The recent lawsuit GEICO vs. Silverman Chiropractic has sent ripples through the chiropractic community. This case is filled with specific allegations that emphasize the significance of transparency, accurate billing, and ethical practice. While the detailed nature of these claims warrants discussion, it’s crucial to remember that allegations remain unproven until settled in a court of law.
Specific Allegations Highlighted in the Lawsuit:
- Scope of Practice: The lawsuit alleges that Dr. Silverman supervised procedures like pain management injections, which might be beyond a chiropractor’s professional jurisdiction.
- Service Provider’s Role: Claims suggest that massage therapists at the clinic performed tasks such as physical therapy exercises. The argument is that these duties are outside their scope and needed to be appropriately disclosed in the medical records.
- Financial Responsibilities: Dr. Silverman is accused of not collecting deductibles or copay payments from patients, a potential deviation from standard financial protocols.
- Treatment Protocols: It’s alleged that even patients with minor injuries were subjected to a broad, “pre-determined” protocol, raising questions about the customization of patient care.
- Billing Code Controversies: The lawsuit argues that the use of codes 99203 and 99204 for initial exams might not align with the patient’s conditions. Moreover, the required face-to-face time associated with these codes might not have been met.
- Physical Therapy Protocols: Allegedly, Dr. Silverman initiated an immediate course of physical therapy for patients without first considering more conservative approaches.
- Diagnosis Concerns: The lawsuit suggests that patients received similar diagnoses regardless of their unique circumstances, pointing to possible generalization issues.
- Medical Equipment Provision: Patients were reportedly given specific medical devices without clear medical necessity, sparking concerns about the primary motivation behind these distributions.
- Concerns Regarding NCV Tests: The clinic purportedly billed for NCV tests without the necessary corresponding EMGs. This claim implies these tests might not have been diagnostic or relevant to each patient’s condition.
The GEICO vs. Silverman Chiropractic case provides an opportunity for chiropractic professionals to reflect upon the complexities of practice, especially in an environment where scrutiny is ever-present. It underscores the necessity of ensuring that procedures, billing, and patient care align with both ethical and legal guidelines.
“In the face of adversity, we have a choice. We can be bitter or better.”
– Caryn Sullivan
Case Reference: GEICO v. Silverman Chiropractic, No. 1:23-cv-23470, complaint filed (S.D. Fla. Sept. 11, 2023).