- Legal Industry
- No comments
The president of the South Dakota Chiropractor Association argues that the prepayment plans he has utilized for years without hearing any complaints from customers are ethical financial tools for his patients.
His licensing board does not share his opinion.
Early this year, the South Dakota Board of Chiropractic Examiners ruled that Dr. Josh Biberdorf, a chiropractor at Black Hills Health and Wellness Center in Rapid City, broke its administrative regulations against prepaid treatment plans.
Biberdorf signed in September a consent agreement with the board, stating that he will stop using his prepaid plans. As part of that agreement, Biberdorf will allow the licensing board to randomly review his office records within a 12-month probation period. He also agreed to pay the amount of $10,000 as reimbursement for investigative and attorney’s fees.
Craig Kennedy, the attorney representing the board, said, “It is the board’s position that prepaid plans may create, in the mind of the patient, a perceived need for care which may exceed appropriate care under the circumstances. They may also create improper financial incentives for chiropractors to provide unnecessary treatment.”
Prepayment treatment plans forces a patient to pay in advance for a prescribed course treatment, either in full or in installments, in return for a financial discount. Extended payment options usually forces a customer to tender monthly payments covering a predetermined number of treatments that have been agreed upon in advance.
Biberdorf defended his billing practice saying that it is common for many professional services, which include dental and legal fields.
He said, “Our law says that they can’t be used to obligate patients to further care they don’t need, and the South Dakota Board of Chiroporactic Examiners incorrectly extrapolates that law to say that they all do.”