In March 2003, Jeffrey A. Solomon, D.C., had his chiropractic license suspended for three years for "unprofessional conduct," "negligence," and "incompetence." He was also fined $5,000 and ordered to serve three years of probation, provide 40 hours of public service, and complete an approved course in patient care and management . The New York State licensing authorities imposed these penalties after concluding that Solomon had provided "excessive" and "unwarranted" services to injured patients.
Solomon obtained his New York license in 1985 and practiced in Spring Valley, New York, when his questionable conduct occurred. The hearing panel that reviewed the situation concluded that in 1993 and 1994, he had seen 11 patients for a total of 1,201 visits, of which 455 (involving 10 patients) were "excessive and not warranted." In each case, the patient was treated with frequent sessions of spinal manipulation and intersegmental traction for pain following an automobile accident .
One patient was a 12-year-old boy who had been in an accident involving a bicycle and a car. Solomon's records indicated that the boy sought help for neck pain, headaches, and pain in both knees and was treated 71 times over an 8-month period. The others were adults who had been in automobile accidents. The hearing panel concluded that in most of the cases, the extent and nature of the treatment were not related to the patient's symptoms in that (a) treatment was performed when the patient reported feeling well; (b) treatment was not modified when the patient failed to improve; and/or (c) treatment was continued even though independent insurance examiners reported that it was not needed.
The case is significant because many chiropractors routinely provide similar care to personal injury patients, but few are disciplined for it.