Click here to return to the Table of Contents
The Chiropractic Fee Schedule was originally revised on April 1, 2000 and subsequently updated on March 1, 2001 and June 22, 2010.
Medical Records: Medical providers are responsible for providing one free copy of medical records to the first requesting party among the following: employers, carriers, third party adjusting agencies, and rehabilitation nurses. Medical providers may charge a reasonable fee for providing medical records to each subsequent requesting party. Medical providers may always charge a reasonable fee for providing medical records to the employee or the employee’s attorney or other representative. The Industrial Commission has established what such reasonable fee shall be. In no event will it be more than 50 cents per page for the first 40 pages and 20 cents per page for each page above 40, submit to a minimum fee of $10. Such fee covers searching, handling, copying and mailing.
Upon agreement by the parties, medical records may be introduced into evidence in lieu of live testimony. Therefore, prompt provision of the medical reports may alleviate the inconvenience to health care providers, particularly physicians, of providing live testimony.
§97-90. Legal and medical fees to be approved by Commission; misdemeanor to receive fees unapproved by Commission, or to solicit employment in adjusting claims; agreement for fee or compensation.
(a) Fees for attorneys and charges of health care providers for medical compensation under this Article shall be subject to the approval of the Commission; but no physician or hospital or other medical facilities shall be entitled to collect fees from an employer or insurance carrier until he has made the reports required by the Commission in connection with the case. Except as provided in N.C. Gen. Stat. §97-26(g), a request for a specific prior approval to charge shall be submitted to the Commission for each such fee or charge.
The fees set forth herein are those which are the maximum allowed to be charged for treatment of injured workers under the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act. If the usual and customary fees are less than the fees authorized in this schedule, then the usual and customary fees must be used. Managed Care Organizations which comply with North Carolina law and the Rules and Regulations for Managed Care Organizations are not subject to the Medical Fee Schedule.
- The following principles apply to workers' compensation and chiropractic care:
- Chiropractic care IS covered under the Workers' Compensation Law in North Carolina and it would be false and misleading for an insurance company or its representatives to state or imply otherwise. N.C.G.S. §§97-2(20) and 97-88.2
- Pursuant to Rule 802 of the Workers Compensation Rules of the North Carolina Industrial Commission, any employer, carrier or third party administrator who routinely denies chiropractic treatment as a matter of policy may be subject to sanctions by the Industrial Commission.
- When an injured employee has reported the injury to his or her employer and the employer has not made a direct referral to a physician, the employee may go to the physician of his or her choice. N.C.G.S. §97-25
- When a chiropractic physician is the initial treating physician, either through direct employer referral or under circumstances described in Paragraph 3 above, an authorization-to-treat slip is NOT required.
- A chiropractic physician may treat an injured worker for up to 20 visits without further authorization.
- When more than 20 visits are necessary, the chiropractic physician must obtain authorization for additional visits from the payor, i.e., the self-insured employer, the insurance company or the third party administrator.
- When an injured employee has been treated by a physician and wishes to be treated by a different physician, who may or may not be a chiropractic physician, he or she has the right to request treatment by a physician (chiropractic or otherwise) of his or her choice and should contact the employer or write to the Industrial Commission to obtain permission. N.C.G.S. §97-25
- An employer can request that an injured employee seek evaluation by another physician, but the injured employee may continue treatment with the chiropractic physician for up to the initial 20 visits. N.C.G.S. §97-27
- An employer, insurance company, or third party administrator may not unilaterally terminate a patient's chiropractic treatment during the initial 20 visits.
- Except for the number of visits for the initial 20 visits, visits to a chiropractic physician are subject to Utilization Review.
- Chiropractic medicine may be an integral part of the healing process for some injured workers. This schedule includes codes for chiropractic medicine, i.e., those modalities, procedures, tests, and measurements in the chiropractic medicine section, representing specific therapeutic procedures performed by licensed chiropractors and within their scope of practice, or by support personnel under direct supervision of a licensed chiropractor. Chiropractic physicians must meet the following requirements in order to be paid under this fee schedule:
- CHIROPRACTIC MEDICAL ASSESSMENT
- An assessment, including a plan of care, must be performed to determine if a patient will benefit from chiropractic treatment.
- When billing for the assessment, plan of care, and visit, the chiropractor shall use only one of the appropriate CPT Evaluation and Management codes.
