Advice on Chiropractic Board Complaints
Question: A colleague in my community was brought before our state board after a patient complained about his billing practices. I'm careful with all aspects of my practice, including billing, but I am curious if chiropractic boards are targeting some things more than others.
Posted in Risk Management on Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Answer: First of all, it’s important for D.C.s to be vigilant in all areas of their practices and treatment. However, it can be helpful to know about possible trends. That way you can learn from the experience of others and make needed improvements in your practice. With this in mind, we asked two malpractice defense attorneys to share which chiropractic board complaints they are seeing with increased frequency.
Top Malpractice Defense Attorneys' Insights on Recent Types of Board Complaints
Attorney and chiropractor Steven Conway had the unique position of serving on a state licensing board for more than 10 years and seeing the type of complaints that are lodged against chiropractors. Dr. Conway has observed a resurgence in complaints about chiropractic advertising, as well as complaints related to new products and services offered by D.C.s.
In terms of advertising, he notes that doctors who advertise that they are superior or have a particular expertise compared to other D.C.s are increasingly facing board complaints. Advertising in this manner is against most state board regulations.
Dr. Conway also says that many doctors have faced board allegations after adding products, services or techniques to increase practice revenue. In doing so, D.C.s must also ensure the product or service is beneficial for the patient, as well as within their state’s chiropractic scope of practice.
Attorney Katherine Otto notes that she has seen billing issues lead to board allegations lately. This includes disputes about patient charges and health insurance payments.
Ms. Otto says the takeaway is that it is incredibly important that your billing records and practices, as well as your office policies and procedures, are up to date and in compliance. Regardless of the type of complaint, part of the board’s investigation is to review all chart documents, treatment notes and documentation regarding the patient’s care.
Ms. Otto observes that boards often become critical of the doctor’s documentation even when finding no valid basis for the original allegation.