Dealing With A CONO Complaint [Ep #208]
In this episode of the Profitable Practice Podcast, I’m going to walk you through my Cono complaint, why it happened, how I processed it, and what you need to be thinking about with regards to potential complaints, because most of the time, your fear is completely unfounded
“IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW THE REGULATIONS, IT IS ABSOLUTELY YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW THE SCOPE OF PRACTICE TO WHAT YOU HAVE AND DEFAULTING ON. ”
In this episode, we are going to talk about my complaint that I had with Cono. Cono is our regulatory board. And I felt that this was a conversation that needed to happen on its own podcast as its own subject, because it hits hard with so many practitioners. . So, Stay tuned.
IN THIS EPISODE:
[0:48] Introduction and context for today’s episode – Dealing With A CONO Complaint
[2:23] I shared the Cono complaint I got.
[6:32] My comparison approach on this CONO complaint and the previous complaint I had.
[12:16] My takeaways on the CONO complaint.
[17:19] Our responsibility as healers and practitioners towards the regulations.
[24:33] My final statements and takeaways.
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In this episode, I’m going to walk you through my Cono complaint, why it happened, how I processed it, and what you need to be thinking about with regards to potential complaints, because most of the time, your fear is completely unfounded. Stay tuned.
I’m Andrew Maxim. And this is the profitable practice podcast made for practitioners who are ready to build a six-figure practice with a million-dollar impact that also lets you close your laptop and be present with your family anytime you want to. Together, we will challenge the antiquated ways of running a practice will merge our brick and mortar online and build systemize and grow as maximized practitioners. Welcome to the podcast.
Hello, Hello, everyone. We are going to talk about my complaint that I had with Cono. Cono is our regulatory board. And I felt that this was a conversation that needed to happen on its own podcast as its own subject, because it hits hard with so many practitioners. So, in Ontario, we have a regulatory board, and they just put the fear of God in us to basically not do anything, not break outside the box, not do this for fear of tremendous negative repercussions. I’m here to talk about it in a different light.
Before I do that, I just always want to remind you that there are so many ways that you and I can connect together on a more personal level. And there are links inside the show notes. So, you can book a 30 minute gameplan session with me, you can go to our website and watch other episodes of the podcast that might be more in alignment for what you need right now. And then talk to me about them on Instagram @AndreaMaximND. And we do have a number of webinars that you can watch in our free resources section. So, you can go ahead and sign up for that. That’s all hosted through kajabi. And you can access all of our downloads and watch our trainings and things like that. So please use the support that’s there for you. We created it for you for what it is that I feel that you need.
But let’s jump back into the topic at hand. So, I posted immediately without fear without feeling embarrassed, I knew that my community needed to know that even to the best of us, we get Cono complaints. So if you listen to last week’s episode, where I talked about how September has literally been the most testing month I’ve ever experienced in my life in such a short period of time, that Cono complaint was one of those things that happened on that very first day where literally three major events started this catalyst of learning, and becoming, and unveiling and grounding and all these other amazing things that have happened on the other side of it, but living it was a totally different process. So, I’m having a great day, check my inbox in the afternoon. There it is in a subject line, College of Natural pass, or Cono notification of complaint. Of course, your heart drops. And I open it up. And there’s no information there because of course, every complaint that comes through my business will also be reflected on the team member who saw that patient. So, I have a complaint against me, that team member has a complaint against that team member. And we have to deal with it separately. Doesn’t have to be that way. But that’s just how this one went down. So, I sat with it. I called the number I was not upset. I wasn’t angry. I just wanted to get more information I just said I just need to know what these next steps are. Could you let me know? So, we first had to allow both parties to see each other’s name. And I knew I would have to go into like mama bear mode protection mode, it’s all going to be okay mode.
And I also had an inkling as to who the individual was, so thank goodness, I knew who filed the complaint because there was really only one disgruntled patient who I knew about at the time. And I’m very grateful that it was him because it was if it wasn’t him, I would have had no idea it would have come out of more of left field but this individual was really coming at us emailing multiple times. Because he opted in to do a lab test. He then a couple days later opted out of it after we had submitted the claim. And so, I notified SunLife that we owe the money like right away, I call them and notified them. But the process to which getting the instructions to return the money for them to receive the check, blah, blah, blah, did not happen as fast as this individual wanted it to happen. And so, I take full responsibility that there wasn’t as much transparency that could have been placed. I’ve never had to do a refund with a insurance company before. So, this was all new to me. I didn’t know what the timeline was going to be. I didn’t know what I was waiting for. And the information that SunLife was feeding the patient was different than what I was getting. So, there was just a ton of miscommunication. And being in the time that we are, right now, during a pandemic, everyone is already feeling squeezed. And so the fact that this money wasn’t put back into his insurance account, just pushed this individual over the edge and wasn’t getting the answers he needed from me wasn’t getting the answers he needed from the clinic and therefore took the next step, which was to file a legitimate complaint. And I read through the entire complaint. I read through the submissions, I read through the options to which Cono also says, are you sure you want to go through with this? Is this really something you want to do? And, and this person was just so upset that he was just like, yep, do it. Let’s go.
