FAQs

We get a lot of questions and we will respond to them all. When in doubt you are encouraged to go to directly to DOPL and ask Allyson Pettley whose contact in formation is at the end of the first Q & A  below.

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and their answers:

Q: Where do I find Utah laws, rules, licensure, and regulations?

A: Here are useful links regarding Utah laws and rules:
Utah Chiropractic Physician Practice Act (Legislative Law) http://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title58/Chapter73/58-73.html
Utah Chiropractic Physician Practice Act Rules (Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing rules most often in collaboration with the Utah Chiropractic Physician Licensing Board) http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/code/r156/r156-73.htm
Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing http://www.dopl.utah.gov/index.html

For any and all licensing questions you are encouraged to contact the department directly:

Allyson Pettley
Bureau Manager
Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
(801) 530-6179

Q: Does DOPL have a hiatus clause for licensed doctors doing lengthy ecclesiastical work, like missions, during which time they cannot do seminars to get their CEs?

A: R156-1-308d. Waiver of Continuing Education Requirements – Renewal Requirements.
(1)(a) In accordance with Subsection 58-1-203(1)(g), a licensee may request a waiver of any continuing education requirement established under this title or an extension of time to complete any requirement on the basis that the licensee was unable to complete the requirement due to a medical or related condition, humanitarian or ecclesiastical services, extended presence in a geographical area where continuing education is not available, etc.
(b) A request must be submitted no later than the deadline for completing any continuing education requirement.
(c) A licensee submitting a request has the burden of proof and must document the reason for the request to the satisfaction of the Division.
(d) A request shall include the beginning and ending dates during which the licensee was unable to complete the continuing education requirement and a detailed explanation of the reason why. The explanation shall include the extent and duration of the impediment, extent to which the licensee continued to be engaged in practice of his profession, the nature of the medical condition, the location and nature of the humanitarian services, the geographical area where continuing education is not available, etc.
(e) The Division may require that a specified number of continuing education hours, courses, or both, be obtained prior to reentering the practice of the profession or within a specified period of time after reentering the practice of the profession, as recommended by the appropriate board, in order to assure competent practice.
(f) While a licensee may receive a waiver from meeting the minimum continuing education requirements, the licensee shall not be exempted from the requirements of Subsection 58-1-501(2)(i), which requires that the licensee provide services within the competency, abilities and education of the licensee. If a licensee cannot competently provide services, the waiver of meeting the continuing education requirements may be conditioned upon the licensee limiting practice to areas in which the licensee has the required competency, abilities and education.

(Added 06/26-17- Allyson Pettley, Bureau Manager, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, (801) 530-6179)

Q: How does the Utah automobile relative value study work for setting fees?

A: Since 1990, the Insurance Department has produced a relative value study (RVS) to determine the reasonable value of medical expenses for automobile personal injury protection (no-fault) coverage, as required by Subsection 31A-22-307(2) of the Utah Code. The study is updated every two years.

Through 2011, the Department published the Relative Value Study book. In 2013, the book was replaced by Rule R590-267, Personal Injury Protection Relative Value Study Rule. Enforcement of the rule began January 1, 2014.

The rule contains seven conversion factors that are updated every two years. These factors are to be multiplied against appropriate CPT or dental code unit values found in the 2015 Relative Values for Physicians (RVP), and the 2015 Relative Values for Dentists (RVD) publications. Both of these publications are adopted by this rule. Contact information for the purchase of these publications can be found within the rule.

Optum is offering a 50% discount on the RVP to customers with a Utah address. To obtain the discount:

go online to https://www.optumcoding.com/Campaign/?sourcecode=UTAH2015 or www.optumcoding.com and use the promo code UTAH2015 at checkout; or
call Optum at 800-464-3649, choose option 1, and reference the promo code UTAH2015.

James D. Knight DC (Added 022117)

Q: Does the UCPA have guidelines for whiplash injuries?

