Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program
Quickie Consult 723
Testifying 10 T
From the Desk of Dr. Mark Studin
Academy of Chiropractic
Preamble: many of these issues are small, yet each issue is just that… an issue. If you take care of the small issues, then the larger issues often take care of themselves and you can focus on the larger issues… a larger, more profitable practice and more family time.
“New Defense Tactic & Your License”
PAST MEDICAL RECORDS
I have long held that you must, by the standard of your license gather all previous medical records pertinent to the injury of your patient. I have also given you strategies and action steps to take to gather those records in a timely fashion. It appears now the defense lawyers have jumped on the “previous record” bandwagon and are pressing the issue in deposition and court.
The first thing an unenlightened person (I am trying to become a better person and not say a “stupid person”) would say is that I am never going to court, so why does this matter to me (Ahhh… I do feel better for not saying thatJJJ). The same unenlightened person might not realize that this is a licensure violation in probably every state and in the absence of having reviewed pertinent past medical records would leave your license exposed to gross misconduct charges upon a hearing with your licensure board. That same unenlightened person would then say because I limit personal injury how would I ever get to a licensure hearing.
That answer to the unenlightened person is simple; the cash patients make more complaints than carriers do because you are stealing their money directly. Or at least that is the mind-set of the cash patient and they render a bulk of licensure complaints. This is also the one of the prime reasons you do the same level of examination as everyone else.You must have 1 standard of documentationfor every patient and every financial class. I also have been sharing with the with you quite some time.
This licensure mandate transcends the defense lawyers in personal injury cases. It also lets the plaintiff’s lawyers (your patient’s lawyers) also realize what is needed and by reviewing all previous records in-depth will also be one more demonstrable action showing them that you are a trauma trained specialist who is vastly experienced in personal injury. Whether you are or not, it will project that perception and they will be happier to work with you either way. However, in reality simply by reading and understanding this consultation, you are better trained than almost everyone else in the profession on personal injury, making that statement truth and not simply “impressionism”.
In addition, upon deposition and trial, the lack of your knowledge of the past pertinent medical records makes you “fodder” for the defense lawyer and concurrently leaves you exposed to licensure issues. Based upon my attending a recent trail lawyers meeting, the defense lawyers upon deposition and trial are asking treating doctors “have you personally reviewed all the past medical reports and images pertinent to this case?” That is a fair question and one you should be well prepared for because as of now you have been enlightened to a higher degree and if you don’t from here forward, you are just plain STUPID (yes, I couldn’t resist because there is no other explanation).
In addition, should it be verified via your testimony, where lying is perjury and can land you in jail, that you have not reviewed the pertinent past medical records and images, which is clearly a licensure issue. This now gives the defense lawyer 2 avenues to prevail; first, they can say you are not aware of the past records and you are not qualified by lack of knowledge and make you look the fool in court and probably get the judge to discredit and dismiss you as an expert, and can at the same time remand this to the licensure board for a misconduct hearing. The latter will bode well for his case because the defense lawyer will use that to show why you are not qualified and they will not lose 1 second of sleep if you lose your license and your professional and personal life is destroyed. They won and that is their valuable final product and will use every mechanism within the law to prevail.
The answer is simple and we are now getting trial lawyers to ensure their experts have reviewed all the pertinent past medical records and images; something I have been telling you for years!
This is a small issue… but huge in the grand scheme of a medical-legal practice
Mark Studin DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Chiropractic, University of Bridgeport, College of Chiropractic
Adjunct Professor, Division of Clinical Sciences, Texas Chiropractic College
Educational Presenter, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education Joint Partnership with the State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Academy of Chiropractic
US Chiropractic Directory
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