3 Things Chiropractors Should Know About Treating Workers’ Compensation Patients
As a chiropractor, your primary goal is to help your patients heal from their injuries so they can return to their normal activities.
Unfortunately, you may be familiar with this all-too-common scenario when treating patients with work-related injuries: once insurance stops covering the bill, you’re unable to see patients through their full course of treatment.
That’s where Schroeder & Mandel comes in. When you have a skilled attorney negotiating with insurance companies on your and your patients’ behalf, you don’t have to worry about being unpaid or underpaid—and you can focus your energy on providing your patients with the high-quality care they deserve.
In our experience, chiropractors need to know three important things about helping workers’ compensation patients get coverage for the treatment they need.
1. How to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits
Not all patients may realize that they are eligible for workers’ compensation. If you suspect that your patient’s aches and pains are work-related, be sure to include your diagnosis and detail on any work or activities that contributed to your patient’s condition.
Additionally, encourage your patients to report the injury to their employer as soon as possible. While they’re aware of their aches and pains, they may not realize that in Minnesota, this constitutes an injury—and a potential work-related injury claim.
It’s important to note that insurance companies are highly likely to deny these claims without an official report on record.
Chiropractors as primary healthcare providers
Did you know that patients can pick a chiropractor as the primary healthcare provider for their injury? This means that you can refer them for a consultation with another provider at any time.
2. Workers’ compensation treatment parameters
Chiropractic care is often an essential element when it comes to healing from a work-related injury. That being said, as defined in Minnesota’s Administrative Rules, part 5221.6040, subpart 10, all treatment must be deemed medically necessary.
If treatment is determined to be medically necessary, work comp benefits cover up to 12 weeks of:
- Joint adjustment or manipulation
- Thermal treatment, including deep heating and cooling
- Electrical muscle stimulation
- Mechanical traction
- Massage and other manual therapies
- Phoresis, iontophoresis and phonophoresis
When recovery takes longer than 12 weeks
A patient may be eligible for an additional 12 chiropractic visits, over an additional 12 months, if:
- The treatment progressively improves or maintains the functional status that was gained in the initial 12 weeks of treatment;
- The treatment is not regularly scheduled;
- The treatment records contain a plan to encourage independence and decreased reliance on healthcare providers;
- Management of the condition includes active treatment modalities;
- The additional visits do not delay surgical or chronic pain evaluations; and
- The employee does not have chronic pain syndrome.
3. The benefits of partnering with a skilled workers’ compensation attorney
Having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side benefits both you and your patients: they’ll negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, they know which treatments are covered by law and they’re invested in your patients’ recovery.
Work comp attorneys do the heavy lifting to fight legal battles, supporting your work to ensure your patients can make the best possible recovery from their work-related injuries.
Motion to Intervene
If you’re unpaid or underpaid by an insurance company, your attorney can help you file a Motion to Intervene, which will allow you to become formally involved in your patients’ work comp cases.
Workers’ comp can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.
Your job is to help your patients recover and alleviate pain from their injuries—but sometimes, workers’ comp can result in unwanted obstacles.
Schroeder & Mandel is here to simplify the process for you. Not sure where to start? Download the FREE Checklist for Chiropractors today!