So, the old me had I been a new practitioner, and I’ve had a CONO on complaint before this was back in the day when it was the BDDTN where a colleague called out my website advertising for false misrepresentation of doing our own natural immune support, because I was calling it an all-natural immune shot. And we weren’t allowed to inject homeopathics, anymore. So, I had to go through that process. And I distinctly remember the difference between me then, and me now, when I had that original complaint, what I did was I went immediately into panic, stress, freak out, oh, my God, the world is crumbling, I’m going to lose my license, I went into just pure adrenaline mode. And I remember getting that complaint, I remember literally responding back to them with all of the evidence to prove that I was not in the wrong within like an hour of receiving that complaint. And just being like, oh my god, hopefully, this is going to be okay. And of course, they have, and it says in writing, like 150 days to actually give you a response on that complaint, but as a new individual, and again, coming from that fearful place, I just went into pure like, attack mode, like, how can I respond fast enough? If I respond faster than I’m going to get my response back faster? And of course, we all know that that is not how that happens.
So, with this one, because I knew, again, it’s just a pure billing issue. It is a complete unfounded request, because I know that I practice and my team practices within the utmost integrity to our scope, that we are not doing anything sneaky, or that might be misconstrued as a gray area. I am so well in tune with what our regulations are that I just took it as Okay, let me analyze and dissect where this person is coming from, let me analyze and dissect what it is that we need to prove to make our case and we’ll just go from there. So, at this point, there’s no, I legally can’t actually reach out to the patient or try to smooth things over even though it does state that one of the possible outcomes is that the client would withdraw the complaint. But to our knowledge, once the complaint is filed, we have to go through the whole investigation process anyway. So, I get on the phone again with Cono. And I say Okay, look, I totally understand where this person is coming from, what is it that you need from me, because we have not done anything to intentionally deceive the insurance company or this patient. We just don’t have the instructions on how to give the money back. This was back in mid-September that this complaint was filed. And of course, they give fairly open-ended benign answers to all of your questions which I get, they can’t be giving away anything specific or being like you know what, this is probably going to be fine. Don’t worry about they just can’t do that. They have to remain in that sort of very unbiased, legal mind frame. And so, we have to adopt that same. So anyways, I was like, Okay, cool. So, I knew that we have 30 days to put in our rebuttal to the complaint. And of course, the original version of my complaint was a lot feistier and a lot angrier. But I wrote it all out because I needed to get it off my chest, I went through everything. So to prove that I contacted the insurance company, I had everything written out in a timeline, I talked about what I said on the call, how long the call was, what time the call was, like, I just needed to verbal diarrhea it all out on that day, and then sit on the document, I didn’t submit it, I didn’t give it back, I wanted to at least get it all off of my chest. So, I knew that everything that I could possibly do was taken care of in this document, and then hold because the old me would have submitted it that day, the old me would have been reactive would have been like, okay, here, here’s everything that I have up to this point take it, but they give you 30 days for a reason. And I knew that the longer I waited, the more complete my submission would be. So, two weeks later, we finally got the instructions from the insurance company as to how to pay them back. That day, I put a check in the mail expedited mail, like, however it can get into their hands fast enough, I have proof that it was delivered. And now I’m just waiting on proof for it to be removed from my bank account, so that I can show a picture of the cheque actually being deposited on their end. So, we’ve now had this complaint for about three weeks, we have another week to place the rebuttal. And I’m so fine with that I’m so fine waiting until it is fully complete and fully intact to respond to it.
And of course, you kind of think about well, why did this happen? Why did this happen to me, and even my team member was just like, I still don’t know why this happened, you know, like I have that fear of God against getting some sort of a complaint and what that means and am I going to lose my license Do I need to like move provinces, you know, all the scary stories that we hear about.
