The Minnesota Board of Chiropractic Examiners took disciplinary action against 11 of the roughly 2,800 licensed chiropractors this year. Another chiropractor agreed to cease practice until allegations against him have been resolved.
The board, a state agency, receives about 200 complaints each year. I examined this year's enforcement actions to develop this list of those who faced action related to misconduct or alleged misconduct.
Five of the 11 chiropractors who were disciplined had their licenses suspended after the Department of Revenue notified the board of outstanding taxes. The other seven agreed to the department's actions.
Frederick A. Clary, St. Paul
Temporary cease practice and conditional license.
Clary self-reported that he treated patients while drunk and had "romantic relationships" with three female patients. His clinic manager, who is also a patient, accused Clary of touching her inappropriately during a treatment. Clary denied touching her inappropriately, but admitted his communications with her may not have been professional.
One month after he ceased practice, the board issued Clary a conditional license based on a medical assessment.
Cory D. Couillard, Lakeville
Couillard fraudulently applied for health care credit cards in patients' names and placed charges of up to $5,040 on the cards, often for services he hadn't performed. Couillard falsified the applications by inflating incomes and claiming patients owned homes when they didn't.
An October court settlement between the state and Couillard and his Lakeville company, Express Health P.A., awarded full restitution to patients affected by the scheme. The board also listed 16 recordkeeping deficiencies, including "charges for treatments with no corresponding visits documented."
Francis J. Heller, Minneapolis
Over the course of 81 visits, Heller failed to treat a patient's misalignments and instead treated areas that were not a problem. Treatment was not adjusted when the patient showed no improvement. Heller's records also contained factual errors such as a statement that the patient's legs had been run over by a vehicle, when they had not.
Scott C. Koltes, Bloomington
Koltes admitted having sex with a prostitute on two occasions at his Richfield clinic, Back to Health Chiropractic, in 2008. He was ordered to take classes in "moral turpitude" and ethics. He failed the ethics class and was ordered to retake it.
James P. Mellin, Bloomington
Stayed suspension through February. Three years probation.
Mellin violated conditions of a 2008 order when his urine tested positive for metabolized alcohol in 2009. His 2008 order was based on complaints that he used or possessed illegal drugs and alcohol at work.
Timothy J. Scherz, Brooklyn Park
Scherz admitted he failed to conduct detailed exams, give proper treatment or follow up on findings.
The board decided that Scherz also engaged in false and misleading advertising.
The licenses of five chiropractors were suspended in 2010 after the Department of Revenue said they owed taxes. They are Aaron Kirking, Lawrence G. McKenzie, Michael M. Svensson, Blong Bliaxa Vang and Brenda Weierke.
Svensson, Vang and Weierke have since had their licenses reinstated. Kirking's license was suspended in November and McKenzie's in October.
Hard Data digs into public records and puts a spotlight on rule breakers in the Twin Cities and Minnesota. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.