A: The UCPA adopted the Croft Guidelines for Diagnosis and Treatment of Whiplash Injuries which are found on this link: http://personalinjurytraininginstitute.com/croft-guidelines/. (Added October 19, 2016 rc)

Q: Where can I find a copy of the Utah Fee Schedule for Workman’s Comp for 2016?

A: Utah Labor Commission Industrial Accidents Division, Utah Labor Commission
Industrial Accidents Division 2016 MEDICAL FEE STANDARDS, Effective December 1, 2015: http://laborcommission.utah.gov/media/pdfs/industrialaccidents/pubs/2016MedFeeStandards.pdf (Added 9/26/16 RC)

Q: What is the allowable state discount (%) for cash services?

A: I did a search of the Utah Department of Insurance website to see if there were any laws regarding appropriate discounts for Time of Service fees. I was not able to locate any. As such, offices are advised to stick to federal guidance from the Office of the Inspector General which says 5% to 15% is appropriate. Nonetheless, if doctors want to offer fees that are discounted even further, they are free to do so. They just need to be prepared to defend why they went beyond the federal suggestions, should they ever be accused of offering a dual fee schedule. A Discount Medical Plan Organization, such as ChiroHealthUSA is a safe, compliant alternative. Evan M. Gwilliam, DC MBA BS CPC CCPC CPC-I QCC MCS-P CPMA CMHP-ChiroCode (Added 021717.)

Q: What is the best way to provide patient access to the diagnostic imaging related to their case, while maintaining custodial responsibility of the films?

A: Patients have a right to access their information, for various reasons (moving, a second opinion, or for legal action, etc). You should provide patients with copies of their records, while retaining the originals in your office. You are the custodian of those x-rays.

When a patient requests a release of their x-ray records. You may create a copy through multiple methods. Taking a high quality picture of the film or other form of digital copy can be done in the office. You may also send the originals to a facility that can make copies such as a hospital radiology department. There will usually be a minimal fee for these copies. You may charge a fee for this service depending on your office policy. (Christopher Duncan DC, Added September 7, 2016.)

Q: I’m not sure what the laws are for advertising in Utah. I want to make sure all my advertisements are legal.

A: Here are some laws that may help you:
58-1-501.6 Health care provider advertisements and disclosure — Unprofessional conduct. For purposes of this section:
(1) (a) “Advertisement” includes: (i) billboards; (ii) written documents such as: (A) brochures; (B) pamphlets; (C) direct mail solicitations; (D) radio, television, and telephone solicitation scripts; and (E) telephone directories; (iii) media, including television, radio, and Internet websites; and (iv) any other means of promotion intended to directly or indirectly induce a person to enter into an agreement for services with a health care provider. (b) “Advertisement” does not include materials that provide information about health care provider networks established by health insurance carriers.
(2) “Health care provider” means a natural person who is: (a) defined as a health care provider in Section 78B-3-403; and (b) licensed under this title.
(3) (a) This section does not provide authority for a health care provider to advertise the services offered by the health care provider. (b) If a health care provider’s licensing authority and professional ethics permit the health care provider to advertise, the provisions of this section apply to any advertisement for the health care provider’s services, on or after July 1, 2011.
(4) An advertisement for a health care provider’s services that includes the health care provider’s name shall identify the license type, as used by the division, under which the health care provider is practicing.

R156-73-501. Unprofessional Conduct. “Unprofessional conduct” includes:
(2) engaging in advertising which is misleading because of omission of necessary material information, which contains false or misleading statements, or which otherwise operates to deceive; (3) engaging in or abetting deceptive or fraudulent billing practices;
(8) advertising acupuncture services or practicing clinical acupuncture techniques beyond the scope of the certification held; (9) advertising as an “acupuncturist” either verbally or in print.

If you have something specific you want to know, contact: Allyson Pettley, Bureau Manager, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, at: (801) 530-6179. (Admin Added 081416.)

