Big $id Williams
JC Smith, MA, DC
The mess emanating from Life just continues to get worse if the recent legislative attempt to upgrade the Georgia scope law and to upgrade Life Chiropractic curriculum is any indication. Ironically, while everyone stood to gain from this upgrading, it was Big $id himself who killed the effort. Apparently, once a tyrant, always a tyrant, come hell, high water, or CCE. Indeed, Big $id seems happy cutting off his own nose to spite the face of chiropractic if his recent actions are any indication.
For those unaware of the continuing mess at Life, let me bring you up to date. Both SACS and CCE, regional and national accrediting agencies, had placed Life on probation for numerous reasons, one primarily being Life’s refusal to teach students the basic diagnostic requirements to become a primary care provider. Big $id’s stance was instead to produce portal of entry provides, similar to dentists, so that his students wouldn’t be held responsible for any “medical” diagnostics.
According to the SACS inspection team, Life’s DC program, “lacks depth in the areas of diagnosis and management of patient care beyond the chiropractic analysis and adjustment” and teaches treatment methods “inconsistent with the current practice of chiropractic.” Mr. Bob Snelson, COO disputed the report’s conclusions, “That is probably a political statement.” He also said many of the nation’s 14 chiropractic schools follow a “medical” model of instruction, and Life does not and would consider any attempts to do so to be a violation of state law.
According to Dr. Paul Walker, CCE director, a “sanction of probation is imposed to indicate serious deficiencies toward compliance with the requirements of the CCE Standards for Doctor of Chiropractic Programs and Institutions.”
Apparently neither SACS nor CCE agreed with Big $id and demanded a change in the curriculum or else lose their accreditation. There were other issues as well, such as the lack of academic freedom at his diploma mill, the lack of research activities, using recent grads as instructors for classes that require PhDs, an ineffectual Board of Trustees who in the main are $id’s sycophants, nepotism, cronyism, among the many flagrances, numbering in the dozens.
Update Regarding Life University College of Chiropractic
Representatives from Life University College of Chiropractic (LUCC) appeared at the January 2002 meeting of the Commission on Accreditation (COA). The COA reviewed reports and other information submitted by LUCC reporting progress toward their resolution of concerns associated with the ongoing CCE-COA sanction of Probation and the COA deferral of a decision regarding reaffirmation of accredited status.
In an effort to help both the college attain this upgrading of its curriculum and to help the field doctors with an improved scope law, the Georgia Board of Chiropractic Examiners, along with the support of the GCA, sought a change in the legislature this past session, principally to allow any services taught in CCE accredited chiropractic colleges.
Presently the Georgia law reads:
100-10-.01 Reasonable Care & Skilled Defined. Amended
In accordance with OK.ClG.A. Sec. 43-9-12.1, the definition of reasonable care and skill shall include, but not limited to, the following criteria:
1.b.“The doctor of chiropractic has the responsibility as a primary healthcare provider to examine, establish a diagnosis/clinical impression, render treatment and/or referral, commensurate with his/her findings.”
According to Dr. Mark Cotney, president of the GBCE, Life could fold if it loses its accreditation, and Life has had a 40% decline in enrollment of first-year chiropractic students since 1997, which may continue to drop since without accreditation, grads can’t get a license.
Although upgrading Georgia state law to fulfill CCE criteria would benefit both field doctors and Life students, the opposition to this effort revealed strange bedfellows—Big $id and the medical community who represented it as an expansion of practice into the medical domain. Rep. Sharon Cooper, a registered nurse, opined, “There has been a problem with Life Chiropractic…seemingly overstepping their boundaries in the past in what they tell their students they are able to do,” she said. “This just opens up another door where they might go even further in teaching their students they can treat all sorts of illness. If they can do blood work…they might miss something or the patient might think they are getting adequate comprehensive medical care when they are not. There is a place for chiropractic care, but in my estimation, that is manipulation of your joints and your back.”
Dr. Cotney has accused Life and Big $id of hiding behind the state law as a way of dodging the CCE accreditation requirements, according to an article in the Marietta Daily Journal. “Up to now they have been able to tell the accrediting agencies, ‘Georgia law does not allow us to teach the model of practice required by CCE.”
