UPDATE: New “Vertebrae” owner wants to make patients whole again

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UPDATE 3/22/18 - Vertebrae Chiropractic Clinic is back in business.

New owner Rick Looper saw our original In Your Corner report.

“The past is the past,” Rick said. “We're going to do everything every day to take care of the patients.”

You'll remember the former owner, Krystie Kifer, locked out her patients, but kept charging their accounts for chiropractic services they weren't receiving.

“And then the next month it was charged,” patient, Pip Hutton, said.

He reported the alleged fraud to his bank and got his refund that way.

Rick wants to make Pip and other former Vertebrae patients whole again, so he's honoring any of their unused pre-paid sessions.

“We're moving forward,” Looper said. “We want to show them great care.”

Unlike the previous owner, Rick is a licensed chiropractor and proven business owner with 18 years of experience running several clinics in Northwest Arkansas.

Vertebrae though uses a newer model of chiropractic care that makes it accessible to people without the need for insurance or restrictions of a third-party system.

Rick hopes to hit this one out of the park.

He's reopened both Vertebrae locations in Moore and Edmond. 

Kifer is still facing mounting legal and money problems.

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UPDATE 12/1/17 - Our In Your Corner team has new information involving the abrupt closure of "Vertebrae Chiropractic Clinics" in Moore and Edmond.

We received a new complaint from a patient who says their account was just hit with a new monthly charge for December for chiropractic services they're not getting.

We still want to know if and when owner, Krystie Kifer, plans to reimburse patients for charges.

She’s still not talking, although we got a "no comment" out of her attorney.

Friday Dr. Steven Duffy was one of several chiropractors who reached out to the In Your Corner team wanting to help Vertebrae's patients.

“I wasn't even expecting you guys to come out. I was going to say give ‘em my name and number and tell 'em to get in touch with me,” he said. “If they can bring documentation we will voluntarily give them the services they paid for.”

Patients are deciding what to do next.

Word is Kifer's been trying to sell her chiropractic clinics.

According to court filings she tried filing bankruptcy twice, but each time her case was later dismissed.

Vertebrae patients can get in touch with Dr. Duffey by calling 405-949-0434.

His office is located at 4430 NW 50th Street in Oklahoma City.

A second chiropractor is also wanting to help.

Dr. Joren Whitley from Nexialist Chiropractic also saw our story and wants to offer patients a similar deal at his Edmond clinic, located at 1973 W. 33rd St., suite 110.

Dr. Whitley can be reached at 405-673-5339.

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EDMOND, Okla. - Patients of “Vertebrae Chiropractic Clinics” say they’ve been locked out for weeks.

Neil Reeves bought a package of 20 visits.

“I probably used 12,” he said.

Patients paid up for adjustments, but they can't get in to see anyone at Vertebrae.

We know both metro locations, Edmond and Moore, shut down, patients say without any sort of a heads-up.

“Quit taking people's money first off,” Neil said. “We all got bills to pay.”

Christine Colbert was greeted with a note on the door, something about the doctor being sick.

“I was hurting so I called the next day.  I left a message. I got no call back. I've called about 3 or 4 times. I don't get a call back."

We know owner, Krystie Kifer, is being evicted from both locations for unpaid rent. 

She’s got major money and legal problems.

Court records show she defaulted on her $150,000 small business loan and was recently hauled off to jail for DUI and drug possession.

Plus, she’s charged in Oklahoma County with misdemeanor embezzlement, obstructing an officer, forging a credit application, and not paying employees. 

You see, Kifer is not a licensed chiropractor.

She just owns the walk-in clinics and finds chiropractors to see patients. 

Beth Kidd is executive director for the Oklahoma Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

She says even if patients wanted to file a complaint against Kifer with her agency, they couldn't for two reasons.

  • Kifer's not a licensed chiropractor and the agency doesn't have jurisdiction over chiropractic clinics. 
  • That means in this case, patients have little recourse other than filing a complaint with the Oklahoma Attorney General or suing Kifer, which costs money.

“We only have jurisdiction over the individual licensed chiropractor,” Kifer said. “We don't have jurisdiction over the establishment.”

Grievances against Kifer keep coming into the In Your Corner hotline.

Complaints that Kifer is still charging clients, like Melissa Collins, for services they're not getting. 

“I had signed up for a 6 months agreement with them and put my debit card on file,” she said. “Of course I was charged for the month of November [and] I didn't receive all of my services for November.

On top of stopping by Kifer's home, we tried calling and texting her multiple times with no response.

There’s a Nevada number for her on the front door of the Edmond clinic, but no one answers.

The message says the mailbox is full.

She also posted something about plans to open up a new Edmond location.

We checked. That space is empty and still for lease.

Melissa's since disputed her charge with her bank and canceled her debit card.

“I can't get in touch with anybody to cancel to make sure I don't receive any more charges,” she said.

According to that note on the door Kifer says her clinics will be "issuing credits based on the days they were closed." 

So far, we haven't seen any evidence of that.

We'll keep trying to get a hold of the owner.

Verify a license with the Oklahoma Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

Krystie Kifer also goes by the first name "Krystle.

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