New Florida Law Requires Physician Medical Directors for Health Care Clinics Employing Chiropractors

chiro.jpgEffective July 1, 2008, pursuant to Florida Statutes § 460.4167, no chiropractor may be employed by a health care clinic unless the clinic has a medical director that is an MD or DO. Specifically, the provision is intended to prevent D.C.s from acting as medical directors for such clinics.
The Board of Chiropractic recently addressed the issue of whether any such clinics already existing can be grandfathered. The answer by the Board is no. Therefore, effective July 1, 2008 any clinic that has a D.C. as a medical director or employs a D.C. and does not have an MD or DO medical director will not be able to submit claims or bill for services and D.C.s working for such establishments can be disciplined.
The Statute also addresses several issues for clinics that continue to employ D.C.s and sets limitations, including criminal penalties:
The purpose of this section is to prevent a person other than a licensed chiropractic physician from influencing or otherwise interfering with the exercise of a chiropractic physician’s independent professional judgment. In addition to the acts specified in subsection (1), a person other than a licensed chiropractic physician and any entity other than a sole proprietorship, group practice, partnership, or corporation that is wholly owned by one or more chiropractic physicians licensed under this chapter or by a chiropractic physician licensed under this chapter and the spouse, parent, child, or sibling of that physician, may not employ a chiropractic physician licensed under this chapter or enter into a contract or arrangement with a chiropractic physician pursuant to which such unlicensed person or such entity exercises control over the following:
(a) The selection of a course of treatment for a patient, the procedures or materials to be used as part of such course of treatment, and the manner in which such course of treatment is carried out by the licensee;
(b) The patient records of a chiropractor;
(c) Policies and decisions relating to pricing, credit, refunds, warranties, and advertising; or
(d) Decisions relating to office personnel and hours of practice.
(5) Any person who violates this section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in 2s. 775.081, s. 775.083, or 3s. 775.035.