Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners Doing Everything it Can to Keep the CCE Monopoly in the State

News Staff
Bronson TBCE President w/ Ouzts NBCE Exec Dir.
Bronson TBCE President w/ Ouzts NBCE Exec Dir.

TBCE Minutes Demonstrate the Board's Support of the Chiropractic Cartel

The Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners (TBCE) convened on August 10, 2023, to deliberate on a range of issues crucial to the chiropractic profession in Texas. While the meeting covered various aspects of chiropractic regulation, one topic stood out and raises concerns about the close relationship between the TBCE and the "Chiropractic Cartel".

CLICK HERE for a copy of the minutes

That Cartel was identified years ago by the United States Department of Education and since then the highly questionable legal and financial relationships that exist between the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards (FCLB), the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE), the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) and state chiropractic regulatory boards like Texas which the FCLB alleges are "members" of the FCLB.

Over the past several years a bright light has been shed on the flow of federally back student loan money, related student loan debt and state tax dollars that flow through a group of non profit and for profit entities that control education, regulation and licensing within the chiropractic profession though a virtual monopoly cartel.

Recent revelations of the extent of this virtual cartel have emerged from the Vanterpool lawsuit against the FCLB. Vanterpool was thrown into the briar patch when she was elected Vice President of the FCLB and brought a lawsuit against the FCLB, its Past President Carol J. Winkler, D.C. and another Past President Karlos Boghosian, D.C. alleging racial discrimination after they suspended her from her position at the FCLB. The FCLB has denied the accusations of a civil conspiracy to violate Vanterpool's civil rights which she claims were perpetuated by Defendants Winkler and Boghosian. The scandal spread beyond the FCLB due to the controversial relationships between the FCLB and NBCE resulting in resignations from the NBCE.

CLICK HERE for more on the Vanterpool Case

One of the intriguing aspects of this controversy that has come to light in the Vanterpool case is the mention of the "Chiropractic Summit" in Discovery documents. The Summit is a self-selected group of organizations that plays a significant role within this chiropractic cartel. However, there is a veil of secrecy surrounding this group. It lacks a public website, and efforts to contact them have been met with silence or blocked access.

Lisa Love-Smith, the Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Chiropractors (MAC), is listed as the administrator of the Summit on the FCLB's website. Yet, she has not responded to requests for information about the organizations that make up the Summit or its membership requirements.

This opacity raises questions about the influence and power of this uncharted group within the chiropractic profession. How does the Chiropractic Summit impact decisions related to chiropractic education and regulation, and to what extent are their interests aligned with those of the FCLB, state boards and other organizations?

President's Report: A Questionable Partnership

The Texas Board meeting began with the President's Report, delivered by Dr. Mark Bronson, where he outlined recent activities and future events related to the chiropractic profession in Texas. However, it quickly became apparent that the TBCE President's report was dominated by activities closely aligned with the Chiropractic Cartel and some of the monopolies operating within it.

One cannot help but question the appropriateness of such a symbiotic relationship. While professional organizations and regulatory boards naturally collaborate, this level of partnership raises concerns about conflicts of interest and the misuse of state taxpayer funds, time, and resources. It becomes apparent that those who benefit most from this partnership are the board members themselves, seemingly ascending the Cartel's ladder of success.

The TBCE, Texas Chiropractic Association (TCA) and ACA have been engaged in an active legislative agenda to expand the scope of chiropractic in the state of Texas for many years. The ACA is well known for its support and active participation in scope expansion efforts across the United States, including in Medicare. They want Medicare to pay for anything that's in the state scope.

According to records obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request the Texas Board President, Mark Bronson, D.C., has expressed his disdain for chiropractors who practice in a subluxation only model stating:

"Regarding subluxation, I never understood what it meant to 'correct' it, so I don't propose to".

Those same records also reveal his disdain for the use of x-rays in managing outcomes related to care for vertebral subluxation stating:

"From a regulation standpoint, we have to consider benefit versus risk, and times are changing such that repeating x-rays to see correction is not considered appropriate."

This is of course the position of the American Chiropractic Association as well.

Accreditation and the Chiropractic Cartel

Dr. Wofford's report during the August TBCE meeting highlighted an issue central to the concerns raised — accreditation of chiropractic schools. According to Wofford, by statute, any chiropractic school in Texas must be accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education (DOE) in order for graduates to get licensed. Currently, only one programmatic accrediting body for chiropractic schools in the United States is listed in the DOE's database—the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE).

Additionally, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Co-Board) mandates institutional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Wofford falsely claims that "without accreditation through both these bodies, schools become ineligible for Title IV funding for grants and loans and cannot grant degrees".

Schools do not need to be accredited by both to receive Title IV funds. Schools could simply be accredited by SACS and not CCE and still receive student loan funds. The problem is that CCE enjoys a monopoly in Texas because they are specifically named and graduates cannot get a license in Texas without having graduating from a CCE accredited school. The simple solution is to simply remove "CCE Only" language.

The "CCE Only" Monopoly Challenge

A significant point of contention arises when the TBCE argues that the CCE must be specifically named in the statute because it's the only chiropractic accreditor approved by the DOE. This argument is deeply flawed and raises questions about the TBCE's commitment to ensuring a fair and competitive landscape for chiropractic education.

Dr. Scott Kelley, representing the Chiropractic Society of Texas, proposed alternative language to rectify this issue. He suggested the rule be amended to include the requirement that an applicant must be a graduate of a chiropractic school accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. This change would eliminate the specific reference to the CCE and open the door for other accrediting agencies to gain recognition.

Furthermore, Dr. Kelley's proposal allows for graduates of chiropractic programs outside the United States to be eligible, provided they meet certain educational criteria. By removing the "CCE Only" language, Dr. Kelley's suggestion aims to create a more inclusive and competitive environment for chiropractic education.

In a clear effort to brush off Dr. Kelly's proposal, Mr. Burnett, General Counsel for the TBCE, acknowledged Dr. Kelley's proposal but stated that the board could still consider it at a later date, after additional research. Dr. Henry supported this idea and requested staff to investigate the legality of Dr. Kelley's proposal. Dr. Wofford emphasized the need for the TBCE's rule to align with the requirements set by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The August 10, 2023 meeting of the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners sheds light on the close partnership between the TBCE and the Chiropractic Cartel, raising concerns about the impartiality of chiropractic regulation in the state. Dr. Kelley's proposal to remove the monopolistic "CCE Only" language offers a potential solution to promote fair competition in chiropractic education and accreditation. The future decisions of the TBCE will determine whether they prioritize the interests of students, chiropractic professionals, and the public over those of the Cartel.

McCoy Press