RISK MANAGEMENT MINUTE – The Vital Role of Malpractice Insurance for Chiropractors Working in the Prenatal Space - A No Holds Barred Discussion of the Reality & Risk

ChiroFutures Malpractice Program
RISK MANAGEMENT MINUTE – The Vital Role of Malpractice Insurance for Chiropractors Working in the Prenatal Space - A No Holds Barred Discussion of the Reality & Risk

ChiroFutures' Top Ten Insights and Advice for Chiropractors Working With Midwives & Doulas

In the world of chiropractic care, it's no secret that there's a fine line to tread when it comes to providing prenatal and labor care. The nuances and potential risks involved can be overwhelming, and that's why ChiroFutures, a trusted name in malpractice insurance, is here to shed light on this complex issue and stress the importance of having a reliable malpractice provider to protect your practice and your clients' well-being.

The Facts Unveiled

First and foremost, let's clarify a few essential facts. ChiroFutures is a staunch supporter of the assessment and adjustment of vertebral subluxations during prenatal care, including during the birth process. The dedication to safeguarding the right of children and pregnant women to receive chiropractic care is deeply ingrained in their ethos.

Navigating the Boundaries

Now, let's delve into the critical points that every chiropractor must comprehend:

Point #1: Any involvement in the delivery of the fetus during a birth is considered the practice of obstetrics. This distinction should be crystal clear to all chiropractors.

Point #2: No malpractice policy will cover chiropractors for practicing obstetrics, and it is illegal in every state to do so.

Point #3: ChiroFutures stands out by providing coverage for vicarious liability, a critical component in risk management.

The Vicarious Liability Quandary

Picture this typical scenario: A chiropractor is present at a birth alongside a midwife or doula, primarily to assess and manage vertebral subluxations. In the unfortunate event that something goes wrong, such as harm to the baby or even a fatality, it's highly likely that everyone present, including the chiropractor, will be sued. This is the nature of lawsuits – they tend to cast a wide net.

Top Ten Malpractice Facts for Clarity

Let's break down the situation with some "malpractice facts" to ensure complete understanding:

Malpractice Fact #1: The chiropractor may be sued, even if the midwife, doula, or facility lacks malpractice coverage.

Malpractice Fact #2: If the midwife or doula has coverage, the chiropractor's attorney will try to remove them from the lawsuit since they were not involved in the delivery but solely present for assessment and adjustment.

Malpractice Fact #3: Not all malpractice policies respond to claims; ChiroFutures' policy does, setting it apart as a safeguard.

Malpractice Fact #4: Some midwives and doulas do not carry malpractice insurance due to its cost, leaving them exposed to substantial risk.

Malpractice Fact #5: Unsuspecting chiropractors, who may have malpractice insurance, sometimes find themselves partnering with midwives or doulas without coverage.

Malpractice Fact #6: In a scenario where something goes wrong, the attorney for the parents will likely sue everyone involved, leading to potential financial ruin for all parties.

Malpractice Fact #7: If the chiropractor has malpractice insurance but lacks coverage for vicarious liability, they may be left to navigate the legal labyrinth alone.

Malpractice Fact #8: ChiroFutures' policy covers vicarious liability, offering a defense throughout the process.

The Sad Reality

While these facts may seem daunting, it's essential to recognize the gravity of the situation:

Malpractice Fact #9: Chiropractors who attend births without ensuring midwives and doulas have malpractice coverage may appear careless, reflecting poorly on their judgment.

Malpractice Fact #10: Such practices put not only the chiropractor's practice at risk but also the entire malpractice insurance program.

Your Path to Sound Risk Management

In conclusion, ChiroFutures emphasizes the following advice:

1. Ensure your malpractice policy covers vicarious liability.
2. Collaborate exclusively with midwives, doulas, and centers that carry malpractice insurance.
3. Limit your attendance at births solely for subluxation analysis and correction.
4. Meticulously document your involvement in care.

In a profession dedicated to the well-being of others, safeguarding your practice and protecting yourself from unnecessary risks should be a top priority. ChiroFutures is here to provide not only insurance coverage but also the knowledge and support you need to navigate the complex world of chiropractic care with confidence and security.

ChiroFutures Malpractice Program