Well­ness Arti­cles

Chi­ro­prac­tic Care Low­ers Health Care Costs, Study Shows

A study pub­lished in the Octo­ber 11, 2004 issue of the Archives of Inter­nal Med­i­cine showed that includ­ing chi­ro­prac­tic care into health plans actu­ally reduces the health care expen­di­tures for those in the plan as well as reduc­ing the over­all cost to the insur­ance com­pany for that plan.

This study was a ret­ro­spec­tive claims data analy­sis, where the records of 700,000 peo­ple with chi­ro­prac­tic cov­er­age in their plan were com­pared to another 1 mil­lion peo­ple who did not have chi­ro­prac­tic cov­er­age. The uti­liza­tion records were then com­pared for a 4-​year period to see if there were any dif­fer­ences in usage and expenses.

The pur­pose of this study was to ascer­tain the effect access to chi­ro­prac­tic care would have on the over­all usage of health care resources as well as neuromusculoskeletal-​specific con­di­tions, (such as back pain) within a large managed-​care sys­tem. The study noted that back pain accounts for more than $100 bil­lion in annual health care costs in the US and is the sec­ond lead­ing cause of doc­tor vis­its and hospitalizations.

The results showed that chi­ro­prac­tic care reduced costs across the board. For instance, total health care expen­di­tures for plan mem­bers with chi­ro­prac­tic insur­ance cov­er­age, was on aver­age $1463, com­pared to $1671 for those with­out chi­ro­prac­tic cov­er­age. As expected, there were also sav­ings for those with spe­cific back pain prob­lems. The study showed that less x-​rays were needed, less MRIs taken, and con­sid­er­ably less hos­pi­tal­iza­tions were needed for the mem­bers in the plan that included chi­ro­prac­tic over those where chi­ro­prac­tic was not included.

Com­par­ing the health plans that include chi­ro­prac­tic to the ones that do not, the study found that:

  • Chi­ro­prac­tic care cut the cost of treat­ing back pain by 28%.
  • Chi­ro­prac­tic care reduced hos­pi­tal­iza­tions among back pain patients by 41%.
  • Chi­ro­prac­tic care reduced back surg­eries by 32%.
  • Chi­ro­prac­tic care reduced the cost of med­ical imag­ing, such as X-​rays or MRIs, by 37%.

Tak­ing into account that this study was pub­lished in a med­ical jour­nal, the stated con­clu­sion was strik­ing. The researchers con­cluded, “Access to man­aged chi­ro­prac­tic care may reduce over­all health care expen­di­tures through sev­eral effects, includ­ing (1) pos­i­tive risk selec­tion; (2) sub­sti­tu­tion of chi­ro­prac­tic for tra­di­tional med­ical care, par­tic­u­larly for spine con­di­tions; (3) more con­ser­v­a­tive, less inva­sive treat­ment pro­files; and (4) lower health ser­vice costs asso­ci­ated with man­aged chi­ro­prac­tic care. Sys­tem­atic access to man­aged chi­ro­prac­tic care not only may prove to be clin­i­cally ben­e­fi­cial but also may reduce over­all health care costs.”

Ran­dom Article

In the Decem­ber 19, 2007 issue of the sci­en­tific jour­nal Chi­ro­prac­tic & Osteopa­thy, is a case study that clearly doc­u­mented the pres­ence of a s

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