|Business Publication Picks
Up on Chiropractic Cost Savings
From the Nov. 22, 2004 Business Wire comes another in
the long line of reports on a major study that has now
shown that when chiropractic care is included in a
health care plan, it reduces the cost of healthcare for
those in the plan. The original study, published in the
October 11th, 2004 issue of the Archives of Internal
Medicine, was a 4 year review comparing more than 700
000 health plan members with an additional chiropractic
coverage benefit and 1 million members of the same
health plan without the chiropractic benefit.
The results of the study showed that members in the
health plan with chiropractic insurance coverage, had
lower annual total health care expenditures ($1463 vs.
$1671 per member per year) compared with those without
chiropractic coverage. The study also noted that having
chiropractic coverage was associated with a 1.6%
decrease in total annual health care costs at the health
The study and report also showed benefits in terms of
utilization of health care services. For example the
study noted that back pain patients with chiropractic
coverage, compared with those without coverage, had
lower utilization (per 1000 episodes) of plain film
x-rays. Additionally, the average cost of a back pain
episode in related costs was $289 for those in the plan
with chiropractic compared to $399 for those in the plan
without chiropractic coverage. The total savings to the
health plan was estimated at $208 per member per year.
This latest report in Business Wire shows that the world
of big business is attempting to reduce the cost of
health care services and have begun to find that
including chiropractic may provide a viable solution.
The study was conducted by Health Benchmarks, a leading
health care outcomes research organization that
specializes in integrating complex sources of health
care data to provide customized solutions that promote
quality and value in health care.
Antonio P. Legorreta, M.D., M.P.H., President and CEO,
Health Benchmarks Inc, summed this up by stating, "The
results of our study indicate that the addition of
chiropractic coverage reduces overall health care
expenditures." Dr. R. Douglas Metz, a co-author of the
study noted,"Systematic access to managed chiropractic
care not only may reduce overall health care costs but
also may prove to be clinically beneficial." Dr. Metz
went on to say, "these findings impact health care
providers and payers."
Drs. Ness and Nisly wrote an accompanying editorial in
the same issue of the Archives. In it they stated, “One
of the study's greatest strengths clearly lies in the
sheer magnitude of the sample investigated, resulting,
to my knowledge, in one of the largest analyses ever
performed on the economic impact of chiropractic."