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Meet Dr. Chris Connelly PDF Print E-mail

Dr. Erika Henry

As a high school and college football player, Dr. Christopher Connelly knew he wanted a career in health care. 

"I was investigating careers, and only chiropractors seemed happy with what they did because they actually helped people get better," he said.

So after majoring in biology and chemistry at Radford University in Virginia, Connelly headed south to Life University and set up practice in Georgia upon graduation.

One of the doctors of chiropractic who convinced Connelly to choose chiropractic was Dr. George Bakalis.

"Dr. Bakalis' practice was balanced between sports and personal injury, so I started learning about Croft guidelines and other protocols," he saidl.

Connelly, whose philosophy is that a good diagnosis is the first step to great treatments, also balances personal injury and sports, as well as some maintenance care, and his work with personal injury led to him becoming a peer reviewer, as well as an educator, for MedPay carriers.

"In reality, insurers just want to know honestly that the patient is really hurt. I never felt pressured to alter reports or say something that wasn't there. Most think insurers force people to say things, but they don't. I've done more than 1,500 reviews over the years, and all the people I've dealt with have been professional and information based," Connelly said.

"Out and out cases of fraud are the exception, not the rule. I was able to show them that about 90 percent of fraud is coming from only 10 percent of chiropractors," he said.

His work as a peer reviewer expanded into teaching seminars for insurance adjusters, fraud investigators, attorneys and members of the National Insurance Crime Bureau about what chiropractors do and why.

"I tell them that most chiropractors are really focused on getting patients better. I think they understand and see that. I'm impressed with how much they want to learn," he said.

In addition to personal injury cases, Connelly works with a variety of high school athletes including football and basketball players and cheerleaders, and he also has developed relationships with other providers, including spine surgeons, physiatrists, neurologists and primary care doctors.

"If I can get a patient better, that's great. If not, I refer them to an orthopedist or other medical provider who can help," he said.

Connelly is the newest member of the Georgia Chiropractic Association's Board of Directors.

"I always felt I could do more to help chiropractors. I want to help push the profession along in a positive manner," he said.