Q: What does Utah State law have to say about non-competition agreements?

A: On May 10, 2016, the Utah legislature passed the Post-Employment Restrictions Act, which limits the conditions and restrictions employees can place in non-competition agreements .

Under this law, non-competition agreements entered into on or after May 10, 2016 are enforceable only if they are for a period of one year or shorter; any for a period of longer than one year is void. There are three exceptions. This restriction does not apply to: (1) non-competition provisions in severance agreements entered into AT THE TIME OF or AFTER the employment is terminated, so long as the terms of the severance agreement are reasonable; (2) non-solicitation, non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements; or (3) non-competition agreement arising from the sale of a business, so long as the restricted employee received value of some kind related to the sale of the business.

The Act also provides costs, attorney fees, and damages to the employee if an employer seeks to enforce a non-competition agreement through arbitration or litigation and the agreement is determined to be unenforceable. There is NO such provision that awards costs, fees, or damages to employers if the non-competition agreement is determined to be enforceable, so employers should exercise caution before attempting to enforce a non-competition agreement.

Jeff Metler, UCPA General Council
jeff@mhmlawoffices.com, 801-377-1900, 3319 North University Ave., Provo, Utah 84604, (Added May 10, 2016.)

Q: Where do I find Utah laws, rules, licensure, and regulations concerning practicing acupuncture?

A: Here are the acupuncture practice acts:
http://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title58/Chapter72/C58-72_1800010118000101.pdf (See specifically Subsection 304). A Chiropractic Physician or Naturopathic Physician may perform acupuncture with the required training: however, he or she may not claim to be an acupuncturist unless specifically licensed under that classification. Massage therapists may not perform acupuncture. Physical therapists may perform dry needling http://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title58/Chapter24B/C58-24b_1800010118000101.pdf (See Subsection 505). (Added February 26, 2016.)
Allyson Pettley
Bureau Manager
Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
(801) 530-6179

Q: How long do I have to keep records for (Minors, Adults, Medicare, etc…)?

A: Federal guidelines mandate that medical records be kept to the end of the 6th year or, seven years from the last office contact. That time frame applies to minors also, but does not begin until they are a legal adult. If you are contracted with an insurance company you are responsible for all of the fine print that you may or may not have read. Some insurance companies contracts are now requiring 10 years. Read your contracts and always check with your contracting companies before destroying records.

Q: Do I need to provide—and pay for—an ASL interpreter for deaf or hard of hearing patients?

A: The Federal Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits health care providers from discriminating deaf or hard of hearing patients in any way, meaning chiropractors cannot refuse to treat and must provide and pay for reasonable accommodations to ensure clear communication. Specifically the ADA defines discrimination as “a failure to take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise treated differently than other individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services.” The ADA clarifies further: “auxiliary aids and services” means “qualified interpreters or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments.” There are severe penalties for discriminating by not providing means for effective communication, including some judgments for several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Whatever is necessary to provide effective communication is required by law to be done. Although this does not always require ASL interpreters, providing ASL interpreters is the safest way to ensure you fulfill your obligations under the ADA. (Jeff Metler, UCPA General Counsel, jeff@mhmlawoffices.com)

Q: What is within the scope of chiropractic for injections in Utah?

A: In a nutshell, subcutaneous or intramuscular administration, of any substances other than non-prescription drugs are within the scope of chiropractic practice. Intravenous is not.

Injection info: (This is taken from the Utah State regulations and under the Unprofessional Conduct section so easy to miss.)

