Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program

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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.

“Defending Your Records in a Law Suit”

The Legal Community’s New Opening Volley to NOT Pay Your Lien
 
“I am no longer asking… I am telling”  Mark Studin 2017


I have spent the last 3 days reviewing records for a doctor that was sued for billing fraud and a host of other allegations. The root of the law suit is because the doctor refused to lower his lien of approximately $4300. The lawyer, in WRITING, threatened to sue the doctor if he didn’t, which is a licensure infraction for the lawyer, but the lawyer didn’t care because he had an escape plan… settlement at any time during the process. 

 
Here is the challenging part: Is the doctor’s records complaint and do they match perfectly with what was billed and are there enough bullets to comply with the codes utilized. In short… did he do everything right? 

 
In this scenario, the doctor did perhaps one of the best jobs of documenting I have ever seen as I am in the midst of doing a forensic analysis of EVERYTHING he did.  A Forensic analysis, as I was retained by his criminal / health care defense lawyer (very expensive) to perform is a detailed reporting of every word and every issue on every document the doctor wrote, along with the allegations in the Bill of Particulars crafted by the lawyer for the plaintiff (the lawyer who is suing). 

 
In the lawyer’s complaint, there are many inaccuracies, half-truths and blatant lies, but they read well to an untrained eye and offer the courts a scenario that makes the doctor appear as a greedy felon. It is my job, based upon my experience and credentials to “right the record” and give the defense lawyer the ammunition to get this thrown out at best, to prevail during trial at worst (because the doctor will still have to pay for all the legal expenses of a trial) or settle for part of his initial fee, which is the ultimate goal of the lawyer. In any event, this has caused this doctor WHO DID HIS JOB AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL to have numerous nights of no sleep and pay significant legal fees.

 
The good news is the doctor documented extremely well or I would be writing a totally different story. Is this the “norm” or future standard of personal injury? The answer is a resounding NO as most lawyers realize they must work WITH YOU to prevail. However, there is always that faction of “Scumbags” in the legal profession who will stoop to any level (to the delight of the carriers) to make an extra few dollars and have no regard for your license or life. 

 
Therefore, as always, you MUST have your records perfect on every patient as you never know when this will happen. It starts with a compliance review and continues with every patient you treat. IF… you have an associate, this is the typically the largest area of exposure in your practice and you must take measures to ensure they are not putting you in harm’s way!

 
In 2017 and beyond, you have no leeway to cut corners in documentation.

 
 
Respectfully,


 
Mark Studin DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP

Adjunct Associate 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

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