With the debate raging on about health care reform, a pilot study indicating chiropractic care and other physical medicine approaches may reduce costs is VERY TIMELY!
In 2008, Welllmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield conducted a 1-year pilot program designed to study the quality of patient care. The researchers concluded that the use of chiropractic and other physical medicine services significantly improved clinical outcomes and reduced health care costs. The 2008 Iowa and South Dakota pilot study included 238 chiropractors, physical therapists and occupational therapists that provided care to 5500 Wellmark patients with musculoskeletal disorders. They reported 89% of all patients receiving physical medicine services improved at least 30% within 30 days. These statistics were so impressive that they decided to continue the program.
Supporters of chiropractic treatment praised the findings, saying that the cost-effectiveness of the method has been documented in several studies.
The president of the American Chiropractic Association, Glenn Manceaux, referred to a 2005 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics that found chiropractic and medical care have comparable costs for treating chronic low-back pain, with chiropractic care producing significantly better outcomes. Similarly, a study published in a 2003 edition of Spine medical journal found that manual manipulation provides better short-term relief of chronic spinal pain than a variety of medications, he said – “Especially during the health care reform debate, it’s important that chiropractic and other conservative care methods are taken into serious consideration as a cost-effective alternative to the utilization of expensive surgery and hospital-based care.”