TCA Statement on VONT Appeal
Monday, November 26, 2018 12:26 PM

As some of you may already be aware, the Third Court of Appeals in Austin rendered its opinion in the ongoing TMA vs. TBCE/TCA (VONT) case. TCA's analysis of the decision is still ongoing, but we’d like to share some initial observations. Here is a link the Court's ruling:

While the Court ruled favorably on the issue of diagnosis, it ruled unfavorably on VONT and the inclusion of "nerve" or "neuro" in the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners' definitions of subluxation complex and musculoskeletal system. In summary, this ruling partially voids TBCE's current definitions of "musculoskeletal system" and "subluxation complex,” which currently include the words "nerve" or "neuro." The Court also ruled that Vestibulo-Ocular-Nystagmus testing (VONT) is outside the scope of practice for chiropractors.

The Court addressed the practical effect of removing "nerve" and "neuro" from TBCE’s definitions by stating that, even without those terms, the rule “comprehended and allowed for consideration of and effect on nerves“ and would not “jeopardize patient care.” Thus, the Court's ruling suggests that the removal of these terms is legally necessary, but does not eliminate the clinical or functional consideration of nerves with respect to examination and treatment of muscloskeletal conditions or the subluxation complex. While the Court appears to have accepted TCA's and TBCE's arguments regarding the importance of nerves in clinical practice regarding the subluxation complex and musculoskeletal system, the Court ultimately concluded that the Texas Chiropractic Act, as it is written, does not support the Board’s definitions.

These issues are not finally resolved. In the meantime, TCA is working with legal counsel to determine the next steps. If necessary, TCA will appeal this ruling to the Texas Supreme Court. We will do whatever is required to prevent this decision from taking effect before the Texas Supreme Court has a chance to consider our appeal. We are committed to ensuring that your practice and patient care is not interrupted or affected.

Please stand with TCA as we push this profession forward. TCA stands committed to pursuing every legal remedy available to us to ensure that chiropractors in Texas can practice to the full extent of their education and training. That is the standard that best serves our patients.