Chiropractors are healthcare professionals who work to alleviate a wide variety of physical ailments that are often not treatable through medication. They do so by manipulating the spine, neck and other parts of the body to help patients feel better naturally. However, not all chiropractors practice the same way. Some may use techniques that are not considered within the scope of their license. When a chiropractic professional deviates from the standard of care, this can be considered medical malpractice. Our NJ chiropractor malpractice lawyers at Team Law have been helping victims recover full compensation awards for decades.
The Scope of Practice in New Jersey
The New Jersey Board of Chiropractic Examiners licenses NJ chiropractor chiropractors in the state. Those who want to become licensed in the state must complete an approved program. The board also requires that applicants pass an examination to determine whether they have the necessary knowledge and skills for practice. Those who fail the examination must wait a year before reapplying. The board also enforces ethical rules for those who seek to become licensed.
To begin practicing as a chiropractor, one must complete a degree program that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education. The school should also be fully accredited by the Board. After completing the program, the chiropractor must then apply for licensure with the Board. During the application process, the applicant must pay an initial license fee and pass a criminal record check.
Once licensed, the chiropractor must adhere to the Board’s ethics rules and maintain malpractice liability insurance. They must also attend continuing education courses to keep their skills up-to-date. Those who fail to adhere to the rules can be subject to fines or other disciplinary action.
New Jersey chiropractors can treat a wide range of injuries and conditions, including back pain, neck pain and headaches. They may also assist with sports injuries and other ailments. Many people who visit a chiropractor want to avoid the side effects of medications and surgery, but sometimes those treatments are not effective. In addition, chiropractic care can be expensive.
New Jersey lawmakers recently passed legislation to allow patients to see more doctors, including chiropractors. In fact, some of the most popular health insurance plans in the state include coverage for chiropractic services. However, the insurance industry is not happy with this. In an attempt to cut costs, some insurers have created “care paths” that severely limit the number of chiropractic visits a patient can receive for certain injuries. Three of the six care paths (care path 2 — cervical spine herniated disc/radiculopathy; care path 4 – thoracic spine herniated disc/radiculopathy; and care path 6 – lumbar spine herniated disc/radiculopathy) eliminate chiropractic treatment for these injuries, despite dozens of scientific articles that support the benefits of spinal manipulation for these injuries. The New Jersey State Board of Chiropractic Examiners and virtually all major chiropractic organizations have publicly opposed the care paths.