My Family Doctor Referred Me to a Chiropractor
We have had three clients recently referred to chiropractors including one called "AICA Orthopedics" by their primary care physicians at Piedmont Physicians and another primary care outfit. These are all clients who have been in car accidents and have health insurance coverage. They went to their primary care doctor and have been turned away because it was a motor vehicle accident and the PCP does not accept those cases. While frustrating, that is their prerogative. The problem is what happens next when the client goes to these chiropractors. All three clients have received bills for over $7,000 for just two visits. The chiropractors are not telling the patient what the billing will be and refuses to bill health insurance. Instead they bill outrageous amounts to the patient and expect to be paid out any settlement.
That is the problem with the car accident business. Some medical outfits simply don't care about billing ethics and will slap whatever charges they care to invent on the bill and force the patient and the insurance companies to show how outrageous and out of line with industry norms they are.
Another problem is the murky nature of the types of treatment offered. Take AICA's example. This has been a chiropractic clinic for years and yet now they are calling themselves "AICA Orthopedics." Orthopedics is a field with a very specific definition. It is a practice area for licensed medical doctors with a specialty in orthopedics. The banner on the website says "Chiropractors are standing by" If you dig deep enough into the website, there is a section claiming there are orthopedists that work there, but there are no names. This is really confusing for the client. Are they chiropractors or medical doctors?
If you look into their Google reviews and sort out the bunny fluffy ones, you find statements like this:
There is nothing wrong with good chiropractic care, but as with every business, there are good chiropractors and bad ones. Patients should never be presented with multi-thousand dollar bills with no warning when they have health insurance. Be careful out there and ask lots of questions.