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Workers Comp Chiropractic Care – A Cost Savings Technique?

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WCRI Preliminary Study Shows Workers Comp Chiropractic Care Savings

One of the subjects covered at the WCRI 2022 Conference was a savings element with workers comp chiropractic care for injured workers.   Unfortunately, I glossed over a big statistic that was presented by Dongchun Wang, WCRI Economist on the first day of the conference.

If you are not receiving WCRI’s updates, you are definitely missing a huge amount of good data to just review for a few minutes each week – definitely worth signing up here and you receive a free report from the second you sign up.  If you have a popup blocker on, then the free study offer may not appear.

picture workers comp chiropractic care
Public Use Wikimedia Commons – chiaravdberg

Workers Comp Chiropractic Care – A Further Look

I was having my Keurig coffee two mornings ago when the phrase Workers Comp Chiropractic Care Savings popped into my head.  I thought that chiropractors actually were always an expensive option.

If you want to see what was covered over the 1.5-day conference, check out these three articles from two weeks ago.  They were typed live, so please excuse any errors, grammatical mistakes, etc.

Day 1 Morning – Dr. Hartwig’s 65 Slide Presentation on Inflation

Day 1 Afternoon – Dan Allen’s Astounding COVID-19 Stats On The Construction Industry

Day 2 Morning – The Numbers Say It All 

Below is what I typed in for the session on treatment by Chiropractors.  I bolded the part that I suddenly remembered from the conference.   Please remember that the results are preliminary – the results could change over time as more data is analyzed.  The study covered 28 states.

Patterns and Outcomes of Chiropractic Care

Wed. Mar 16, 2022
11:15 AM – 12:00 PM

Chiropractors often participate in the delivery of physical medicine services to workers with low back pain in many states. It is important to know how they are involved and the outcomes of the care they provide. This is one of several preliminary studies we will be sharing at our annual conference, giving attendees a first look. Join WCRI Economist Dongchun Wang as she shares preliminary findings from her 28-state study Patterns and Outcomes of Chiropractic Care, which will address the following questions:

  • How often do workers with low back pain receive chiropractic care across states?
  • What are some reasons for the substantial interstate variation in the use of chiropractic care?
  • How are chiropractors involved in delivering care?
  • How do costs and temporary disability duration compare between low back pain claims with exclusive chiropractic care and those with non-chiropractic physical medicine care?

Minnesota uses chiropractic care more than any other state in Workers’ Comp – Minnesota allows employee choice of physician.

Chiropractic care is considered part of physical medicine treatment.

Difference Between Workers Comp Chiropractic Care and Physical Therapy

The difference between physical therapists and chiropractors – physical therapists formulate a treatment plan, using a diagnosis from a physician.   Chiropractors formulate their own diagnosis and treatment plan.

States that have employer-controlled medical treatment had a lower amount of chiropractic care. 

In Minnesota almost 35% of workers comp injuries were treated by chiropractors.  7% was the 28 state median.

Thirteen states had less than 5% of workers comp injuries with chiropractic care.

Overall provider patterns

71% did not involve chiropractors

17% mix between chiropractors and non-chiropractors

12% exclusively chiropractic treatment

Comparing Costs and TTD Duration

Chiropractic care is associated with a shorter length of TTD and lower medical costs than claims with other types of physical medicine – an interesting finding (preliminary only)

Question – Are Doctors’ costs and pharmacy fees figured into the physical medicine cost when compared to chiropractic care?  Yes

I decided to go to the North Carolina Chiropractic Association website to see if I could find any studies there.  I hit a paywall and needed to get the newsletter out.

The studies on Workers Comp chiropractic care will have to wait until next time.  I will update this article or write a new one when WCRI updates the chiropractic study.

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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