ChiroFutures Malpractice Program
RISK MANAGEMENT MINUTE – Functional Medicine in Chiropractic Practice: Understanding Liability and Insurance Needs

Insights and Advice from ChiroFutures Malpractice Insurance Program

As more chiropractors branch out into diverse areas of health and wellness, many find themselves pondering the intricacies of functional medicine. Dr. Marley's concerns provide a prime example of the complexities faced by chiropractors in today's digital age, highlighting the importance of having a reliable malpractice provider at your side.

Functional Medicine Online Courses: What's Covered?

Dr. Marley's interest in offering online courses on functional medicine, separate from her chiropractic practice, raises a pivotal question: "Is it within the scope of chiropractic as defined by the state?" This is vital because malpractice insurance only covers activities that fall within that scope.

If Dr. Marley were to start accepting patients under her functional medicine business, would this interaction be virtual? And if teaching the public to interpret their test results, is this covered by her chiropractic license? These nuances make clear the importance of understanding and ensuring proper coverage.

The "Doctor" Title: Implications and Limitations

The use of the "Doctor" title based on a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) certification can be a double-edged sword. While it showcases expertise, it also entails responsibilities and boundaries, particularly if the services offered venture outside the scope of chiropractic care. With a more liberal state scope concerning labs and interpretations, Dr. Marley has some leeway. However, venturing online introduces additional complications.

If Dr. Marley's courses are accessible to individuals from different states, she might inadvertently breach licensing regulations of those states. The post-COVID surge in telehealth and telemedicine has caused some chiropractors to believe they have universal licensing similar to MDs. This isn't the case. The risks of liability from unsupervised interpretations by non-patients across state lines are high, and it's crucial to understand state-by-state regulations.

Labs Directly Offering Tests: A Different Playing Field

Dr. Marley's question about labs providing direct-to-patient services underscores another concern. Such setups usually involve healthcare professionals overseeing and interpreting results. This structure is different from a chiropractor offering interpretative guidance without a direct patient relationship.

Conclusion: Navigating with Expert Guidance

In the rapidly evolving landscape of health and wellness, chiropractors must tread with caution and be adequately insured. ChiroFutures Malpractice Insurance Program is committed to guiding its clients through these complexities. Every chiropractor should not only understand their state's scope of practice but also work closely with insurance providers to ensure they're protected, especially when embarking on ventures like online functional medicine courses.

Dr. Marley's questions and the broader concerns they represent highlight the critical role of trusted malpractice providers. In a world of uncertainties, having an expert on your side to clarify doubts, provide guidance, and offer protection is invaluable. Remember, in the pursuit of health and wellness, it's always better to be safe than sorry.

ChiroFutures Malpractice Program