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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

It's Pretty Bad When Even The Chiropractic Board Acts Against You

"Genene Prado, D.C. (also known as Genene Gonser-Prado, D.C.), who operates NutriMost Austin, has voluntarily surrendered her chiropractic license. Between 2007 and 2014, The Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners disciplined Prado three times.

In 2007, she signed an agreed order that she pay a $600 fine for "failing to use due diligence by failing to register her facility." In 2009, she signed an agreed order (shown below) that she pay a $1,500 administrative penalty to settle a charge that she had advertised in the Austin American Statesman using "testimonials of persons that are not her patients and did not have a signed statement from those persons to support the statements made." In 2014, she signed another agreed order under which she was fined $1,500 for placing a newspaper ad for services outside of a chiropractor's scope of practice. In February 2016, the board's enforcement committee recommended revocation of her chiropractic license and facility registrations for (a) improperly using the term "physician"; (b) advertising false statements; (c) practicing outside the scope of practice for a chiropractor; (d) failing to display the public information placard, license, and facility registration; and (e) violating two previous agreed orders. In a formal complaint to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH), the board also noted that she had "failed to differentiate her chiropractic clinic from the other businesses or enterprises she operates from her chiropractic clinic by operating under the guise of the Pastoral Medical Association . . . to sell NutriMost supplements and a cosmetic weight-loss program." Rather than proceed with the SOAH hearing, Prado closed her chiropractic clinic and voluntarily surrendered her chiropractic license in exchange for dismissing the charges. The NutriMost system includes a very-low-calorie diet and products supposedly formulated with the use of a ZYTO device, which is not FDA-cleared for any such purpose. Prado now appears to be operating as a practitioner-member of the Pastoral Medical Association, a private membership association that issues "licenses" that do not convey any state-recognized legal right to treat patients. The chiropractic board appears to regard NutriMost as a "cosmetic" program, but Prado's activities include advice to people with serious health problems who experience adverse effects from the diet. It remains to be seen whether the State of Texas will permit her to continue to provide patient care without a recognized health-care license."

(Consumer Health Digest #16-32, Stephen Barrett, M.D.)

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