And I was just like, my takeaway is this one. I’ve never been through this experience before. So, if it does happen in the future, I can now say, no problem, you don’t want to do this test, expect the return or refund policy to take a number of months, it is not going to happen fast. And here’s usually what we have to wait for and everything had to be done in the mail, they would not give information over the phone over email over fax, it had to be mailed out for whatever reason, that’s just their process. And SunLife, quite frankly, as all insurance companies will say is they don’t really care, they’re not in a rush to do anything. So, there’s only so much that we can do as practitioners to expedite the process. So, I took it as Okay, there’s definitely some lessons that I need to learn. And as I mentioned, the responsibility to be more transparent, which my boundary is talking about money with patients, when it comes to outstanding balances or X, Y or Z is going on, I would prefer to default it through reception.
So, I take on the responsibility of not being more transparent directly with the patient. Okay, got it noted. I also don’t want to break that boundary. So, what can what process can I create to make this a lot more transparent? And then the only other thing that I look at it as is I going to allow this experience to send me into a downward self-confidence spiral? Or am I going to use this as a source of empowerment for who I am as a practitioner? How I am showing up as a practitioner, how I’m conducting myself as a practitioner, it allowed me to reassess and double check, like, am I showing up with utmost integrity? Am I doing things that could be misconstrued as illegal or bound, like on the boundary or gray or whatever.
And I’m so proud to say that there’s nothing that I could think of that anybody could come after us for in a legitimate fashion where I’m like, Damn, I got caught. You know, it allowed me to reassess all those things. It allowed me to be a lot more careful about charting and documenting. So, it definitely is setting me up for better things a better way I can show up a better way I can document to emails a better way I can document correspondence or whatever the case may be. For anticipation of this could happen again. Not that I think that it would.
The other thing that in a serendipitous way happened was I was attending a conference And the individual was a naturopath in the states and he took on the whole like COVID, when it first came out, really stepping up and leaning into the medicine that we have as naturopath leaning into the amazing abilities, we have to support the immune system to treat viruses, regardless of their name, and how he was on those battle lines. And he would treat people in the parking lot, he would set up IVs for people in their car, like he did whatever he could to show up on the front lines to help his patients who had COVID, who were having post COVID symptoms who were trying to prevent COVID from happening, and he got the letters to he got the letters from the board, he got the letters from the government, he got the letters from medical directors to cease and desist. And he stayed true to his license. He stayed true to his charting, he stayed true to his mission as a healer. And when I heard his story, and he mentioned it briefly, but I picked up on it, where he got those letters, he had to file those claims. And he still did what he was doing and continued to do what he was doing. That was really what inspired me to make sure one, I’m showing up within my scope within the utmost amount of integrity as I can. And two, that I should never be afraid of what other people are going to think of how I’m doing something, how I’m showing up how I am treating them, because they feel triggered, send the complaints my way, because there’s nothing you’ve got on me, it is always an emotional response from them. And he felt backed into a corner he was pissy he let his ego get the best of him. And he went way above and overreacted more than he needed to. And that’s okay, I have nothing but neutral feelings towards him, I certainly don’t need to, you know, keep them on as a patient or interact with him in any way like that relationship, the therapeutic relationship no longer exists, but I have neutral feelings towards him as a human being.
But I think it’s something that is really important to remember is as practice as healers, as practitioners, I find immediately upon graduation, you are in defense mode, fear mode, I can’t do mode. And these are all stories that you’re telling yourself.
And it is your responsibility to know the regulations, it is absolutely your responsibility to know the scope of practice to what you have and defaulting on I just didn’t read that document is not okay. It is your responsibility to go into those rules and regulations and see what you can and cannot do. If you choose to do what you shouldn’t be doing and you get caught. It’s also your responsibility to take the lashing for that, you know, a lot of times practitioners are toeing the line, and they’re doing it because out of anger out of other provinces can do it, I should be able to and you hope that you don’t get caught. And when you do you have no one else to blame but yourself. And that’s just how it is. The regulations are there in writing and they are fully accessible to you whenever you need them.
