TAKE NOTE: TBCE Warns of Potential Criminal Convictions
Written by Editor   
Monday, September 19, 2016 12:00 AM

Section 201.301 of the Chiropractic Act stipulates that “a person may not practice chiropractic unless the person holds a license issued by the board.”

Did you know that failure to renew your license or registration could result in a criminal conviction?

201.605 Criminal Penalty: Practice Without a License
(a) A person commits an offense if, the person violates Section 201.301.
(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), an offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor
(c) If it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted under Subsection (a) the offense is a felony of the third degree.

(d) Each day of the violation constitutes a separate offense

The TBCE reminds all licensees and facility owners that it is critical to renew licenses or registration before the expiration date. When a license is in expired status, a DC cannot treat patients until it is renewed. Treating patients with an expired license is prohibited and subjects you to sanctions of up to $1000, per day. In addition to the administrative penalties, any insurance payments billed may not be paid by the carrier. You could be ordered to reimburse any payments received while your license is expired. A patient could ask to be reimbursed as well. The facility owner is also liable – a facility owner is required to allow only licensed DC’s to practice in the facility.

A facility owner whose registration is expired is required to notify any DC’s practicing in the facility so that the DC can be prepared to move his/her practice to another licensed facility. A DC continuing to practice in an expired facility receives additional penalties assessed.

Where there is repeated non-compliance with the statutory requirement to be licensed, a referral can be made by the TBCE to local law enforcement. It is a Class A Misdemeanor, though continued non-compliance can result in a felony conviction.

The TBCE sends a courtesy notice to everyone 60 days before license or registration expiration. This notice comes to the email address that you have provided to the agency.

As of September 1, 2016, all licensees and facility owners are required to have an official email on file and to keep it current. Failure to receive the courtesy notice is not a defense for an untimely renewal.  It can also take up to 10 business days to issue the license or registration so tend to your licenses and registration in a timely manner. At times, the agency may require additional information before allowing you to renew. If you have past due fines from a TBCE board order, your license will not be renewed until compliance is achieved. For facility registrations, additional information may be required to verify ownership of the facility and for the DC’s practicing in the facility. In addition, any errors in mailing, payment amount, type of check and incomplete forms can further delay the renewal process.

Give yourself sufficient time to ensure that you have all the information available and ready to provide if requested.

Having an active license is critical to patient protection. The TBCE takes these complaints seriously. Full compliance is important to the profession and your credibility as a Doctor of Chiropractic.

Source:  http://www.tbce.state.tx.us/NewsLetter/2016/NLAugust2016.pdf