I run a massage business. We bill auto insurance after accidents, and soon that won’t be available any more. I’m not too worried, since most of our clients pay out of pocket, but the changes for the industry as a whole will be huge, and even we will have problems making payroll.
I’m very sorry for the massage therapists who work in facilities that specialize on auto accidents, because a lot of them will lose their jobs. (Btw… I’ll need an LMT with good deep tissue techniques for weekends).
It’s going to be hard for some chiropractors, too. And for some of them I’m genuinely concerned. They run good businesses, they treat their employees well, and their main motivation is helping people out of pain.
Some others really deserve the hit they’re going to get. They’re running a scam together with their lawyer buddies. Do you ever wonder who dials the number on the billboard? The one that says “Accident? Call 407-xxx-PAIN”?
I just had a consultation with somebody who followed the billboard instruction. She got an appointment with an attorney who indicated that she could get some money out of this, since she had mild low back pain. But in order to get those two or three thousand dollars, she had to go to a chiropractor first. Couldn’t be any chiropractor, it had to be the one who works with her lawyer.
So in good faith, since the lawyer was convincing (and promising her money) she got on a treatment plan with adjustments, massage and some other techniques. The chiropractor found not only problems in her lower back, but also in the cervical spine (neck).
PIP was billed with over $600 every week. Her mild back pain got worse and developed into full-blown sciatica with pain radiating down her legs. The neck started showing symptoms, too, and now she has chronic pain in the whole upper back.
When she voiced her concern, the chiropractor said those changes were due to her weight gain and had nothing to do with the treatments.
The lawyer said she had to continue the treatments, otherwise there’d be no chance to ever get that money.
Now she’s almost out of her insurance benefits, since they kept that scam going for 6 months, and I’ll have to clean up the mess her body is in. I also have to tell her there was no chance to ever get a few thousand dollars.
If she really is out of benefits, she might have to pay me for my treatments.
Loads of businesses in Florida benefit from the loose regulations around PIP billing. They make about ten thousand dollars of every case. The medical doctors and chiropractors who run them are only interested in setting up a system where the patient is being treated as if on a conveyor belt, with as little personal attention as possible. Massage therapists, physical therapists, office staff are paid as little as possible. They don’t have to be good, they just have to keep the system running.
That’s the reason for the PIP bill.
It’s not a conspiracy against massage therapists and acupuncture physicians.
I’m not trying to defend the injustice that’s happening to honest therapists. I know how hard it is, and how much the PIP money has helped.
But the manipulation and abuse of patients has to stop.