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Indiana Chiropractic License Defense Attorney

Your work as a licensed chiropractor is a passion, one you spent years to learn. As a licensed health care professional, you provide what is very near the top of the list of essential services in society. Everyone needs medical attention at one time or another throughout their lives. However, with this important role comes the prospect of unsatisfied customers. If a patient whose expectations are not met files a complaint with the professional licensing board, you need an Indiana chiropractic license defense attorney to protect your career and livelihood.

At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, we take the complaint filed against you and all it puts at risk very seriously. Our reputation and skilled litigators and particular insight into the process for litigating—or resolving—complaints filed in professional licensure matters gives you the support you need to maintain your license and profession.

Why You Need an Indiana Chiropractic License Defense Attorney

An attack on your professional standards or performance can harm your reputation, your business, and even your career. While your education prepared you to provide quality health care, you are likely unfamiliar with the process for reviewing professional license complaints and what is needed to successfully defend against them. You need a skilled litigator with a keen understanding of the Indiana Professional License Agency and its procedures.

When you work with an Indiana chiropractic license defense attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP, you benefit from the years of experience of each and every attorney in that firm. Focused on the rights of their clients, these chiropractic professional license defense attorneys in Indianapolis have learned from years of experience how a thorough investigation and superior litigation skills are the foundation of a successful defense.

Chiropractic License Requirements in Indiana

At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, our understanding of professional license defense needs begins with licensing requirements. Indiana requires chiropractors to be licensed according to Indiana Code § 25-10-1-11. The licensing standards include minimum educational credentials and standards of performance to help ensure quality of care. In addition, state standards require chiropractors to maintain their licenses through ongoing education and the avoidance of behaviors contrary to the delivery of chiropractic care.

Sometimes, licensing issues can arise both when applying for licensure as well as when trying to renew or keep it. A good Indiana chiropractic license defense attorney can help navigate around the pitfalls of professional licensing.

The chiropractic profession is regulated by the State of Indiana through the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (PLA) and the Board of Chiropractic Examiners (Board). The Board establishes licensing standards in addition to those set by the state and has the authority to discipline chiropractors who violate them. The state Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division is charged with the responsibility to receive and investigate complaints against licensees in conjunction with the Board.

All licensed professionals regulated by the state, including chiropractors, are subject to requirements to comply with professional standards that are considered common to any profession. This includes things like the following:

  • Fraud in gaining professional licensure
  • False or misleading advertising
  • Conviction of a crime that has direct bearing on ability to practice the profession
  • Failure to keep abreast of current professional theory or practice
  • Fraudulent billing practices
  • Lewd or immoral conduct

These are just a few of the common bases from Indiana Code § 25-1-11-5 for complaints that can result in adverse consequences for a licensed chiropractor.

Chiropractors are also subject to other, more specific standards that apply to health professions. These are applicable to professionals who are delivering medical care and reflect the more up close and personal nature of health care practices. For example, the general standards prohibit lewd or immoral conduct in the provision of services for any professional, while the health professions standards contain a specific prohibition against sexual contact with patients.

Insurance and Medicare/Medicaid Issues

Medical insurance coverage and federal subsidies of health care also create risk to a chiropractor’s license. Medicare and Medicaid, particularly, have strict processing requirements that require careful attention. It can be easy to run afoul of those requirements without even trying.

And something many licensees may not know is that federal law provides for rewards to be paid to anyone who reports Medicare fraud. Whether or not an allegation has any substance, the law creates quite an incentive for a complaint to be brought against a licensee. An Indiana chiropractic license defense attorney is needed to protect the rights of a licensed chiropractor in these matters.

Another insurance and billing prohibition that is peculiar to chiropractors relates to the waiver of deductibles or co-payments. Practitioners are prohibited from advertising the waiver of deductibles or co-pays, or actually waiving them, unless he or she determines chiropractic service is necessary for the immediate welfare of the patient, payment of the amount would create a financial hardship on the patient, and the practice is not a regular business practice.

