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New OK Bill to Add Chiropractor Treatment to Workers’ Comp

As experienced Ponca City Workers’ Compensation attorneys, we want you to be aware of changes in benefits that could increase your treatment options.

Chiropractic care focuses on improving your body’s alignment. It is a potentially useful therapy for workers who suffer back and neck injuries and practitioners claim it helps the body heal from a variety of ailments. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation in Oklahoma generally does not cover the cost of chiropractic care. Workers who want or require these treatments pay for them out of pocket. A new bill hopes to change that, including these costs among other benefits injured workers are entitled to receive.

Legislators Introduce Bill to Add Chiropractic Care to Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Oklahoma state legislators introduced a flurry of bills in January designed to expand coverage for injured employees receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Among these was Senate Bill 1375, authored by Republican Senator Kim David. It proposes expanding existing workers’ compensation coverage to include chiropractic care. This would add it to the existing hospital, surgical, nursing, optometric, podiatric, and other services currently offered to workers eligible for benefits. Specifications regarding chiropractic coverage include:

  • Employers would have the right to choose which chiropractor a worker could visit.
  • Employees who have a specific preference or are currently undergoing chiropractic treatment could request their own provider through the dispute resolution process. This process is detailed through the Oklahoma Certified Workplace Medical Plan.
  • Chiropractors would be subject to the same reporting procedures as other medical providers under the current workers’ compensation program guidelines.

The bill had its first reading on February 2, 2020. If passed into law, coverage of chiropractic care would be available as part of your benefits beginning in November 2020.

Changes in Workers’ Compensation Coverage Reflect Popularity of Chiropractic Care

The proposed changes in state laws regarding chiropractic care for injured workers reflect changing attitudes towards this type of treatment. It also reflects an increasing demand for chiropractic services. In the past, chiropractic care was considered an alternative treatment and there were plenty of skeptics who questioned its value. Today, chiropractic care has become mainstream, and medical experts readily acknowledge its ability to provide relief for certain patients.

Chiropractic care focuses on aligning body structures, often through the use of spinal manipulation. This involves applying strong pressure on joints between the vertebrae, generally with the goal of putting them back in place. Harvard School of Medicine reports that research on spinal manipulation has shown promising results. Other practices chiropractors employ when treating patients include:

  • Posture, exercise, and ergonomic training;
  • Massage and manual soft tissue therapy;
  • Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS);
  • Lifestyle and diet counseling.

Chiropractic treatments are aimed at improving the patient’s overall health. They can benefit workers who suffer limited mobility and chronic pain due to a variety of conditions, increasing flexibility and decreasing the need for pain medication.

Contact Our Ponca City Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

At BDIW Law, we provide the professional legal help you need in obtaining workers’ compensation benefits. To schedule a consultation, contact our Ponca City workers’ compensation attorneys today.

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