So, you have this on your side, you have this as a steppingstone for making sure that no one can take your license away. So that then leads at a huge playground of ways that you can be stepping up of ways that you can offer programs. No in Ontario, you can’t block fee them. It doesn’t mean you can’t run a program. You just invoice them as you go. And that alone and like I’ve had so many people that I’ve talked to that are like, Oh, well, we just can’t run programs in Ontario. So, I don’t know what else to do. Like, well, that isn’t actually the truth. It’s not that you can’t run a program. Nowhere does it say in our regulations, you can’t run a program. It just says you can’t block fee. So okay, you just don’t get all the payment upfront. It’s really no big deal. But we tend to make these massive stories that put up these massive boundaries and blockers in our way. And they for the most part is not legitimate, but we hold on to them as reasons why we can’t practice the way we want to or we can’t do this or we can’t do that. I love defaulting on the fact that back in the day, ozone therapy didn’t exist. Back in the day IV therapy didn’t exist. Back in the day. A lot of these big fangled machines that can read stuff didn’t exist. And yet people were having amazing transformations just with high quality hyper nourishment, hyper hydration, stress management, energy work.
You know, our practices, healers most of the time is just creating the therapeutic space. Offering like a few little suggestions that can make a massive impact on people. You don’t need to have the PRP, the prolotherapy, the homeopathic injections, the IV, which are all great. And it certainly does tremendous things, but it’s not necessary. More often than not, people are just looking for a connection. And that’s why it makes me sad that, especially in Ontario, a lot of professionals are opting out of paying a rental space for the overhead expenses and are purely going virtual. And I’ve personally experienced patients that will not come to us because they are so over virtual experiences, they want the in-person interaction, they want the physical touch, they want you to check their pulse, and do their blood pressure and give them an abdominal exam, like they just want to know that they’re being cared for human-to-human, energy to energy. And unless you’re really, really good at energy work, it’s hard to get that same therapeutic relationship over the phone, or over the computer, it’s possible. But there are a lot of patients that still need human interaction because they don’t get it anywhere else. And that’s not to say you have to jump ship, it’s just something for you to be very mindful of is our power as healers is not about what we can’t do. And it’s about you are breaking down the stories you’re telling yourself of what you aren’t able to do or what your limitations are. And I’m living proof that if you see the box that you are living in, and you just keep hitting that glass ceiling, and I even take away that glass ceiling and you still don’t jump higher than where that ceiling used to be. Again, that’s on you. But if you’re just like damn, someone took that glass ceiling off that I felt so restricted against and I’m having this flood of amazing oxygen, I’m having this huge, beautiful sky that I can now see I can jump out of this box and go anywhere that I want to and be free and break the confines of what the old antiquated, indoctrinated system of medicine looks like and make it my own. Play the game my way, do things the way I want to Frig, this is a lot more fun than I thought that it was an anytime you feel shackled, you are going to feel suppressed. And it’s going to be hard. And you are going to allow that to fester. And you you’ve seen what I was able to create. I was able to create duplication of myself not only once, but I’ve done it successfully on four separate occasions with four different people in multiple locations. And it’s still going. And I’m not saying that it was seamless, because it certainly wasn’t and I’ve done a podcast on that. But it’s possible, it’s possible that I can still be a naturopath and only treat two or three patients a week and still make 1000s of dollars every day because my team is running it. It’s possible that I can stay at home full time and be there for my girls full time and still make almost half a million dollars this year. It’s totally possible because I refused to let anybody story. anyone’s past experience. anyone’s interpretation of the truth be my truth. And I really hope that that would be the same for you. And I’m giving you full permission to become that aligned healer, that aligned practitioner that you so deserve to be full permission. And if you want to talk a bit more about this again, I welcome you to reach out to me on Instagram @AndreaMaximND to book that 30 minute gameplan call with me so you and I can have that space to really chat things out.
But coronal complaints, the fear of Cono complaints, the fear of being reprimanded has nothing to do with you being an amazing practitioner. It has nothing to do with you quite frankly, unless you are legitimately, you know, toeing the line. It’s usually against somebody else’s trigger. It sucks. You have 30 days to bring your submission they have 150 days. To give you that final like green light or red light, it totally sucks. I empathize with all of that. And it can be very expensive. But if you are working within the confines of your scope if you’re working within the most amount of integrity that you can, it’s usually a non issue and I don’t want that fear to literally be a ball and chain on your potential success. So please reach out to me I would love to be a resource for you and talk this through with you. I’m Andrew Maxim and diamond. If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe so you are notified when a new episode is posted. leave a review and drop me a message on Instagram at Andrew Maxim MD, as I love hearing from you. Just so you know we also host a video version of most of our episodes on maximized business.ca thank you so much for listening and I will see you on the next episode.
You guys are killer. Thank you as always for listening to the Profitable Practice Podcast. Leave me a comment, and if you have it already, I would love a review on iTunes. Definitely subscribe to this podcast and leave me a quick review! For those ready to maximize your practice, contact me at https://maximizedbusiness.ca/