Human Trafficking Reporting Requirement

Increased awareness of human trafficking that is occurring across the country has resulted in states enacting laws to keep it from flying under the radar. Because the need for health care cuts across all sorts of societal phenomena—both good and bad—health care practitioners are somewhat uniquely positioned to see human trafficking activity rear its head.

As health practitioners, chiropractors are under an obligation to recognize and respond to indications of human trafficking. If a chiropractor is presented with evidence that would cause another practitioner of similar qualification and training to believe that a patient is a victim of human trafficking, the chiropractor is required to provide that patient with the phone number of the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Failure to do so can result in disciplinary action.

An Indiana Chiropractic License Defense Attorney May Help Defend or Lessen the Consequences

These requirements and obligations are a veritable minefield for licensed chiropractors and create real possibilities for career-threatening adverse actions to be taken by the Board. The law provides for a variety of sanctions, the most severe of which is permanent revocation of a chiropractor’s license. This would most likely occur if a practitioner was deemed permanently unqualified for licensure.

For example, the law provides that conviction for a crime that has a direct bearing on a person’s ability to practice chiropractic care competently is an absolute disqualification from attaining a license. Once a licensed chiropractor is convicted of such a crime, permanent revocation is the penalty. However, the decision of whether a crime has a direct bearing is at the discretion of the Board, and where there is discretion, there is room for discussion. An Indianapolis chiropractic professional license defense attorney can be critical the success of the chiropractor’s position in this discussion.

Short of permanent revocation, chiropractors may have their licenses suspended (see Indiana Code § 25-1-9-10) for a period of time, be formally censured, receive a letter of reprimand, or be placed on probation. Licensees may also be assessed a fine of up to $1,000 and be made to pay restitution to a victim of misconduct. Peer reviews are sometimes imposed before a chiropractor may be reinstated or removed from probation.

When to Engage an Indiana Chiropractic License Defense Attorney

Whenever a complaint is filed, the legal process kicks into action that threatens the livelihood of a licensed chiropractor. Whether the complaint in filed with the PLA or the profession’s governing body, it will find its way to the Indiana Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Protection. That office will investigate and make a determination as to whether the complaint has any merit.

If the Consumer Protection Division finds merit in the allegations, then the complaint goes to the attorney general for a determination of there should be a full-blown hearing before the Board of Chiropractic Examiners, where the authority lies for career threatening discipline. It goes without saying that legal representation at this stage by an Indiana professional license lawyer is critical, but representation even before a hearing can be just as important.

Before going to the attorney general, the licensee has an opportunity to negotiate a settlement with the Board. This can run the gamut of possibilities, including suspension of license or probation. Even though this is a somewhat informal process, a chiropractor is well served by having legal counsel involved. It is essential to understand all of your rights before agreeing to a settlement that can damage your career.

Also, investigations can sometimes go too far. It is the nature of investigators to gather a broad range of information relating to the matter at hand. State law requires that investigators of complaints in this arena be limited to matters that appear to violate statutes governing, in this case, chiropractors. Monitoring the breadth and scope of an investigation as it occurs is important to protecting the rights of the licensee.

Confidentiality is also a huge issue for a licensed chiropractor who is accused of wrongdoing. By law, until such time as the attorney general formally notifies the Board of a decision to prosecute the complaint, all information regarding the complaint and its investigation must remain confidential. One can just imagine the damage that could be done to a licensed chiropractor by a false accusation being investigated and then details being leaked before the ultimate conclusion of the attorney general that the complaint does not warrant prosecution.

Contact an Indiana Chiropractic License Defense Attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP

We understand that your professional license is something you sacrificed a lot to achieve. If you’re facing professional misconduct allegations, hiring with an Indiana professional license lawyer is the first step to protecting your reputation, career, and livelihood.

For an Indiana chiropractic license defense attorney with deep litigation skills, you can rely on Keffer Hirschauer LLP to help you with your legal questions, concerns, and representation needs. Contact us today at (317) 857-0160 or by visiting our contact page for a free initial consultation.