Sep 01, 2017
The #1 Reason Chiropractors are Sued for Malpractice
A malpractice lawsuit is not a favorite topic among healthcare practitioners.
In today’s litigious society, the fear over legal action lurks in the backs of everyone’s minds.
This post examines the #1 reason chiropractors are sued for malpractice and discusses ways to safeguard one’s practice and avoid legal actions.
According to Anthony J. Lisi, DC (J Amer Chiropr Assoc 2003 Oct;40(10):12-22), mismanagement of disc problems is the most common malpractice claim to be made against DCs. He then goes on to say that the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic manipulative technique in the management of disc-related injuries is controversial. Some report that chiropractic manipulation can be appropriate for lumbar disc herniation, while others view such treatment is inappropriate.
Despite the fact that Dr. Lisi’s report was published in 2003, things havent changed much. Today, the leading reason that patients sue Chiropractors is the mismanagement of herniated discs. You may want to reconsider how you treat disc disorders in your practice. Here are some reasons why.
Considering that in a chiropractic practice anywhere from one-third to one-half of all the patients who walk in the door present with disc herniations, bulges, or degeneration, the odds confronting the average DC at risk of a malpractice suit can be higher than they may think.
As the amount of patients who suffer disc herniations caused by chiropractic adjustments may be higher than many chiropractors think and as many experts in the industry would agree that high velocity adjustments performed on a regular basis have the potential for serious disc injury many practitioners are looking for something safer for disc related conditions. Are you going to continue the practice on a trial-and-error basis hoping that you don’t cause of exacerbate a potentially dangerous disc herniation into something worse? Are you willing to take the risk of inappropriately treating patients, perhaps exacerbating the situation and leaving yourself open to a lawsuit? Why put yourself in harms way when there are other safe and effective methods to treat disc-related injuries?
Nobody looks forward to a lawsuit. Whether you come out a winner or a loser, it costs money, it costs time and it is an unpleasant experience. Let’s say you come out a winner. You still have attorney fees to pay. You’ve had to take time away from your practice, resulting in missed opportunities for revenue generation. Just the fact that you were the subject of a malpractice suit can damage your career irreversibly. And what will be the impact on your malpractice insurance premium?
Speaking of malpractice insurance, did you know that since 1990, the number of malpractice insurance companies DCs can choose from has shrunk from 20 to 12? Maybe the fact so many insurers want nothing to do with chiropractic lawsuits is an indicator of aversion to risky business.
A Safe and Effective Alternative
With a safe, effective alternative available, DCs don’t have to take the risks associated with disc-related therapy. Spinal decompression is FDA cleared with documented efficacy from 70% all the way up to 89%. Spinal decompression tables, when produced by a reputable manufacturer, are safe and minimize any risk of side effects. Patients well into their 80s and 90s have been safely treated on spinal decompression tables with minimal exacerbations. They also provide a great way to increase profits in your practice. Your time spent with each patient is shorter, and successful outcomes lead to more satisfied patients and increased patient referrals
If you want to minimize your risk of chiropractic lawsuits from patients with disc-related injuries and increase your revenue stream, make the smart move and incorporate spinal decompression therapy in your practice.
What percentage of your patients present with disc-related pain? Should you add a spinal decompression table like the RenuvaDisc Pro to your practice? Download our FREE report, "The DOC Advantage: 19 Reasons Smart Docs are Using the DOC Decompression System to Create Amazing Patient Outcomes and Significant Practice Growth" and discover how you can make more money and help more people with spinal decompression therapy.
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