It doesn’t happen that often, but every now and then we talk to people who don’t want to treat with traditional medicine. I’m not a doctor and I don’t think my way is better than anyone else’s way, at least as far as how I live my life. If you want to treat your flu more holistically, that’s your call. As long as it doesn’t affect me or my kids, what do I care?
But when it comes to Illinois workers’ compensation claims, I do have strong opinions as to what type of doctor that you should treat with. Insurance companies have to pay for reasonable and necessary medical care. Fair or not, herbal remedies, healing stones, meditation or other forms of non-traditional care that might work for you are not considered reasonable.
Chiropractic care is considered reasonable, but only to a point. There are unfortunately some chiropractors who will try and treat their patients 4-5 days a week and run up a huge bill. They seem to hope that if they bill $10,000.00 that maybe they’ll get half of it. Arbitrators at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission do not look at this type of care approvingly.
A bigger concern comes with the credibility of opinions by chiropractors. Again, fair or not, orthopedic doctors are viewed much more favorably than chiros by Arbitrators. And when I say much more, I really mean, much, much, much, much, much, more. In fact, I can’t recall one case where the opinion of a chiropractor was viewed favorably over that of an orthopedic doctor.
Some of it has to do with the fact that most chiros don’t get in to diagnostic testing such as MRI’s. It also has to do with there being many back and neck conditions that chiropractic care simply can not treat as well as orthopedic care. Finally, it’s a lot harder to become an orthopedic doctor so that enhances the credibility of their opinions. It’s almost like comparing a teacher to a student teacher or a lawyer to a paralegal.
I tell you about this as a warning because while you shouldn’t be forced to see a doctor who practices medicine you don’t agree with, the truth is that you will likely lose your case or at least damage it greatly if you don’t see a more traditional doctor. Certainly you can’t expect that any Arbitrator would order the insurance company to pay for holistic care or long term chiropractic care.
I’m in the honesty business and every day I piss someone off because I have a policy of never telling someone what they want to hear, but instead always telling the truth. It’s best for everyone on a long term basis.
If you come to me and want to know what I think of you going to a chiropractor, I’d likely tell you that if you just got injured and want to try that for a week or two, that’s fine, but anything beyond that would not be in your best interests when it comes to the case.
Of course there are plenty of attorneys who will tell you what you want to hear and that will probably get you to sign up with them. It’s great for them in the short term and probably makes you feel really positive too. But in the long run you are likely to be stuck with a huge unpaid medical bill and that’s when you’ll regret hiring that firm.