Chiropractic treatment under MN workers’ compensation

Group 152

Table of Contents

Chiropractic treatment can be beneficial to relieve the effects of your work injury. However, in some cases, the treatment may not be allowed under Minnesota workers’ compensation. It may be necessary for you to obtain an attorney to assist you in obtaining the reasonable and necessary medical treatment.

Under Minnesota work comp there are limits to the type and duration of medical treatment an injured worker may receive including chiropractic treatment. These limits are based  under on the Minnesota Treatment Parameters.

The MN Treatment Parameters limit chiropractic treatment to 12 calendar weeks.  Under certain conditions or exceptional circumstances, an additional 12 visits over an additional 12 months may be provided.

It should be noted that the treatment parameters only apply if the injury has been admitted by the insurer.  However, the courts may look to the treatment parameters as a guideline.

The MN Supreme Court has recognized that the treatment parameters cannot anticipate every circumstance and held a compensation judge may depart from the rules in those rare instances in which departure is necessary to obtain proper treatment. A health care provider must provide prior notification of the departure to work comp insurer.

Minn. R. 5221.6050, subp. 8D, allows treatment to continue where two of the following three criteria are met, as documented in the medical records:

  1. The employee‘s subjective complaints of pain are progressively improving as evidenced by documentation in the medical record of decreased distribution, frequency, or intensity of symptoms;
  2. The employee‘s objective clinical findings are progressively improving, as evidenced by documentation in the medical record of resolution or objectively measured improvement in physical signs of injury; and
  3. The employee‘s functional status, especially vocational activity, is objectively improving as evidenced by documentation in the medical record, or successive reports of work ability, of less restrictive limitations on activity.

Also, the treatment has to be reasonable and necessary in order to be paid. Certain factors are considered when a judge determines if the treatment is reasonableness and necessary. These factors include:

  1. Documentation of the treatment itself and of the details of a reasonable treatment plan;
  2. Whether the frequency and duration of the treatment is warranted, in light of the potential for psychological dependency;
  3. The degree and duration of the relief itself that is obtained from the treatment;
  4. The relationship of the treatment to the goal of returning the employee to suitable employment and non-work activities;
  5. Appropriate referral to medical providers in the event of continuing problems, in light of the possibility that the cchiropractic treatment itself may be causing the problem; and
  6. The cost of the treatment in light of the relief provided and the results obtained.

As noted, there are limits to the treatment that may be allowed under workers’ compensation.  It is best to consult an attorney in cases where your medical treatment has been denied. Although you have been denied treatment, you still may be able have your medical bills paid for.