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Board Policy of Licensee Rental of Spaces
The Board has been deliberating on the issues of employing non-healthcare practitioners and licensees renting out spaces to non-healthcare practitioners (e.g. registered massage practitioners, aroma therapists, naturopaths, physical trainers, exercise instructors, etc. The Board issues the following policy guidance based on its review:
Licensees may NOT EMPLOY a non-healthcare practitioner and may NOT REFER patients to non-healthcare practitioners. For example a chiropractic licensee must employ a Licensed Massage Therapist and NOT a Registered Massage Practitioner because only the former is a bona fide healthcare practitioner authorized to work in a healthcare setting.
The issue in question has been: “Can a licensee RENT a space to a non-healthcare practitioner within the logistical confines of his/her practice suite?” After considerable deliberation and advice, the Board opines that there is no prohibition for licensees renting spaces to non-healthcare practitioners (regardless of location on the premises). The Board opines that licensees may rent to non-healthcare practitioners but that the practitioner and lessee should take prudent measures to clearly notify the public that the non-healthcare lessee is not affiliated with or sponsored by the chiropractor. This can be done through signage or through printed materials distributed to patients/clients. Also, as stated above, the chiropractic licensee may not refer patients to any non-healthcare practitioner.
Failure to define the non-affiliation of a non-healthcare practitioner with the chiropractic licensee could result in the appearance of a violation of Maryland Code Ann., Health Occ. Art., § 3-313(18), which prohibits practicing chiropractic with unauthorized (e.g. unlicensed) individuals. Additionally, COMAR 10.43.14.03(D)(3) prohibits chiropractic licensees from engaging in commercial activities that conflict with the duties of a chiropractor. Under this same COMAR provision, the licensee may be (or appear to be) engaging in a non-healthcare activity that is in direct conflict with chiropractic. As a result, the public may misinterpret the logistical situation and file a complaint based on the aforementioned law and regulations. Such situations can be prevented by providing the aforementioned notification to patients/clients. Taking these prudent steps will help avoid confusion or misconceptions by the general public. Any questions regarding this matter should be addressed to the Board Executive Director for clarification.
201 W. Preston Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-2399
(410) 767-6500 or 1-877-463-3464
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