- QUALIFICATIONS FOR REIMBURSEMENT
- The patient's condition must have the potential for restoration of function.
- The treatment must be specific to the injury and have the potential to improve the patient's condition.
- PLAN OF CARE
An initial plan of care must be developed and filed with the payor. The content of the plan of care, at a minimum, should contain:
- The potential degree of restoration and measurable goals (i.e., potential restoration is good, poor, low, guarded)
- The specific treatments to be provided, including the frequency and duration, in units, of each treatment
- The estimated duration of the treatment regimen
- Preparation of the initial plan of care is included in the initial assessment, plan of care and visit, and no additional fee shall be charged for it.
- If treatment beyond the initial 20 visits is authorized, the plan of care must be updated at the end of the initial 20 visits and at least every 30 days thereafter. The updated plan must be signed by the chiropractic physician and submitted to the payor. Charges for this reassessment and updated plan of care shall be billed using the appropriate CPT Evaluation and Management code.
- Visits for treatment may not exceed one visit per day without prior approval from the payor.
- A minimum of an initial visit and 19 subsequent visits is allowed upon initial authorization of chiropractic treatment. Treatment exceeding 20 visits must have preauthorization from the payor for continuing care. Treatment must meet the following guidelines:
- The treatment must tend to effect a cure, give relief, or lessen the period of disability.
- When approval to treat is given by telephone, documentation should be made by the provider in the patient's medical record indicating the date and name of the payor representative giving authorization for the treatment.
- Physical Medicine Modalities are now divided into two groups: "supervised" and "constant attendance." Supervised modalities will be reimbursed as billed for only one unit per visit. Constant attendance modalities will be reimbursed as billed in units of 15 minutes. Appropriate rounding up or down is expected, using professional judgment. Billing for excessive units will be subject to Utilization Review.
- A chiropractic physician may charge and be reimbursed for a follow-up examination in the following cases:
- Reassessment as defined in Section C Item 3 (PLAN OF CARE) above.
- A definitive change in the patient’s condition occurs.
- The patient fails to respond to treatment and there is a need to change the treatment plan.
- The patient has completed the treatment regimen and is ready to receive discharge instructions.
- TENS UNITS
- TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) treatment may be provided either by the chiropractic physician or under his supervision.
- Authorization, including selection of the vendor, must be obtained from the payor before rental of a TENS unit or before arrangements are made for the purchase of a TENS unit at a price in excess of $250.
- SUPPLIES and EQUIPMENT
- Chiropractic physicians must obtain authorization from the payor before purchase or rental of durable medical equipment in excess of $100.
- Reimbursement for supplies and equipment must not exceed 20 percent above the provider's cost. An invoice may be required by the carrier before reimbursement is made.
- Reimbursement for vitamins, herbs and nutritional supplements is not allowed under this fee schedule.
- OTHER INSTRUCTIONS
- Charges will not be reimbursed for publications, books, or video cassettes unless by prior approval of the payor.
- All charges for services must be clearly itemized by CPT code. The Federal tax ID number or chiropractor’s social security number must be on the bill. Billing is also subject to all medical billing directives of the Industrial Commission.
- Chiropractors may use the following CPT Evaluation and Management codes:
± to be used only in exceptional circumstances.
* may be used only under one of the four cases outlined in D4 above.
- Chiropractors may use the following CPT codes for chiropractic manipulation:
- Chiropractors may use the following Physical Medicine CPT codes:
|97032||$16.65 times # of units|
|97033||$17.55 times # of units|
|97035||$13.95 times # of units|
|97110||$25.19 times # of units|
|97124||$19.80 times # of units|
|97140||$26.79 times # of units|
- Chiropractors may be reimbursed the regular fee schedule allowance for the following laboratory examination: 81002, urinalysis dipstick, $7.76.
- Chiropractors may use the radiology codes found in the Workers’ Compensation Medical Fee Schedule radiology section that are considered within their scope of practice.
- Chiropractors may use CPT code 99080 for a narrative report reimbursed up to $165.00. This may be billed when the payor has requested more than the usual information furnished in standard reporting forms.
Additions to Chiropractic Fee Schedule
Effective March 1, 2001
Chiropractic physicians may utilize the following splinting and strapping codes:
Chiropractors may be reimbursed the regular fee schedule allowance for the following laboratory examinations:
|CPT Code||Total Fee||Technical Component||Professional Component|
Application of Neurostimulator