Nfld. & Labrador

Injured workers caught in middle of fee dispute with chiropractors

A dispute between WorkplaceNL and the Newfoundland and Labrador Chiropractic Association is reaching a breaking point, but injured workers are being told their treatments are still covered.
WorkplaceNL's Leslie Galway says the lapse of an agreement with the NL Chiropractic Association will not affect an injured worker's treatment plan.

A dispute between WorkplaceNL and the Newfoundland and Labrador Chiropractic Association (NLCA) is reaching a breaking point, but injured workers are being told their treatments are still covered.

A memorandum of understanding between the groups expires on April 23, with no agreement on how to set rates after that. ​

The CEO of the Chiropractic Association, Darrell Wade, said the dispute hinged on the fee charged by chiropractors to assess an injury and give a timeline for return to work.

NLCA members are upset they are being paid less than other health professional groups.

"It just doesn't respect the valuable information that our members provide," said Wade

"We asked them [WorkplaceNL] to change this and do what was right here and they weren't willing to do that so unfortunately our members couldn't continue in that contract."

​'We'll keep discussing this'

WorkplaceNL CEO Leslie Galway said reports that injured workers will not get chiropractic treatments covered after the agreement lapses are untrue.

"We will pay a reasonable fee [for treatment], and we consider a reasonable fee to be those that existed in January in 2016," said Galway. 

"I don't want injured workers to think that if they go into their chiropractors and a chiropractor mistakenly says, 'No you have to pay for this yourself,' that they have to pay for any of those services."

As for whether chiropractors may turn down patients because an agreement hasn't been signed, Galway said she expects most to cooperate. 

If not, she said injured workers won't be left on their own.

"We'll work for them to try to find another chiropractor, or another type of service that would assist them for their injury."

If chiropractors no longer want to conduct an assessment, injured workers can have one completed by their family doctor or physical therapist, said Galway. 

While the situation isn't ideal, Galway said she hopes that talks can continue with the NLCA.

"This is the same fee that they were paid right up until today," she said. 

"We're just asking 'let's keep this going. We'll keep discussing this."

With files from the Corner Brook Morning Show

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