In the state of Florida, Chiropractic Physicians are considered Primary Care Providers. Primary care status means that you do not need a referral to see us, we can order imaging, blood work, and write doctors' notes. One of the most recent doctor's notes we've had to write has included Letters of Medical Necessity. By definition, "A letter of medical necessity (LMN) is a letter written by your doctor that verifies the services or items you are purchasing are for the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of a disease or medical condition. This letter is required by the IRS for certain eligible expenses."
These letters are important for patients who need to purchase things due to pain as well as for work and travel to have special accommodations if necessary. Now, before we get to the benefits, understand there are specific medical requirements needed prior to these letters being written and not something one can just ask for "just because". I know by writing this, someone is going to forget that part and immediately ask for a letter to get a new chair at work. Not quite how that works.
Here is why a letter of medical necessity can benefit you:
For Beds/Pillows: If you are buying a bed or a pillow due to pain and have an LMN from your physician, they become Tax-Free. From my understanding, this is only in-person and I have never had a patient get it tax-free when ordering online. For example, if you went to Famous Tate, you could tell the salesperson that you have that letter and they would include that in the final purchase.
For Travel: if special accommodation is needed due to pain for travel, we can write letters to ensure accommodation is met. For example, we had a patient who could not sit for longer than 10 minutes without moderate to severe pain in their back and legs. The letter was written to provide accommodation for the patient during a flight to ensure they were able to stand up and walk around without concern (as long as it was deemed safe by the flight attendants).
For Work: LMN for work have been helpful for patients that have had to purchase ergonomic desks or chairs. Some companies may not allow certain desks or chairs due to policy, however, if medically necessary, we have seen companies allow sit-to-stand desks for patients with LMNs. For ergonomic chairs, they may be helpful for tax purposes and for certain company policies.
LMNs can also benefit you if you have an FSA or HSA account. Some insurance companies have even reimbursed patients for purchasing massage guns, Hyperice Venoms, or Normatec boots. The bottom line is, if you are about to purchase something big due to pain or have a certain policy at work that prohibits you from working comfortably, please ask your physician if you qualify for a letter of medical necessity.
If you're a current patient and feel you may need a letter due to your pain, please contact us or bring it up in your next appointment and we will discuss if you qualify.
Dr. Cameron Gholampour DC, MS, CCSP
International Certified Sports Chiropractor