Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Talks About Dry Needling In Kansas

The Kansas Board of Healing Arts scheduled a public meeting to discuss an amendment to the state’s physical therapy regulations. The Board is seeking public comment and testimony regarding the physical therapy treatment known as “dry needling.” The public hearing is scheduled for February 7, 2017. Dry needling is a relatively new and controversial treatment akin to acupuncture but is not identical to acupuncture. As of this writing, 25 states have permitted dry needling as a practice by physical therapists. States such as Tennessee, New York, Idaho, Hawaii, and South Dakota forbid the practice by physical therapists. Missouri has yet to rule on the issue. Performing functional dry needling (FDN) without express statutory or regulatory authority may be an ethics violation.  Kansas and Missouri professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger has extensive experience representing physical therapists, and other healthcare professionals, facing disciplinary action.

FDN is a modality for myofascial release. The therapist uses a slender, dry, sterile needle to penetrate the skin and go directly to a trigger point.  The practice is useful for treating muscles, ligaments, and tendons as well.  Practitioners use FDN to treat neuromuscular pain and have done so successfully in numerous cases. Therapists have reported success with FDN to relieve pain in which traditional practices such as manipulation failed to provide relief. The theory behind the treatment is what separates it from acupuncture. FDN is based upon western medicine’s understanding of the anatomy and scientific study. The two disciplines reportedly differ on diagnostic criteria, needle manipulation, and insertion points as well.

Proponents of the practice are vociferous in their praise and advocacy for permitting the practice. One source noted a physical therapist found that FDN works faster and has a greater track record of success for patients than traditional physical therapeutic modalities. The therapist characterized the patient’s increased mobility as “dramatic.” On the other hand, FDN was criticized for causing greater harm when an Olympic hopeful lost out on the chance to compete in the 2006 games due to dry needling causing a punctured lung.  FDN’s benefits seem to outweigh the risks, and the resistance seems to be coming from currently licensed acupuncturists.

The Kansas Board of Healing Arts proposes to amend K.S.R. 100-29-18 though 20. The proposed section 18 would allow physical therapists licensed in Kansas to practice FDN if the measure passes. The physical therapist must pass the prescribed educational requirements to use FDN on patients. The proposed legislation prohibits on-line, and self-study as a means to become certified in the practice. Additionally, the physical therapist must pass a practical and written examination before the Kansas Board of Healing Arts certifies the physical therapist in FDN treatments if such a course was not a mandatory component of medical study before becoming licensed. Once certified, the therapist is only permitted to practice FDN in those anatomical areas in which the practitioner is certified.  Furthermore, the proposed legislation prohibits the therapist from delegating dry needling to a non-certified individual.

The proposed section 19 involves the informed consent of the patient. The therapist must obtain the informed consent in writing from the patient before performing the procedure. The therapist must obtain written informed consent from the patient for each anatomical location upon which the therapist proposes to carry out the procedure.  Additionally, the therapist must maintain precise and accurate records regarding the areas in which the patient received FDN.

Experience Fighting For Professional Licensees

Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger is a committed and ardent advocate for professional licensees. Call Attorney Sanger at 785-979-4353 to schedule a consultation if you are facing professional discipline or are the subject of an investigation into unethical practices in Kansas or Missouri. Attorney Sanger’s experience and determination can protect your livelihood.

Missouri and Kansas Professional Licensing Attorney Describes Ethical Duties Of Medical Personnel Related To Concussions In Youth Sports

The recently released movie “Concussion” starring Will Smith as a retired professional football player whose life is destroyed because of traumatic brain injury from repeated concussions is a sad true-to-life story. The story told in “Concussion” is not an isolated incident. Many headlines are made these days from ex-football players such as Junior Seau, who committed suicide after his career, and Kevin Turner who succumbed to a disease similar to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, commonly referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s disease”) in 2016 from suffering too many hits to the head. While football garners the bulk of the headlines related to head injuries, with good reason, other sports have similar concussion dangers. Soccer players, for instance, are at risk to suffer a concussion. So too are hockey players. Medical personnel in both Kansas and Missouri must follow the state-established protocols before a student-athlete returns to competition. Following the concussion rules will not guarantee the future safety of the athlete.  Consequently, subsequent injuries could lead to claims of misdiagnosis, malpractice, and ethical violations in some circumstances. Professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger is a zealous advocate for professional licensees and will fight to protect you from claims of ethical violations.

At the high school level, proper care and prevention start with awareness of the potential for injury. Gone are the days of dismissing a bump on the head as simply “getting your bell rung.” High school athletic trainers, who must be licensed in Kansas and Missouri, are the first line of intervention and treatment. Athletic trainers are always on the lookout for head injuries. Head injuries can be concealed and are not always obvious. Athletic trainers receive education on how to spot head injuries and what interventions are necessary. Appropriate responses include immediately removing a person from the game and commencing testing. The player may return to action if cleared by the trainer, if not, state-sanctioned concussion protocols take over.