Big $id and his sycophants, the GCC, argued 3 main point against this bill:
1. It would have established another chiropractic school license agency,
2. expanded the scope of chiropractic to include a full body medical diagnosis,
3. and gives the Board of Chiropractic Examiners more decision making power.
Of course, none of these contentions are true, and Big $id may find his implications will soon bite him in the butt because the GBCE will watch more closely over Life student clinics. It has taken a 'hands off' approach till now, but since the CCE investigation the GBCE will be more involved. The CCE report showed clearly there needs to be more active in regulation of the student practice at Life’s clinics.
The bill simply required that students practice in the clinic according to CCE guidelines. It is very simple: either Life will follow CCE or not. Some believe Big $id is not for CCE criteria and talks of starting his own accrediting agency.
The administration at Life have made it clear they cannot be trusted for many reasons aside from the huge salaries, nepotism and cronyism that permeates there. They offer practice-building courses for CE credits, and teach subjects that are not within our scope for CE that forced the board now to mandate Life to get pre-approval of all CE courses.
Life allows virtually anyone to enroll, if they have a heartbeat and a student loan, that is. It has been baffling how someone can flunk out of UGA or any college and enroll in Pre -Chiro at Life and become an A-B student and get accepted at LIFE, then go on to maintain just enough of a GPA to stay off academic probation. They even allow convicted felons to enroll and tell them they should have no problem receiving a license here or in any state.
Who knows what they are doing with lottery money up there, but the IRS may soon find out in its investigation. We all know what they did to the student loan program when Life had the largest default rate in the entire country. That is the biggest 'black eye' we have ever suffered and it is due to one man alone---$ID.
Aside from CCE and SACS sanctions and probations, Big $id was dealt another blow last fall in October when Moody’s Investor Services downgraded a $33.4 million community development bond issued by the Marietta Development Authority in 1995, assigning it a negative financial outlook due to declining enrollment and an uncertain financial future. Obviously if Life’s accreditation is revoked, the school will not meet it’s financial obligations and may default on the bond. Where’s the Money Hum when Big $id needs it the most?
During the legislative hearing, after these facts were mentioned by Dr. Cotney, the legislators asked Big $id if he was concerned that he would lose his CCE accreditation if this new scope law was not passed. Incredulously, Big $id told the legislators that he wasn’t afraid “because he paid them too much money.” Of course, this is ridiculous, but it does indicate the mindset of Big $id that CCE can be bought. Is it little wonder when told of his comments that allegedly Dr. Walker of CCE was livid? Rumors tell me that CCE may give Life a choice—either have Big $id step down or revoke its accreditation.
The upgrading of the scope law would also be a benefit for field doctors in Georgia who have found lately that State Farm has
This would stop State Farm from its denial of services that weren’t specifically mentioned in the current scope law—the menu approach if you will. State Farm insists that if it’s not specifically mentioned in the law, then we can’t do it. Of course, this automatically excludes many services such as massage therapy, foot levelers, rehab, and can even extend to eliminating ultrasound, spinalators, Acitvator method, or anything not specifically written. Incredibly, this approach stymies any innovation in our profession, and would be equivalent in the medical world from disallowing any introduction of new drugs or surgical methods. While State Farm would never interfere with the medical world in this way, they have no qualms about restricting our services.
By adopting CCE criteria into our law, this would allow for these typical services we DCs do daily and get paid for by most ethical insurance payers. And it would allow Life students to draw blood to perform tests and to fulfill their PCP requirements for diagnostics.
Makes sense to everyone, but not to Big $id.
When the GBCE board first mentioned this change, they asked the GCA, GCC and Life for their feedback so they could have a unified front when they approached the legislators. The board even held a meeting with the Life administrators to hash out whatever issues that divided them. At this meeting, the board was assured that Life was in the process of making the required changes demanded by SACS and CCE, and had the assurances of Dr. Keith Asplin, VP of Academic Affairs, that Big $id was in agreement with these proposals so as not to lose his accreditation.
But, apparently not because at the end of the meeting, Big $id announced that he wasn’t on board.