Consumer Health Digest #16-47

Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
December 25, 2016

Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., with help from William M. London, Ed.D., M.P.H. It summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making.

Skeptic's Dictionary creator dead at 71. Robert Todd Carroll, Ph.D., who created and maintained the highly respected Skeptic's Dictionary Web site, has succumbed after a 20-year battle with an uncommon form of pancreatic cancer. The site, which was launched in 1994 and gets millions of hits per year, contains 785 dictionary entries plus more than a thousand other articles. Carroll was a professor of philosophy at Sacramento City College from 1977 until his retirement in 2007.

New York chiropractors stopped from doing commercial drivers' physicals. Chiropractors in New York State are no longer authorized to determine whether commercial motor vehicle drivers meet the physical qualification standards of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Last June, the FMCSA notified chiropractors that the New York State Education Department had determined that Department of Transportation physicals are outside the scope of practice defined by state law. [Schremmer M. New York chiropractors no longer allowed to give DOT physicals. Landline Magazine, June 2, 2016] In a letter to some of the affected chiropractors, The New York State Board of Chiropractic further explained the situation this way:

The basis for this decision is based solely on scope and not competency. The decision focuses around the exam itself. It has been interpreted, by the state, that any examination performed by a chiropractor in New York is predicated on finding and correcting subluxations. Although chiropractors in New York are trained to perform a complete physical examination, our ability to examine and diagnose in New York is limited to detecting and correcting subluxations. As there are many areas to a DOT exam, it is felt that the DOT exam goes beyond the scope of chiropractic in New York. Further, even if you have been credentialed through programs that teach the DOT exam process, this does not change the defined scope of practice in New York.

The Safe Drivers, Safe Roads Coalition, a group whose mission is "to protect, defend and expand the rights of chiropractors in their participation in the performance of DOT physicals and the supportive services associated with these examinations," is mobilizing to fight the ruling. In a fundraising e-mail, the group indicated that similar "scope of practice" language might place chiropractors at risk in about 30 other states and that it hopes to file suit for an injunction in New York no later than January 22, 2017.

Chiropractors charged with faking treatment of each other's family members. Joshua M. Rosinski, 37, and Joseph P. Brady Jr., 44, have been accused of orchestrating a scheme that defrauded insurance companies. [Two midstate chiropractors charged with defrauding insurance companies of $150K. Pennsylvania Attorney General news release, Dec 20, 2016] The grand jury's report to the court concluded:

Rosinski and Brady were each charged with three counts of insurance fraud and one count each of corrupt organizations, theft by deception, and criminal conspiracy to commit theft by deception.

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This page was posted on December 26, 2016.