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Insurance Coverage Increases Usage of Chiropractic Care

In the February 11, 2002 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine comes an article on a study performed to see if there is a relationship between the usage of what the study called CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) and insurance coverage. Included in the CAM professions, one of the most regularly used is chiropractic care. Past studies showed that an estimated 44% of the US population used at least 1 CAM procedure in 1997. Of those using CAM, 52% had seen at least 1 CAM provider in the last year.

This study was performed by conducting a nationally representative, random household telephone survey of 2055 adults. Not surprising, the study showed that factors independently associated with frequent use (more than 8 visits per year) of a CAM provider were full insurance coverage for the CAM service. This basically means that patients with insurance coverage tended to go to their CAM provider more often than those without insurance. According to the study some of the other factors that increased usage of CAM care include patients with back and neck problems as well as people desiring wellness or preventative care.

In concluding the study states, "A small minority of persons accounted for more than 75% of visits to CAM providers. Extent of insurance coverage for CAM providers and use for wellness are strong correlates of frequent use of CAM providers."