Treating Injured Workers: Is Chiropractic Care Covered?
The answer is … maybe.
While we respect the care that chiropractors provide in some injury cases, the insurance companies don’t share that opinion because chiropractors are not medical doctors. Our general recommendation is that you should not seek treatment from a chiropractor without first receiving approval to do some from your treating physician. Doing so could affect your workers’ compensation claim, and you may not be reimbursed for those unapproved chiropractor visits.
That said, the workers’ compensation laws in North Carolina do allow for reimbursement for chiropractic care.
Conditions must be met for chiropractic care to be covered:
- Your treating physicians must order chiropractic care and
- The insurance company must approve it.
If an injured worker requires lengthy chiropractic treatment, the chiropractor should request authorization from N.C. Industrial Commission (and the insurance company) before continuing treatment. Failure to seek approval could affect reimbursement and negatively impact your workers’ comp claim.
It may actually be easier now to seek chiropractic care than it was only a few years ago. In 2018, the Industrial Commission adopted a set of rules designed to address the growing reliance on opioids to treat pain. These new rules indicate that, in addition to medication, doctors should consider other ways to treat pain. Doctors may prescribe chiropractic treatment as well as things like acupuncture, massage, biofeedback, and functional restoration programs.
In general, chiropractic treatment alone is not ideal in a workers’ compensation claim. It is preferable to seek treatment from a medical specialist, such as an orthopedist. If you do end up seeing a chiropractor, it’s a good idea to regularly check in with your medical doctor who can oversee your treatment and who can provide additional documentation of your injuries and treatment.
Your attorney and the paralegals assigned to your case can help make sure you get the medical treatment you need without jeopardizing your workers’ compensation benefits. Please contact us with any questions you may have about your workers’ comp claim and your medical treatment for your workplace injury.