Learn Your State Statutes. It’s the Law!
STEVEN CLARK, DC
Local and federal chiropractic laws always seem to be evolving. They’re also extremely important to you and your practice and need to be followed. Being on top of the laws and regulations of your state licensing board is one of the best risk management tools you can utilize in your practice to avoid malpractice lawsuits.
When they get out of chiropractic college, most chiropractors never fully read what their laws do/don’t allow and usually turn to colleagues for the answer. But the problem is that those doctors who have been out of school for a number of years may simply have forgotten some of the laws or may not have stayed current with the new updated laws.
Your licensing board website is the best starting point to find your local laws and regulations posted. Read through and understand some of the common but important situations that you might run into. Knowing what your state’s scope of practice allows you to do is important as well as proper procedures and requirements for patient files, patient boundaries, advertising and much more.
Joining your state chiropractic society (and getting involved) is also another important step you can take. It not only strengthens your profession with unity, but also allows you to learn the most current changes involving the chiropractic profession in your state as well as across the nation. Keeping up to date on your profession’s law changes can even improve your practice by adding services that previously were not allowed. When emails arrive from your society or malpractice carrier, be sure to read through them and keep a file to refer back to them at a later time, if needed.
Remember, just because you don’t know the law doesn’t mean you’re exempt from it. Learn your state laws and work within those boundaries to lower any chance of malpractice risk from a patient or insurance company investigation.