Academy of Chiropractic’s
Lawyers PI Program 259
From the Desk of :
Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
"New Court Standards Changing Your Ability to be an Expert"
(aka...CAN a lawyer refer to you?)
I have often shared with you that one of the benefits of this program is that you get to stay ahead of the curve so that when laws pertaining to personal injury change in one state, you have the upperhand as they usually set the stage for the nation if it benefits the carriers. The carriers who have very deep pockets and have patience, understand the national picture of profit. Therefore, they usually test one state and then go through the process of creating a national agenda as quickly as possible to increase profits. This is why the issue in Florida regarding the 72 hour rule for emergency care only which would result in the elimation of chiropractic and other ancillary care is so important to New York, Montana, Missouri, etc. If they create the windfall profit in Florida, then they can use that win as a precedent nationally. Florida is clearly the #1 choice to start in because it is the #1 reimbursement state nationally, so why not start with the one that costs the most?
Understanding the national picture, the laws regarding doctors' ability to testify had a dramatic change recently. This ruling effects not just chiropractors, but every expert in the court system and it occurred in New Jersey. New Jersey's Supreme Court, the highest court in the state, ruled a little more than a year ago that a doctor cannot testify in a subject unless they give evidence that they are expert. Previously, in New Jersey, as in most other states, the federal "Daubert" standard had been the guiding factor and as long as an individual, either through formal education or experience, could demonstrate he/she was expert in a particular subject, he/she could render expert testimony. Previously, in every state, this was the standard, with the exception of rulings in lower courts. The guiding opinion was Daubert and doctors across the country, including chiropractors, could render opinions.
On an MRI case, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that a doctor must show conclusive evidence of formal training in a specialty in order to render expert testimony. As an example, to have an opinion on MRI findings be accepted into testimony, the doctor must have formal training on MRI spine interpretation. No longer will your basic education or experience suffice as grounds for expert testimony. The same holds true for any modality, test or treatment and is the same standard for any expert, MD, DC, DDS, etc.
Just recently, the state of Texas concluded the same standard, making it the second state, to my knowledge, that has adopted this standard. Texas is now attempting to take this one step further and limit experts to those who hold positions in teaching institutions. The carriers are feverishly looking to limit their exposure and increase their profit margins by severely limiting those that can hurt them in the medical-legal arena. I see this as the future standard nationally because the arguments are compelling and can be a huge profit center which can be the cause of funding lots of judges' campaigns nationally who will be sympathetic to the carriers' causes as a result. THEREFORE...it all goes back to credentials, credentials, credentials.
Please note, Dr. Owens, in the MD Referral Program, has altered the program to include you being credentialed to teach at the post-doctoral level and render AMA Category 1 credits through the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Build your CV and do so immediately. This is the surest way to ensure your current and future success. If you are in any of the other 48 states and the law changes, you will be perfectly positioned to succeed.