A few months ago, I attended a fund raising event at the Fresh Start of Illinois (FSOI) in Libertyville. FSOI provides job support and assistance for those in job transition. To help support such a worthy cause, I purchased a number of raffle tickets at the event to help raise money for FSOI. Surprisingly, I won three times: even though the last prize I refused – as it was time for someone else to win a prize. My second prize contained $320 worth of free services at Chiro One. Even though I have no back problems and in good health, I was intrigued about their offer. I thought, “Who knows, this service could slightly improve my posture.”
A week later, I walked into Chiro One in Libertyville, most of the office could be described as a large open area with a high ceiling. There was a check-in desk immediately to my left as I entered the room – the room also contained exercise equipment and other interesting chiropractic contraptions towards the back of the open space. The staff was very welcoming and friendly. As I looked around, I saw clients wearing a neck and head brace sort of shuffling around the open space traveling in either clockwise or the opposite direction. It was unnerving and reminded me of zombie-land. Not sure what I had visually expected for my first visit but it certainly wasn’t this.
As I sat down, I was asked to complete an 8-page health information questionnaire. My bad. I had the option to do earlier but didn’t so I’m completing this long form in the office. This questionnaire was a little intrusive (especially for my first review visit) and made me somewhat uncomfortable – I thought, “Why so much information for an initial visit?”
The exam was fine, both Dr. Raffaela (Clinic Director/Chiropractor) and her assistant spent about 30 minutes with me. Based on my posture, and a brief exam and other data, I was told they needed to capture 4 x-rays (of the bottom and top half of my spine).
Being in good health without major spine issues or back pain, should I have received x-rays? After the visit, I did some online research and the consensus indicated x-rays were typically not taken on healthy patients and should only be used for chronic back pain or significant back issues. Other online medical research plainly states that anytime a medical provider applies ionizing radiation to a human being, there should be a good reason for it. According to the Hippocratic Oath, medical professionals should first, do no harm.
Even though I had a $320 award for various procedures, I still had to pay $35 for one of the x-rays. This just reiterates my belief that consumers have to be careful about medical fees – getting fee information up front.
Reflecting days after my initial visit, I didn’t have the comfort level to continue with their services so I called inquiring about getting a copy of the x-rays and left a message. No returned phone call.
I called two weeks later to inquire about getting a copy of my x-rays for my personal medical information file. I spoke to Kelly, the receptionist, who said I’d have to meet with the Chiropractor before I could see my x-rays (access for a period of 30 days). She also said there’s the option of getting my x-rays copied to a CD for $10 although this option would only be available after meeting with the doctor. Begrudgingly, I did meet with the Chiropractor as part of my follow-up visit.
To my surprise, Dr. Ryan, is now the Chiropractor at this Chiro One facility. When I visited about 3 weeks ago, Dr. Raffaela was the primary Chiropractor. This is a little distressing. If I become a regular customer, what guarantee do I have that I will work with the same provider for an extended period? If continuity among medical professionals is important to you, it’s another thing to consider.
My overall feedback of Chiro One: Collect basic health information from new clients but allow the prospective client to “get the feel” for things before having to complete 8 pages of forms and exposing them to radiation from x-rays. It just feels intrusive to provide so much personal and medical information before they are ever seen and examined by the provider. In addition, regardless of the x-ray dose, this procedure should be taken very seriously.
Two days before my follow-up visit, I see Chiro One submitted my exam and procedures to insurance for potential payment. Even though I provided insurance information during the completion of those 8 pages of document, I was told that these services were going to be covered by the $320 award. Kelly had told me these charges would not be submitted to my insurance. Why submitted to insurance when this was a gift by them? Look, to build a successful and ethical practice, if these services are a prize that I won, why would Chiro One still try to submit to my medical provider for possible payment. Questionable business practice?
Consumers need to think for themselves and decide what chiropractic services best fit their needs. From my experience, I cannot say Chiro One of Libertyville met mine.