Patients Who Chose Chiropractic Care rather Than Medical Care for Low Back Pain Saves 40%
Littleton, CO-By reviewing data from 85,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Tennessee beneficiaries over a period of two years, it was discovered that when patients initiated treatment for low back pain with a doctor of chiropractic (DC) instead of a medical doctor (MD) costs were nearly 40% lower.
The study performed by Richard L. Liliedahl, MD and colleagues will be formally published in the upcoming December 2010 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.
Dollar-for-dollar the costs associated with treating back pain can go toe-to-toe with the costs of treating nearly any malady. $50 billion is spent annually on back pain related health care costs.
Patients in this BCBS study did not have limits to the number of visits allowed nor were there any differences in co-pays between the MD and the DC group. The insured had open access to DC’s or MD’s without any gatekeeper referral required.
Many insurance policies have limited or no chiropractic benefits. This study estimated that if patients who sought medical care first would have initiated care with chiropractors, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee would have saved nearly $2.3 million.
Dr. Ron Spallone, a chiropractor in Littleton, Colorado, in the Denver Metro area says, “Chiropractic methods are conservative in nature. I always recommend to start with the least invasive procedures first and then you can always try the more aggressive and risky procedures later if the patient doesn’t respond to care. More and more people are seeking natural and alternative methods of health care.”