After Auto Accidents 'Runners' Pressure Potential Chiropractic Clients

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Jun. 6, 2011 12:00 am  

Tales of “runners” pressuring potential chiropractic patients are not new: Depositions, complaints and lawsuits on file at the Arkansas Insurance Department, the Arkansas State Board of Chiropractic Examiners and Pulaski County Circuit Court show that the practice dates back at least a decade and the complaints about it almost that long.

Businesses have been incorporated purely for the purpose of culling through police reports for names of people involved in auto accidents and then trying, by almost any means, to persuade them to go to a particular chiropractor.

A top runner can reportedly clear as much as $150,000 a year, more than most chiropractors.

The documents suggest that runners have specifically targeted African-American accident victims, have misrepresented themselves as insurance agents and will even show up at the potential patient’s home to persuade him to visit a chiropractor. The chiropractor will then pay the runner, in some cases $250 per new client.

See Also: Efforts to Curb Chiropractors' 'Runners' Fail

The runner recruitment techniques described in public records vary, but the case of Maxie Johnson of Pine Bluff, as described in a hearing transcript on file with the Chiropractic Board, is typical:

Less than 24 hours after Johnson was in an auto accident, Keatrick Walker called her on the phone. He said he worked for J. Michael Glover’s South Arkansas Chiropractic Clinic in Pine Bluff and asked if Johnson could come to the clinic that same day, Sept. 26, 2008.

She agreed because her back and neck hurt.

When she arrived at the office, Johnson testified during the April 2009 hearing, Walker told her not to worry and that she would get a settlement check. “And, basically, just rambling on about how much I might could get.”

She said Walker showed her a check for $17,000 that someone else had received.

But Johnson didn’t see Glover that day. A certified nurse’s assistant, Johnson decided not to return for her next scheduled appointment because she didn’t like the way the office was operated.

But Walker, who was a runner, didn’t give up on Johnson so easily. She told the Chiropractic Board that Walker eventually called her between 20 and 30 times.



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