Health Care

JoCo anti-aging doctor sues Kansas medical board over emergency license suspension

Michael Reed Simmons owns an anti-aging clinic called the Simmons Center for Health and Wellness in Leawood’s Town Center Plaza.
Michael Reed Simmons owns an anti-aging clinic called the Simmons Center for Health and Wellness in Leawood’s Town Center Plaza. Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision

A doctor who runs three Kansas anti-aging clinics, including one in Leawood, is suing the Kansas medical board for issuing an emergency suspension of his license before giving him a full hearing.

It is the second such sanction by the Kansas medical board for Michael Reed Simmons, whose state license was temporarily suspended in 2002 because he had sexual relationships with patients and a co-worker. Simmons also ran into trouble in Missouri in 2013 for prescribing controlled substances without state registration.

The latest suspension by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts comes after a team of evaluators at a behavioral health and addiction treatment center said it was not safe for Simmons to practice medicine. But Simmons’ lawsuit takes issue with that determination, and how it was reached.

His Overland Park-based attorney, Mark Stafford, said via email that Simmons also takes issue with the way the board handed down the suspension.

“The board’s order was issued without a hearing, though we requested one,” Stafford said. “They set the case to be heard on April 10, which is 19 days following the order. We immediately appealed to the District Court. ... The board made no provisions for continued patient care.”

The medical board has filed a response with the court defending its process and challenging Simmons’ right to sue, given that he has a full hearing scheduled at which he will be able to present his defense to the board.

The Simmons Center for Health and Wellness is located in Leawood’s Town Center Plaza. According to his website, Simmons has two other clinics in Frontenac and Galena in southeast Kansas.

According to the suit filed March 25 in Crawford County, the Kansas medical board has, since August, been examining allegations that Simmons committed unspecified violations of his license.

As part of those proceedings, Simmons agreed to an evaluation at a place called Pine Grove to determine if his ability to practice was impaired by physical or mental illness or by use of alcohol or drugs.

The board’s suspension order says the evaluators determined Simmons “is not currently safe to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety.”

Under state law, any details about how they came to that conclusion are confidential.

The order says the board issued the suspension because there is “reasonable cause to believe” that Simmons’ “continuation in practice would constitute an imminent danger to the public health and safety.”

Stafford said Simmons has “no comment on the merits of the board’s case other than to say the allegations are denied.”

The lawsuit alleges that Pine Grove evaluators came to their conclusion based on information outside the scope of their evaluation.

“The facility conducting the evaluation did not find Petitioner’s ability to practice with reasonable skill and safety to patients is impaired by physical or mental illness and did not find impairment by use of alcohol, drugs or controlled substances,” the suit says. “That facility then went beyond the scope of the order for evaluation and added its own commentary on some of the information it had received, assumed its truth and opined (Simmons) should not be practicing, even though it was not able to find impairment as indicated above.”

In 2002, Simmons’ Kansas license was suspended for 30 days after the medical board determined he had sexual relationships with two of his patients and a nurse he worked with.

In addition to the suspension he was fined $5,000, required to take a course on maintaining professional boundaries and required to have a chaperone present for all examinations of female patients.

Those restrictions were lifted in 2005.

Simmons also once had a license to practice in Missouri.

According to the Missouri medical board, in 2013, Simmons practiced at a clinic in Joplin where he administered and prescribed testosterone, a controlled substance. But he didn’t have controlled substance registration with the state’s Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

Simmons told the board’s investigator that he had registered in Kansas and didn’t know he needed another registration in Missouri.

Simmons initially applied for a Missouri registration, but according to the board, he later withdrew his application and closed his Joplin clinic. His Missouri medical license expired in January 2018.

According to online records, he remains fully licensed to practice in Oklahoma.

The Star has previously reported that it can take months or even over a year for medical boards to take action on a doctor’s license following discipline in other states.

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Kansas City Star health reporter Andy Marso was part of a Pulitzer Prize-finalist team at The Star and previously won state and regional awards at the Topeka Capital-Journal and Kansas Health Institute News Service. He has written two books, including one about his near-fatal bout with meningitis.