The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) said that it was 40% more cost effective treating low back pain with chiropractic care than treating it with conventional medical care. This assertion was based on the result of a new study that featured 85, 000 beneficiaries of Blue Cross Blue Shield. The researchers drew a conclusion that insurers that did not allow chiropractic treatment for low back pain would spend more money on medical treatment of such cases than they should have if they had allowed access to chiropractic care.
The result of the study according to ACA is in line with the daily experience of chiropractors. They helped their patients to save on medications and surgery given the fact that chiropractic care does not involve the use of medication or surgery.
Cases of low back pain are very common in the US. It is reported that about 85 percent of Americans suffer from this condition at a particular time in their lives. The condition is rated among the 10 most expensive health problems treated in the US. About $50 billion is spent for its treatment in the states on yearly basis. Besides this, the condition makes employees less productive.
The study based on the experience of Blue Cross Blue Shield a Tennessee-based general health insurer was titled Cost of Care for Common Back Pain Conditions Initiated with Chiropractic Doctor vs. Medical Doctor/Doctor of Osteopathy. The December 2010 Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics contains the result of the study. The result is also available online. In the study which lasted for two, the fully insured population of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee was observed. They were allowed to visit medical Ds and DCs without any limitations to the number of visits to offices of medical doctors or chiropractors. The co-pay of the population studied was the same.
The findings of the study show that visits to DCs’ offices were 40% percent less expensive than visits to MDs’ offices. The researchers still observed that patients that visited DCs have a better savings than those that visited MDs even when they have risk-adjusted the cost of each patients. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee would have saved an estimated cost of $2.3 million if patients are allowed to visit chiropractors for the treatment of their low back pain.
From the result of the above study, it is evidently clear that chiropractic treatment is cost effective because patients will not be buying any drugs or going in for any surgery. The chiropractors can treat low back pain by applying certain chiropractic techniques using their hands or special equipment without administering any medication to the patients.