LYNNWOOD — Darcy Szigety, a Lynnwood chiropractor who marketed the use of hyperbaric oxygen treatments for treating a variety of medical conditions, has been placed on three years probation by the state Department of Health.
The action was taken by the state’s Chiropractic Quality Assurance Commission, which investigates allegations against chiropractors. It responded to an anonymous complaint made about Szigety last year.
Szigety marketed hyperbaric treatments to athletes, pre- and post-surgical patients, cancer patients, and for problems such as slow-healing wounds and patients with delayed radiation injuries, according to the commission.
Hyperbaric oxygen treatments sometimes are recommended for patients with conditions such as diabetes-related wounds or crush injuries. The machines allow oxygen to be delivered at high pressure to speed healing. The treatments are offered at area hospitals.
However, chiropractors are not allowed to charge for those services because they’re considered beyond the scope of their practice, said Tammy Kelley, a case manager for the chiropractic commission. Billing for hyperbaric chamber services at a chiropractor’s office is not allowed, she said.
Szigety, who works at the Alderwood Back &Neck Pain Clinic, charged patients $100 for a one-hour hyperbaric session. Patients had to pay with cash or check, according to the commission’s investigation.
In March, a state investigator randomly checked 10 patient records and found those patients were charged a total of approximately $3,000.
Szigety allegedly told investigators that he was not aware of rules that would prevent a chiropractor from performing hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Szigety could not be reached for comment. An employee at his office said he did not wish to talk to the media.
The chiropractic commission outlined steps that Szigety must take. They include: repaying the patients who were charged for hyperbaric treatments; paying the commission up to $4,004 for the costs associated with the investigation; completing 12 hours of training in billing and documentation; and six hours of training in ethics.
Szigety signed a document agreeing to the terms in August. He has been a chiropractor in Washington since 1996.
He is one of 2,500 chiropractors in Washington.
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; email@example.com.