R156-73-501. Unprofessional Conduct. “Unprofessional conduct” includes:
(1) keeping the office, instruments, laboratory, equipment, appliances or supplies in an unsafe or unsanitary condition;
(2) engaging in advertising which is misleading because of omission of necessary material information, which contains false or misleading statements, or which otherwise operates to deceive;
(3) engaging in or abetting deceptive or fraudulent billing practices;
(4) engaging in sexual contact with a patient, with or without patient consent, within 12 months of last treatment;
(5) engaging in sexual activities or contact with a former patient, with or without consent, after 12 months of last treatment if there is a risk of exploitation or potential harm to the former patient; (6) engaging in behaviors in a patient/doctor relationship, including verbal, intended to sexually arouse any person or encourage sexual activity;
(7) failing to keep the division informed of a current address and telephone number;
(8) advertising acupuncture services or practicing clinical acupuncture techniques beyond the scope of the certification held;
(9) advertising as an “acupuncturist” either verbally or in print;
(10) failing to maintain responsibility for care, billing and documentation in a group practice, multidisciplinary practice or third-party ownership practice;
(11) engaging in any act or practice in a professional capacity which the licensee is not competent to perform through education or training;
(12) administering injections through the skin, limited to subcutaneous or intramuscular administration, of any substances other than non-prescription drugs as defined in Subsections 58-17b-102(39) or non-controlled substances as defined in Subsection 58-37-2(1)(f)(ii);
(13) administering injections of non-prescription drugs or non-controlled substances without sufficient competency and training as demonstrated by the following: (a) completion of a recognized course on injectables and their administration, under the sponsorship of or approved by an institution, organization or association meeting the continuing education standards as defined in Section R156-73-303b; and (b) receiving a passing score on a certifying examination; and
(14) delegating the administration of injections to a chiropractic assistant.

For any and all licensing questions you are encouraged to contact the department directly:

Allyson Pettley
Bureau Manager
Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
(801) 530-6179

Q: How long does an office have to store patient records?

A: The law for how long a chiropractic physician must store patient records is as follows:
For adults it is seven years. For minors it is seven years or until the minor has reached 18 plus four years (22 years), whichever is longer. In either case, it is from the date of the last patient/doctor encounter. (Jeff Metler, UCPA General Counsel, jeff@mhmlawoffices.com)

Q: I need to know about the laws concerning POSTceptorships. Can I assume a graduated doctor working under my license would have to have a graduation certificate? But does he or she need to have national board scores back and what about state boards, etc?

A: I will direct you to the statutes we are governed by: R156-73-304. Preceptorship – Approved Form of Supervision.

In accordance with Subsection 58-73- 304(2), the approved form of supervision is defined, clarified or established as follows:

(1) The supervising preceptor shall:

(a) be licensed in good standing in Utah and have practiced as a licensed chiropractic physician for the past five years;

(b) have entered into a written contract with an approved college or university to provide chiropractic training to a preceptee; and

(c) provide direct supervision on the premises, either personally or by delegating to another chiropractic physician who is licensed in good standing in Utah and who has practiced as a licensed chiropractic physician for the past five years.

(2) The preceptor or his designee must remain on the premises at all times while the preceptee is performing the following procedures:

(a) adjusting of the articulation of the spinal column;

(b) diagnosis of the articulation of the spinal column;

(c) manipulation of the articulation of the spinal column; and

(d) therapeutic positioning of the articulation of the spinal column.

I believe that if you need understanding of POSTceptor it is governed under the school and you will need to review the schools requirements and how they anticipate the work to go forward without being licensed. It is my understanding they will need to be a licenced DC to adjust, DX…

Verification of your question should be asked to DOPL too.

(Dr. Jon Stucky 9/28/15)

Q: Can Chiropractic Office Staff do therapies, take x-rays, and perform posture screenings?

A: A chiropractic physician may only delegate to a Chiropractic Assistant those tasks or services not prohibited in the Chiropractic Physician Practice Act and Rule and any tasks or services for which the Chiropractic Physician may be exempted from in another practice act. If the Chiropractic Physician is exempted from licensure in another practice act, it does not mean the exemption can also be “delegated” to a Chiropractic Assistant. (Allyson Pettley, Bureau Manager, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, (801) 530-6179, August 14, 2017)

If you need further questions answered please contact us.