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When Can Chiropractors Face Discipline to Their Professional Licenses?

Posted on in Professional Licensing Defense

milwaukee professional license defense lawyerBy: Attorney Kristen Nelson and Sarah Reckling

Licensed professionals in Wisconsin are held to professional standards of conduct. Businesses that provide chiropractic services must maintain the necessary licenses, and those who are accused of acting unprofessionally or in violation of their licensure may face potential disciplinary measures.. In these situations, the Wisconsin Chiropractic Examining Board (WCEB) may take one or more types of disciplinary actions, which could include issuing a reprimand, suspension, revocation, or renewal refusal. Chiropractors who may potentially be subject to licensure discipline will need to understand the possible reasons for disciplinary action and take the appropriate steps to defend against the loss or renewal of their license.

Common Reasons for Chiropractor License Discipline

There are numerous reasons why chiropractors or others who are involved in chiropractic care, such as chiropractic technicians and chiropractic radiological technicians, may face discipline. These include:

  • Sexual misconduct: This may include any type of sexual behavior that violates the trust or confidence placed in a patient to a provider. Misconduct can include anything from inappropriate touching of patients or coworkers to sexual harassment or sexual assault. 
  • HIPAA violations: HIPPA violations are vast, but may include impermissible disclosure, unauthorized access, or inappropriate disposal of protected health information. This would also include having safeguards that ensure confidentiality through staff training for example. Penalties include civil and criminal violations. 
  • Improper record-keeping:  Chiropractors are required to maintain accurate and complete patient records. These records must be kept in a secure location and made available to patients upon request. Failing to do so can result in disciplinary action. 
  • Violating advertising regulations: Chiropractors are subject to strict advertising regulations set forth by the state of Wisconsin. These regulations prohibit false or misleading statements in advertising materials, including ads that would create unjustified expectations of the results of treatment or implications that treatment will provide emotional or spiritual benefits. 
  • Drug diversion: Chiropractors may face criminal charges as well as discipline to their professional licenses if they are accused of illegally obtaining or distributing controlled substances. While chiropractors cannot prescribe medications, they may be accused of being involved in drug distribution schemes, such as by receiving payments for referring patients to doctors who are willing to prescribe pain medications without performing full examinations.
  • Criminal convictions: As with other licensed professionals, chiropractors may be subject to discipline or the denial of a license renewal if they are convicted of misdemeanor or felony offenses related to the services they provide. 
  • Other unprofessional conduct:  In addition to the issues described above, chiropractors may also be disciplined for any type of behavior that falls below the minimum standards of acceptable professional conduct. This may include engaging in discrimination against patients, providing treatment when they are incapable of doing so safely, performing services without receiving the proper education or training, or engaging in fraudulent behavior, such as billing patients for services that were not actually provided.

Contact Our Milwaukee Chiropractor License Defense Lawyers

Chiropractors who fail to adhere to professional standards may face disciplinary action that could affect their ability to provide services to patients, their careers, and their professional reputation. To avoid these consequences, chiropractors who may potentially face any kind of discipline will want to work with a lawyer who is experienced in matters related to the defense of professional licenses. At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, our Milwaukee, WI professional license defense attorneys can help you take the proper steps to protect your livelihood. Call us today at 414-271-1440 to set up a consultation and learn how we can help.

Sources:

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/document/statutes/446.03

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/admin_code/chir/6.pdf

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