The Legal Examiner Mark The Legal Examiner Mark The Legal Examiner Mark search twitter facebook feed linkedin instagram google-plus avvo phone envelope checkmark mail-reply spinner error close
Skip to main content

In yesterday’s post, we discussed some of the practices that chiropractors have used on innocent victims of car crashes. When an injured plaintiff has valid health insurance coverage, they do not expect the chiropractic office to grab settlement proceeds after failing to bill the health insurer. So, what can you, as a patient, do to take control of this situation and ensure that you get billed as you wish?

* To the extent possible, do some research before you head to the chiropractor’s office. Know what your payment options are under your health insurance and under your auto insurance.
* YOU make the decision about which insurance you would like to use and communicate this decision during your first visit at the chiropractor’s office.
* Read carefully any forms that you have to fill out at the chiropractor’s office and fill them out based on the decisions you have made beforehand.
* Carefully track—and save—any records, forms, letters, notices, or other documentation that you receive from insurance companies and your chiropractor’s office.
* Take a proactive stance when dealing with your insurance claims. Don’t wait for the chiropractor or your insurance company to just take care of things for you, because they may not know what is in your best interest.

Dealing with expenses from auto accident injuries can be a frustrating experience that is made more difficult by the emotional and physical pain from a spinal cord injury or herniated disc that you might be experiencing at the same time. But, simply being aware of your options and keeping track of the process can prevent further headaches down the road. Ask up front if the Chiropractor takes your insurance and make sure the office actually bills the insurance company to whom you, your family and/or your employer has paid premiums. It may prevent worse headaches and pain at the end of your automobile crash injury case.


  1. Gravatar for SMK

    If the DC gets paid by the health isnurer there is not benefit to the settlement for the patient.

    The health insurance company can then subrgate the claim and get paid by the defendant's auto ins carrier.

  2. Gravatar for Doug Landau

    Not necessarily so. In Virginia, we have an "anti subrogation statute" which prohibits such paybacks. Also, where the health insurer has paid, there may only be a partial repayment necessary. And, where the car or truck crash happened at work, and the workers comp carrier or employer have paid for the medical care, there is a Virginia statute that reduces how much the employee has to pay back.

  3. Gravatar for hotcakes33

    If a patient decides that they want to use their health insurance, they are still responsible for any deductibles and copays/coinsurances out of their pocket -in NC, a lot of patients now have $40-$60 copays. This usually translates into a sizable amount that the patient will have to come up with, often at the time of service. In my experience, most of these types of patients are not willing to do the pay as you go, which is why most DC's will treat on a lien, waiting to get paid at the end, and most MD's/Imaging facilities will not. Another point, most of my patients are the victims of accidents, not at fault, so someone else's insurance is providing coverage. Why would someone want to use their health insurance to pay for treatment caused by someone else? If someone used their health insurance to pay for those injuries, in say February of a year, and only has 20 visits and uses all of them for the car accident, and then in September hurts his back doing yard work at home, he now has no coverage left. The health insurance company has already been made whole because of the subrogation, and the patient is left out in the cold.

    The tone of this article seems to be that the attorney is advocating undercutting the DC's bill in an attempt to have more settlement money for himself and the client. Most DC bills are usual and customary. I very rarely, if at all, am asked to reduce my bill in an attempt to make everyone happy. I get the sense that the DC is being used as the scape-goat since his bill can sometimes be the highest in soft tissue cases, i.e. its only the chiropractor, we'll cut his bill. Not because of the cost of care, but because of the amount of treatment that is effective in getting the patient well.

  4. Gravatar for Doug Landau

    Dear "Hotcakes33"

    Where there is no deductible on the health insurance, the chiropractor's failure to timely submit bills will cost the patient unnecessarily.

    Secondly, by not taking the co-pays and instead putting a lien (an "IOU") on the case, the chiropractor potentially deprives the patient of the AGI tax credit.

    And lastly, telling a patient that you will be the valid health insurance that they have paid the premiums for, and then not doing so, smack of dishonesty, don't you agree ?

Comments are closed.

Of Interest