New Regulations a Pain in the Neck for Chiropractic 'Runners'

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014 12:00 am  

Chiropractor Heath Lenox used runner Roger Pleasant and his companies to persuade auto accident victims to come to Lenox’s clinic in Little Rock. Lenox stopped using Pleasant and his companies on June 25. | (Photo by Mark Friedman)

“There’s no way that you could sufficiently be able to respond to the complaint, and so that’s a problem,” Proctor told Arkansas Business last week. “Of course, we deny any sort of inappropriate action done by any of the defendants.”

His motion for dismissal is pending.

Proctor said he thinks Pleasant was singled out because he “has been doing it the longest and [was] probably the most successful.” He said he thinks the AG’s office is trying to make an example out of Pleasant “and hopes that the others would fall in line,” he said. “But that’s my guess. I don’t know for sure.”

If Proctor is right, then the lawsuit seems to be working.

R. David Lewis, the Little Rock attorney representing chiropractor Heath Lenox, confirmed last week that his client had fired Pleasant, whose companies were the only ones on record as working for Lenox. (Morris, the other chiropractor who stopped using Pleasant, couldn’t be reached for comment.)

Of the 78 complaints the board had pending against chiropractors as of July 24, 13 were against Lenox and all but one was related to the tactics his runners used to pressure potential patients to come to his office for treatment.

Lenox has agreed to plead no contest to the complaints, pay a $24,000 fine and be placed on three years of probation to settle the allegations. Under the agreement, the board would dismiss two of the complaints against Lenox. As of last week, the consent order was being drafted and hadn’t been signed.

Lewis, the attorney, said Lenox decided to settle because he didn’t want to fight the charges anymore.

The attorney general’s office said it might file more lawsuits against runners who act outside of the regulations.

“If we find evidence of similar practices by others, then we would consider filing lawsuits against those companies or individuals as well,” Aaron Sadler, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said in an email to Arkansas Business last week. “Thus far, our focus has been on runners because the Board has within its authority the ability to sanction chiropractors that the Board believes are acting illegally.”

Wills, the lobbyist for the chiropractors association, said the board could take a chiropractor’s license for the actions of the runner. That hasn’t happened yet, “but I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen in the near future,” Wills said.

New Legislation

 

 

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