JANUARY 9, 2009
“Chiropractor sues patient over negative online review”
Anne Zieger, Fierce Health Care
A San Francisco chiropractor is trying to find a way to respond to a negative review that he believes was completely unfair. Originally, the patient published a review on a site called Yelp after visiting the chiropractor for the first time; in it, he didn’t complain about the care he received but did complain about the chiropractor’s billing practices.
Then the chiropractor complained about the review, saying that his billing practices were perfectly standard and that a negative review could drive customers away. So the patient replaced his review with another one, intimating that this was how the chiropractor responded to all negative reviews, and therefore his overwhelmingly positive reviews couldn’t be trusted.
Now the chiropractor is suing the patient. Many observers are saying that the chiropractor simply generated a lot of bad press, and lost himself a lot more patients than if he had just left well enough alone. But the whole case brings up a valid point: What should doctors do if patients are publishing negative, false reviews about them on the Internet?