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Australian Chiropractor Suspended for Two Years for Misconduct
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Yellow Pages
Written by TAC Staff: Yellow Pages   
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 05:00
AUSTRALIA, A chiropractor  who gave an Essendon player hyperbaric treatment has been suspended for two years after he was found guilty of misconduct.
According to findings by VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal), South Yarra chiropractor Dr Malcolm Hooper also charged a "vulnerable" cerebral palsy patient $50,000 for unproven treatments.
Dr Hooper who claims hyperbaric chambers can be used to "upregulate peptide use", was accused of using questionable and expensive oxygen therapies on 30 different conditions including cerebral palsy, cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility and autism.
He was found guilty of six different counts of misconduct and his registration was cancelled. He will not be able to reapply for his certificate for two years, unless he successfully appeals the decision.
The Chiropractic Board of Australia will also hold Dr Hooper to an undertaking that he will not use hyperbaric chamber treatment on patients with 10 conditions, including adult cerebral palsy.
The VCAT panel ruled that due to Dr Hooper's "zealotry and unfaulting belief" in the healing powers of oxygen therapy only a lengthy period of cancellation would protect the public.
VCAT and the Australian Chiropractic Board will also hold Dr Hooper to an undertaking that he will provide patients with medical research that discredits the effectiveness of oxygen therapy on 20 conditions.
In his judgment, presiding member Robert Davis said at no point did Dr Hooper acknowledge he was wrong.
"It is almost impossible to envisage that Dr Hooper would concede that his method of carrying out the treatment had faults in any way," he said.
"Dr Hooper deserves a severe sanction and it is only after a lengthy period with a severe sanction that he may realise the error of his ways.
"In our view, nothing less than cancellation is sufficient to drive that message home to Dr Hooper.
"The public cannot be protected with anything less than cancellation."
The Chiropractic Board of Australia who lodged the case said the decision showed the length the board would go to protect the public.

"The VCAT decision sends a clear message: the Board will not tolerate chiropractors who provide treatment that puts the public at risk and is not in their patients' best interests," said chairman Dr Phillip Donato.

Source: Herald Sun
Windermere Chiropractor Sentenced to Federal Prison in Fraud Scheme
Yellow Pages
Written by TAC Staff: Yellow Pages   
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 04:55
CAPE CORAL, FL--- A  Windermere chiropractor was sentenced to five years in federal prison on Wednesday for his role in a health care fraud scheme, prosecutors said.
Dr. Stephen M. Lovell, 55, was convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud after a two week trial in February. His sentence also included a financial judgment of $1.695 million.
Federal prosecutors alleged Lovell and other licensed health care practitioners posed as the owners of Xtreme Care Rehabilitation Center Inc. in Cape Coral. By claiming the business was owned exclusively by licensed practitioners, the actual owners avoided additional regulatory scrutiny.
The clinic also engaged in staged accidents, including submitting false insurance claims, prosecutors said. Insurance payouts from the bogus accidents were then laundered through corporations created by the conspirators, according to the federal government.
Two men identified as among the actual owners of the clinic pleaded guilty earlier this year and were also sentenced to federal prison.

Source:  Orlando Sentinel
Clackamas Chiropractor Cleared of False Charges
Yellow Pages
Written by TAC Staff: Yellow Pages   
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 04:52
CLACKAMAS, OR An administrative law judge decided a Clackamas chiropractor didn't commit fraud, pinch a client's butt or commit other improper acts but was the target of lies by a disgruntled former employee.
The Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners recently released it's final order which clears Kim Jameson's name. Jameson had filed a lwasuit to force the board to release the judge's order. The board hasn't done that, but the final order heavily quotes the judge, who exonerated Jameson of all the accusations except one record keeping violation. For that, she was ordered to 12 hours continuing education.
In the new document, the Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners admits its lead witness, Caroline Rackley, committed perjury and that six of their other seven witnesses testified based on Rackley's statements.
The judge said "Rackley likely provided this information in an effort to cover up her own wrongdoing and to shift suspicion and blame onto Dr. Jameson. In short, without information provided, directly or indirectly, by Rackley, the Board has little or no substantive evidence against Dr. Jameson."
The board's order alludes to accusations that Rackley borrowed money from the chiropractor's clients and took petty cash.
In her lawsuit, Jameson said she lost business because of the false accusations. Some insurance companies won't pay for services by a doctor who is being investigated, she wrote. Some clients heard about the accusations and stopped going to her.
"I'm grateful that my name has finally been cleared," Jameson said in an email. "That's what I've wanted for the past two years."
Jameson intends to sue the board and its investigator for damages, her attorney said.

Source: Oregon Live
$750k for Lack of Documentation?
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Written by TAC Staff: Yellow Pages   
Sunday, 25 August 2013 21:33
A Patient's Personal Tragedy Becomes a Practice Tragedy

malpracticecasesummaryMr. Smith, 50 years old, presented as a new patient in January 2009. He checked “no” to all questions on the health history form but complained of headache and nausea. Dr. Jones performed an upper cervical adjustment on Mr. Smith’s first visit and prescribed Mr. Smith an 8 week care plan.

