June 2014

June 2014

Who can provide services to patients other than the DC? It depends on where you practice.

You've adjusted the last patient of the morning, but they're receiving some rehab instruction. You have a lunch appointment. Can you leave?

The majority of states require you to be present when your staff is working "incident to" your license. So you must be on the premises when the work is being performed. In states that certify CAs to perform certain, specific therapies, no problem. But for most chiropractors the safest strategy is to stay put until all aspect of patient care is completed.

Your reception room is overflowing. Is it okay for your CA to share the results of a new patient's posture examination with them?

Maybe. And sort of. CAs are absolutely able to share educational materials and information, such as reading a computer printout. What's critical is that a CA or any other unlicensed personnel can't be involved in health care decision-making, including diagnosis or treatment without written direction and without being under the supervision of the DC.

Your staff massage therapist is seeing the last patient of the day. Can you leave?

Your massage therapist is licensed, so what this really hinges upon is whether he or she is your employee or an independent contractor—and, even if they are an employee, whether you intend to bill under your billing name and I.D.

In some states, licensed massage therapist can bill under their own name and provider number, even as an independent contractor. So if the patient's insurance was not being billed for the service, and the massage therapist (whether employee or not) is considered fully responsible for the treatment, you might be just fine skating out the door.

Bottom line? Operating without a complete understanding of your state and contract rules is an iffy proposition. Know the rules before allowing services rendered by others to take place in your practice—especially in your absence.

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