conduct" and " final disciplinary action" used in section 334.100.2(4)(g) are unconstitutionally

Page 393

vague, (2) that the actions taken by the hospitals in this case were not " final disciplinary actions" ; (3) that nothing in section 334.100.2 permits the Board to file a complaint against a licensee for actions taken by a hospital where the licensee omits information or fails to update information in an application for medical staff privileges; (4) that nothing in section 334.100.2 permits the Board to file a complaint against a licensee for the licensee's failure to report any changes of staff privileges at another hospital; (5) that no substantial evidence supported the AHC's decision that Chaganti omitted information in his staff privileges application at DePaul; (6) that no substantial evidence supported the AHC's decision that Chaganti omitted information in his staff privileges application at St. Mary's; and (7) that the AHC erred in ruling that there was no evidence of conflict of interest and selective prosecution by the members of the Board. We reverse the circuit court's judgment affirming the AHC's decision that cause existed to discipline Chaganti's medical license pursuant to section 334.100.2(4) and (4)(g).

Factual and Procedural Background

Chaganti is licensed by the Board as a physician and surgeon. At all relevant times, his license was current and active.

On January 3, 2006, Chaganti submitted a reapplication for staff privileges at DePaul and a request to have his status changed from " courtesy staff" to " active staff." Upon investigation, DePaul discovered that Chaganti had not included all past hospital affiliations on his reapplication. On the reapplication form, Chaganti listed St. Alexius Hospital as his primary hospital and listed affiliations with St. John's Hospital and DePaul. Chaganti did not list St. Mary's, Des Peres Hospital, and St. Anthony's Medical Center on the reapplication form. By letter dated May 22, 2006,[1] DePaul denied Chaganti's reapplication and revoked his staff privileges based on his failure to provide updated information on his DePaul reapplication form. The letter stated:

As a member of the SSM DePaul Health Center Medical Staff, you agreed to Section 3.3.6 of the Credentials Manual[2]

Page 394

which requires you to provide updated information at the time of any significant change in the information provided in your most recent application form. You also agreed to Section 3.3.7 of the Credentials Manual[3] which states that any misrepresentation or misstatement in or omission from the application, reapplication and any required updates, whether intentional or not, shall constitute cause for automatic and immediate rejection of the application/reapplication, if applicable, and result in denial or revocation of previously granted Medical Staff membership and clinical privileges. Such denials or revocations are not subject to the procedural rights set forth in Article 9 of the Credentials Manual, and the Health Center President may, in his or her discretion, refuse to accept subsequent applications from the affected Practitioner. We have attached those Sections of the Credentials Manual for your reference.
Due to your omission of three hospital affiliations on your reappointment application, your Medical Staff membership and clinical privileges are revoked effective immediately and your reappointment request is denied pursuant to Section 3.3.7 of the Credentials Manual. If you currently have inpatients in house at the Health Center, the revocation of your Medical Staff membership and clinical privileges will be effective immediately upon the discharge of your last patient. You are not entitled to any of the procedural rights provided in Article 9 of the Credentials Manual with respect to this decision.

On June 26, 2006, St. Mary's, which is affiliated with DePaul, informed Chaganti by letter from its President, Sr. Susan Scholl, that Chaganti's medical staff membership and clinical privileges were being revoked and terminated due to his failure to report DePaul's revocation of ...


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