Warning: Stop Delegating to Independent Contractors

Delegating tasks to independent contractors in chiropractic practice can create legal and financial issues. Understanding the key distinction between delegation and independent contractor relationships is vital for compliance.

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Delegation is a common issue that we discuss with chiropractic physicians around the state. And one of the key issues that we run into on a regular basis is delegating to an independent contractor. The short answer in this is this, you cannot delegate to an independent contractor. Whether they’re licensed or they’re unlicensed, it breaks that relationship. In other words, here’s ultimately the issue. The IRS has specific things that they look at when determining if a worker’s classification as an independent contractor is legitimate. In other words, are they an employee? Or are they an independent contractor, they look at financial control, behavioral control, and type of relationship.

One of the key areas under delegation really require supervision or assistance in performing these tasks. And those two things as you begin to look at both what is required on the Medical Practice Act, and as required under the term of art delegation or incident to if you want to use that language, is behavioral control, and then that type of relationship. What’s required for delegation is not congruent with what is required for an independent contractor. By their very nature, they are different. One requires a high level of supervision that’s delegation, and the other one requires a high level of independence. That’s the definition of independent contractor.

So in short, you are not able to delegate tasks. And then Bill for those tasks under your NPI as a physician to unlicensed or licensed independent contractors super important, different when they’re employees, that’s different. But as an independent contractor, you’re not able to delegate duties under the Medical Practice Act and of the term of art and billing practices and all of those things to an independent contractor. So steer clear of that. We’ll catch you next week.

About Author

Marc Abla, CAE

Marc Abla began working at the Illinois Chiropractic Society in 2002 and became the Executive Director in 2008. He brings his extensive financial, administrative and association experience to the ICS. He is a Certified Association Executive and a graduate of the Certified Leadership Series through the Illinois Society of Association Executives. Additionally, he is a member of the Illinois Society of Association Executives, the American Society of Association Executives, Association Forum, Congress of Chiropractic State Associations, and the American Chiropractic Association.

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