On Mr. Smith’s third visit, Dr. Jones’ staff noted that Mr. Smith did not look well and appeared lethargic. Mr. Smith still complained of headache and nausea and vomited in the office. Dr. Jones told Mr. Smith that he cannot treat Mr. Smith and that Mr. Smith should go to the emergency room. However, Mr. Smith refused and stated that he probably just came down with the flu and begged Dr. Jones to adjust him. Dr. Jones reluctantly performed an upper cervical adjustment on this visit. Dr. Jones did not document that he advised Mr. Smith to go to the emergency room.

The next day, Mr. Smith’s spouse called Dr. Jones to report that Mr. Smith had vomited again. Dr. Jones advised Mrs. Smith to take Mr. Smith to the emergency room immediately. Again, Dr. Jones did not document his conversation with Mrs. Smith. Mrs. Smith did not take Mr. Smith to the hospital as she thought Mr. Smith merely came down with the flu.

Dr. Jones treated Mr. Smith a total of five times. However, in February 2009, Mr. Smith passed away. Autopsy of Mr. Smith revealed the cause of death was due to blunt trauma to the head.

The Estate of Mr. Smith subsequently filed an action against Dr. Jones alleging failure to properly review and inquire about Mr. Smith’s health history and failure to refer to a physician which ultimately caused Mr. Smith’s untimely death. The Estate of Mr. Smith sought $750,000 in compensatory damages, future earnings, and loss of companionship.

At trial, the Estate of Mr. Smith argued that had Dr. Jones properly reviewed and inquired about Mr. Smith’s health history, Dr. Jones would have discovered that Mr. Smith fell and hit his head on the cement while playing basketball in the last week of December 2008. The Estate of Mr. Smith further argued that Dr. Jones should not have treated Mr. Smith and should have referred Mr. Smith to a physician.

The jury found in favor of the Estate of Mr. Smith and awarded $750,000.

Learning Points
What could Dr. Jones have done differently to prevent such a lawsuit? As an initial matter, Dr. Jones should have held an interactive discussion with Mr. Smith regarding his health history form. At trial, Dr. Jones admitted that he never reviewed Mr. Smith’s health history form with him. Had Dr. Jones held an interactive discussion with Mr. Smith, Dr. Jones would have asked key simple questions including “what has changed recently that may contribute to Mr. Smith’s headache and nausea?” and “when did Mr. Smith’s headache and nausea start?”

Furthermore, at trial, Dr. Jones argued that he in fact referred Mr. Smith and Mrs. Smith to the emergency room but they refused to listen. Although Dr. Jones believed that he complied with applicable standard of care when he referred Mr. and Mrs. Smith to the emergency room, Dr. Jones did not have any documentation to support his defense. Had Dr. Jones appreciated the importance of thorough and appropriate documentation and understood that a complete patient record serves as more than just treatment notes, Dr. Jones most likely would have achieved a more favorable outcome.

Beyond the case of Dr. Jones, every practitioner should consider employing the following practices to prevent a similar fate:
  • Hold an interactive discussion with the patient regarding the health history form, document the discussion, and note any clarifications you made to the patient’s responses;
  • Have the patient review, sign, and date the heath history form at every visit;
  • Pursue unanswered questions;
  • Ask the patient if he/she had seen other health care professionals since the last visit and why;
  • Inquire about any medication regimen that has been started, discontinued, or changed (prescribed or over-the-counter);
  • Ask about noticeable changes in the patient;
  • Take vital and diagnostic signs at every visit if there is an acute situation warranting it;
  • Compare current to historical findings;
  • Consider not treating or refer to another Health Care provider when positive changes are not achieved;
  • Pay attention to other indicators (i.e. level of consciousness; skin; eyes; inability to feel and move; as well as patient comments);
  • Record should reflect all that transpired between practitioner and patient including documentation of missed appointments, telephone messages, patient non-compliance;
  • Always document referral to a physician, emergency room, or specialist by completing a referral form, giving the patient a copy and keeping a complete referral form in the patient’s file;
  • In the event of patient non-compliance, consider withdrawing from professional attendance in writing and sending the withdrawal letter via certified mail with return receipt and keeping a copy of the letter and receipt signed by the patient in the patient’s file.
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Letter from Logan President Emphasizes Need for Cooperation Following No Confidence Vote
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Written by TAC Staff: Yellow Pages   
Thursday, 25 July 2013 21:24
CHESTERFIELD, MO On June 16, 2013, the Logan College of Chiropractic Alumni Association Board of Directors passed a vote of no confidence in the Logan University Board of Trustees and their General Counsel.  The vote of no confidence included language that states that the Logan College of Chiropractic Alumni Association Board continues to support the faculty, staff, students, and the new Logan President.  The Logan Alumni Board has been concerned about the financial and human resource management of the College for several years.  The Logan Alumni Board has had repeated failed attempts to meet jointly with the Board of Trustees, most recently at this year’s Homecoming. Furthermore, the Alumni Board sent a letter of questions to the Board of Trustees and received a letter back that did not address the concerns at all. 
Logan Alumni Association President Christopher N. Shoff, DC, states “We hope that the Board of Trustees recognizes and listens to the concerns of the independent voice of the Alumni Association and works with us for the betterment of Logan College of Chiropractic.  We have continued confidence in the faculty, staff, students, and new President of Logan College but are concerned with the past direction of the Board of Trustees and their future direction of the College.  I look forward to working with the Board of Trustees to address the concerns and wishes of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.”
Further action was taken by the Alumni Board demanding an independent accounting firm perform a transparent, forensic audit of the school’s financials over the past five years.

Source: Logan College Alumni Association

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