Missouri has a seven-step program that an athlete must pass before returning to play. At the outset, a physician must sign a return to play form before playing again.  Each step of the seven must be completed before moving to the next step. First, the athlete must rest completely. That means no sports and no school or a reduced school schedule for a period that could last several days. The next step is returning to classes full time. Then, the student-athlete may begin light exercise. The athlete may not begin exercising until they are asymptomatic and a physician has authorized the student to do so. At this step, the student may walk or ride a bicycle with no exertion. The student may not begin lifting weights. Once that step is complete, then the student may begin running without equipment in the gym or on a track. After that, the athlete may participate in non-contact drills, followed by full practice. Assuming the student remains asymptomatic, then the athlete is allowed to return to play in a game.  The protocol advises that the student progress one step per day and not try to accelerate the process.

Unfortunately, following this protocol will not guarantee the player will remain healthy. Even one concussion can have serious effects going forward, and a clean bill of health based on diagnostic testing is no guarantee of safety. Therefore, doctors, athletic trainers, coaches, parents, and the student-athlete all bear the burden of making sure each player safely competes.

Consult With An Experienced Professional Licensing Attorney If You Have Questions About Potential Liability From Concussion Related Injuries

Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger possesses vast experience in representing healthcare professionals. Call Attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a consultation to learn your rights and responsibilities if you are involved in evaluating or treating student-athletes for concussions.

Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Discusses Intersection Of Video Surveillance And A Patient’s Right To Privacy

In Kansas and Missouri, video surveillance is more pervasive than ever. Surveillance cameras were once only found in convenience stores and retail outlets as a means to curtail robbery and shoplifting. With the advent of less expensive yet highly sophisticated surveillance equipment, you should expect to be captured by the eye-in-the-sky. Video monitoring can be found in places in which you would not expect surveillance such as doctors’ offices, dentists’ offices, and therapists’ offices. Conducting surveillance of the movements of patients in a setting in which the right to privacy is sacrosanct at first blush seems to be the ultimate invasion of privacy. However, the health care provider need not sit idly by if unscrupulous employees or patients plunder their business and may take steps to prevent or record criminal behavior. If you are a healthcare provider in Kansas or Missouri, professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger can guide you toward creating a safe environment which does not compromise the privacy of your patients while maintaining the security of your business.

The electorate in Kansas and Missouri enacted similar criminal statutes prohibiting invasion of a person’s privacy through electronic means by capturing audio, or photographic depictions of a person in a place in which the person would believe is private. A criminal invasion of privacy in either state by capturing a person’s likeness involves filming someone in a state of undress or in such a manner as to see through clothing or under it. The statutes focus on prohibiting recording people unwittingly. These laws do not prevent recording people with their consent or in areas in which they do not reasonably expect absolute privacy. Consequently, a surveillance camera in the examination room that captures a person undressing or in a state of undress would violate the statute and be grounds for criminal prosecution. In 2011, a Long Island, NY physician faced criminal charges for installing cameras in exam rooms. The cameras captured the doctor sexually assaulting his female patients. Such behavior is quite obviously criminal and violative of any ethical rule.

Recording common hallways, cash registers, checkouts, medicine cabinets and the like would not be cause for criminal sanction under the current statutory scheme in either jurisdiction. The more probing question is whether doing so violates patients’ rights to privacy, amounting to an ethics violation.  The short answer is: it depends on the circumstances on how the cameras and the recorded information is used, bearing in mind the obligation to prevent unauthorized access to recorded materials.

Medical and mental health practitioners understand that the duty to maintain the privacy of their patients is sacrosanct.  The healthcare professional may face ethical sanctions for a violation of privacy. Additionally, the healthcare professional may suffer ethical penalties for committing unprofessional behavior or acts that call into question whether the public may trust the healthcare provider. Consequently, any covert recordings that compromise a patient’s rights to privacy may amount to an ethical violation. Hypothetically, if a physician’s surveillance system captured a patient’s medical records, the physician could be in danger of facing an ethics inquiry because the patient has a right to privacy in the information contained within those records. Further complicating matters is the question of storage and surveillance video maintenance. The healthcare provider must maintain the video records in a manner that does not disclose private patient information. Consequently, healthcare providers must guard against illegal access to electronic video files.

Consult With An Experienced Professional Licensing Attorney Before Installing Surveillance Cameras In Your Office

In most instances, maintaining surveillance cameras in a healthcare providers’ office will not create an ethical violation, especially if the providers conspicuously posts a notice of surveillance in common areas. Do not act before having all of your questions resolved. Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger possesses vast experience in representing healthcare professionals. Call Attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a consultation to learn how you can ethically protect your business assets.

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