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New Consumer Protection Law May Restrict Chiropractors

Published: Oct 17, 2019 by Levi Tkach

On October 16, 2019, Federal Magistrate Judge William H. Baughman, Jr., denied a motion to stop the implementation of a new Ohio law affecting nearly every chiropractor in the state. First Choice Chiropractic, LLC, et al v Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, N.D. Ohio No. 1:19CV2010 (Oct. 16, 2019). The plaintiffs in the case still have the opportunity to appeal that ruling, but as of today, the law became effective.

The new law authorizing this change to in-person solicitation (telephone or other electronic communication) represents a back door to regulation. Moreover, the new law is a consumer protection statute and not a rule created for the Chiropractic Board. The consumer protection section of the Attorney General’s Office is outside the jurisdiction of the Chiropractic Board. The Attorney General’s Office can investigate these matters and impose fines without any knowledge or involvement from the Chiropractic Board.

This consumer protection statute prohibits health care practitioners (or their agents) from directly contacting by phone, text message, or email, any party, victim, or witness of a motor vehicle accident within 30 days of the accident. Communication by regular U.S. Mail is still permitted.

Potential fines are $5,000 per violation for first time violators and $25,000 per violation for subsequent violations. After three separate occasions, the chiropractor will have his or her license automatically suspended by the Board. A suspension will not be lifted until the Board adopts a final order following an administrative hearing.

The Board is currently in the process of adopting rules to mirror the consumer protection statute. While the Board’s Rules are not technically adopted yet, chiropractors and professional solicitors should begin abiding by the new guidelines to avoid possible legal action from the Attorney General’s office.

If you are a health care practitioner or employed by a chiropractor to make solicitations and you have questions regarding the new laws and regulations, you should consider contacting an attorney at Graff & McGovern, LPA, for a no-cost consultation. Levi Tkach is available to take your call at 614-228-5800, extension 4.