Dr. Gray's Straight Talk

Honest and blunt healthcare discussion and advice.

Chiropractic First in Cases of Work Injuries

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

It always amazes me that readily available data is ignored. We’ve known for decades that:

  1. Back pain is the number one reason for missed time at work.
  2. Chiropractic care is the fastest and most successful treatment option at returning patients to work.
  3. Choosing chiropractic first costs less both initially and over the long term; yet…
  4. Employers and insurers continue to ignore these facts.

In most states, Worker’s Compensation claims must follow a certain order of progression. First, the employer admits the condition may be work-related. Then, the employer tells the employee where to go for evaluation and treatment.

Most employers really do care about their employees. They know what keeps their business running. The employer just wants their employee healthy and back on the job, so what do they do? They ask their insurance company where to send the employee. Here’s where the disconnect comes in… The insurance company DOESN’T CARE ABOUT THE PATIENT and doesn’t want to PAY ANY CLAIMS. Therefore, they recommend a contracted office who is rewarded for minimizing the claim.

The patient/employee gets minimal care and is returned to daily life without addressing the underlying cause of the condition with which they presented. This leads to further injury or a worsening of the condition… often when the patient is not at work. The employer thinks and the insurance company claims that the condition is no longer work-related, therefore they are not responsible. Ultimately, the patient is saddled with increased expenses, increased time off work, decreased productivity, and declining health.

What’s the answer? Employers must realize that THEY HAVE THE POWER AND CONTROL at the beginning of the case, and can make a more appropriate referral to a chiropractor first. Their unemployment insurance is still responsible and will cover their employee’s expenses… and they will have a healthier, safer, and more productive worker back on the job sooner and with less expense.


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