Recently, the use of telemarketing by chiropractic physicians has become a topic of considerable inquiry to the Board. Because this seems to be an issue which may very easily result in a higher number of consumer complaints filed with the Board, it is important to the Board that all licensees know and understand that certain forms of telemarketing are a violation of the Board's advertising regulations. Particularly in the area where a chiropractic physician allows a telemarketing firm to contact accident victims within thirty (30) days from the date of the accident. Under Board Rule 4 CSR 70-2.060 (6)(A)3, a licensee may advertise or solicit through public media, such as a telephone directory, physician's directory, newspaper or other periodical, outdoor billboard, radio, television, or through direct mail advertising or solicitation distributed generally to persons not known to need chiropractic care as long as the advertising and/or solicitation is done in compliance with the Board's rule. In recent months, the Board has concluded that telemarketing is not prohibited under the current advertising regulations assuming that the telemarketing is non-targeted and taken from a general list of phone numbers.
However, when a chiropractor permits a telemarketing firm to contact accident victims within thirty (30) days from the date of the accident, this presents a problem regarding compliance with Board Regulation 4 CSR 70-2.060 (6)(D). This rule states that licensees shall not initiate an individual written communication under 4 CSR 70-2.060 (6)(A)3, or personal contact, including telephone contact, if the licensee knows or reasonably should know that the physical, emotional, or mental state of the person makes it unlikely that the person would exercise reasonable judgment in employing the services of a chiropractor.
A written communication sent and received or a personal contact made within thirty (30) days after an accident giving rise to a likelihood of personal injury is presumed to be written at a time or made at a time when the writer knows or reasonably should know that the physical, emotional, or mental state of the person makes it unlikely that the person would exercise reasonable judgment in employing a chiropractor. For the Board's purpose, it makes no difference if the contact is made by the licensed chiropractor, or by a telemarketing firm hired by the licensed chiropractor. The chiropractor will be held responsible for the content of any such contact made by the telemarketing firm representing the chiropractor. The Board's rule does not prohibit the chiropractor from initiating personal contact, including telephone contact, if the person is a close friend, relative or former patient. These are the only exceptions to Board Rule 4 CSR 70-2.060 (6)(D). Please remember that your license can be disciplined by the Board for a violation of any of its rules and regulations.