The Associated Press
OLATHE, Kan. — A suburban Kansas City chiropractor’s license has been suspended while the state medical board investigates allegations of patients who say they were solicited and underwent painful exams.
The Kansas State Board of Healing Arts issued an emergency suspension of Wasse Zafer’s license three weeks ago. It filed a petition alleging that the Olathe chiropractor obtained fees through fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; falsified records; and committed acts of unprofessional or dishonorable conduct or professional incompetency.
A hearing started Friday to determine if Zafer will be able to keep his license while it considers the allegations. The hearing is to be completed June 3.
Zafer’s attorney, Terri Austenfeld, said the allegations are false and that Zafer does not solicit accident victims.
“He’s going to defend himself strenuously,” Austenfeld told The Kansas City Star.
In 2006, the board fined Zafer $5,000 for misleading advertising.
The new allegations involve several of Zafer’s patients who were in traffic accidents.
Full accounts have been made public in two cases, revealing similar stories: The patients said they received a call after their accidents from someone claiming to represent a public safety advocacy group who referred them to Zafer; the examination techniques Zafer used put them in pain; and Zafer told them they had injuries that could yield thousands of dollars in compensation.
In one case, investigators found a copy of the Olathe Police Department report on the patient’s traffic accident in Zafer’s files. It is illegal in Kansas to use police records to solicit business.
Austenfeld said Zafer does not solicit patients through police reports and has not hired anyone to solicit for him.
“I understand that there is an outfit that calls (potential patients), and Dr. Zafer is in no way related to that outfit,” Austenfeld said. “He doesn’t know why they are referring him cases.”
In another case, a patient said someone from a law office called saying Zafer’s office had provided the patient’s phone number for possible representation.
Austenfeld said Zafer’s office provides names of lawyers to patients seeking legal advice.
“He has a list of attorneys he refers patients to, as most personal injury chiropractors do,” Austenfeld said.
Austenfeld also questioned the complaints filed against Zafer to the medical board.
She said one complaint was filed by a competitor of Zafer’s. In another instance, Austenfeld said, an insurance company that owes Zafer “a lot of money” persuaded a patient to file. A third case involved someone who came to Zafer’s office under an assumed name at the request of a board investigator, Austenfeld said.
Patients of Zafer who were interviewed by The Star described receiving solicitations by phone, extended treatment by Zafer’s practice and advice to see a lawyer.
Josh Telken, of Olathe, who is not part of the Board of Healing Arts’ case, said he received a call from someone referring him to Zafer about a week after a February car accident. Telken said Zafer told him that he had suffered whiplash in the accident that had aggravated old back and neck injuries. Zafer said he wanted to thoroughly document Telken’s condition so they could get the most money, Telken said.
“I told him many times, ‘I don’t care about how much money I can get. I just want my back to feel better,”’ Telken said.
At one point, Telken said, a member of Zafer’s staff recommended an attorney.
The Associated Press
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