Doctors' Choice Physical Medicine

Chiropractic Treatment in Schuylkill County Recommended by Capital Blue Cross

If Chiropractic treatment helps patients get better faster and costs the patient and/or insurance company less, shouldn’t EVERY low back pain patient FIRST see a chiropractic physician before any other type of doctor?  That is in fact, what should be done, based on a recent report!

Chiropractic Treatment, Superior Outcomes

On October 20, 2009, a report was delivered on the impact on population, health, and total health care spending.  It was found the addition of chiropractic treatment of neck and low back pain “…will likely increase value-for-dollar in US employer-sponsored health benefit plans.”  Authored by an MD and an MD/PhD, and commissioned by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, the findings are clear; chiropractic treatment achieves higher satisfaction and superior outcomes for both neck and low back pain in a manner more cost effective than other commonly utilized approaches. The study reviews the fact that low back and neck pain are extremely common conditions consuming large amounts of health care dollars.  In 2002, 26% of surveyed US adults reported having back pain in the prior 3 months, 14% had neck pain, and the lifetime prevalence of back pain was estimated at 85%. Low back pain accounts for 2% of all physician office visits.  Only routine examinations, hypertension, and diabetes result in more.  Annual national spending is estimated at $85 billion in the US with an inflation-adjusted increase of 65% compared to 1997.  Treatment options are diverse ranging from rest to surgery, including many various types of medications.  chiropractic treatment, including spinal manipulation and mobilization, is reportedly also widely utilized with almost half of all patients with persisting back pain seeking chiropractic treatment. In review of the scientific literature, it is noted that:

  1. Chiropractic treatment is at least as effective as other widely used therapies for low back pain;
  2. Chiropractic treatment, when combined with other modalities such as exercise, appears to be more effective than other treatments for patients with neck pain.

Chiropractic Treatment Is Effective…According to Insurance Company Data

Other studies reviewed reported patients who had chiropractic coverage included in their insurance benefits found lower costs, reduced imaging studies, less hospitalizations, and surgical procedures compared to those with no chiropractic coverage. They then utilized a method to compare medical physician care, chiropractic physician care, physiotherapy-led exercise and, manipulation plus physiotherapy-led exercise for low back pain care.  They found adding chiropractic treatment is associated with better outcomes at “…equivalent to an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $1837 per QALY (Quality-Adjusted Life Year).” When combined with exercise, chiropractic treatment was also found to be very cost-effective when compared to exercise alone.  This combined approach would achieve improved health outcomes at a cost of $152 per patient, equivalent to an “incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $4591 per QALY.” When comparing the cost effectiveness of chiropractic treatment  with or without exercise even at 5 times the cost of the chiropractic treatment they utilized in their analysis, it was still found to be “substantially more cost-effective” compared to the other approaches.

Who Wouldn’t Want To Save That Kind Of Money?

This money saving and cost-effective message is being noticed. You should know, Capital Blue Cross’s adopted Adult Low Back Pain Guideline recommends that if your back persists after two weeks of home care, your family doctor should: “Request a non-surgical spine care specialist who demonstrates competency in providing therapies based on continuing education and effective techniques supported by litera­ture.” This sounds like a referral to a chiropractic physician to me! It will be interesting given these findings if insurance companies and future treatment guidelines start to MANDATE the use of chiropractic FIRST – it would be in everyone’s best interest! If you, a family member or a friend require care, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future. Doctors’ Choice Physical Medicine and Rehab Dr. David Novatnak Glee Pascual, Physical Therapist Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA Want More?

This information is solely advisory, and should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all health care concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a health care professional who is familiar with your updated medical history.