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The Cost-Effectiveness of Chiropractic Care is Demonstrated by Numerous Studies

Did you know?

  • For the average family of four, health care costs went up 7.3%, or $1,319 from 2012 to 2013, according to independent actuarial and health care consulting firm, Milliman Inc.
  • In studies comparing health plans with chiropractic benefits to those without them, overall care expenditures are lower for those with Chiropractic benefits.
  • Chiropractic users tend to have substantially lower total health care costs.
  • Chiropractic care reduces the use of both physician and hospital care.

A 1992 review of data from over 2,000,000 users of chiropractic care in the U.S., reported in the Journal of American Health Policy, concluded that, “chiropractic users tend to have substantially lower total health care costs,” and “chiropractic care reduces the use of both physician and hospital care.”

At Parker College, a landmark study was conducted by Dr. Ron Rupert and his team. The study surveyed 311 chiropractic patients, aged 65 years and older, who had received chiropractic care for 5 years or longer. Despite similar health status, chiropractic patients receiving “maintenance or wellness care” for five years or longer, spent only 31% of the national average for health care services. These chiropractic patients also experienced 50% fewer medical provider visits than their comparable peers.

A health insurance plan with a chiropractic benefit had lower costs than a plan without it. A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that health plans that included a chiropractic benefit had 31% fewer back surgeries and 15% lower (per capita) hospital costs. The study compared 700,000 health plan members with chiropractic benefits to 1 million members without chiropractic benefits in California. The results demonstrated that overall health care expenditures were lower in the group with chiropractic coverage. Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, October 2004.

Oakland University’s Cost Comparison Study, which analyzed 395,641 patients with one or more of 493 neuro-musculoskeletal conditions, compared the health care costs of patients who had received chiropractic treatment to those treated solely by medical or osteopathic physicians. The results showed that patients receiving chiropractic care experienced significantly lower health care costs. Over the course of the two-year study, the chiropractic patients saved over $1000 per patient in health care costs.

Immediate access to chiropractic care after an injury results in the most effective outcome, medically and financially. A peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, from January 2004, stated: “. . . We found that patients who were seen by chiropractors during the initial episode of care were less likely to have a surgery, and had a shorter average duration of the initial episode.”

Chiropractors who serve as primary care providers (PCPs) save clients money and have high patient satisfaction rates: A study in the 5/07 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics tracked data from a unique Independent Physicians Association (IPA) where chiropractors serve as first-contact, primary care physicians. The report analyzes data from 2003-2005 and found that clients visiting chiropractors had 60% fewer hospitalizations, 62% fewer surgeries and used 85% fewer pharmaceuticals than HMO clients who received traditional medical care. In addition, clients reported on the quality of care they received through the use of annual patient satisfaction surveys. During the 3 years of data collection, clients demonstrated a high degree of satisfaction with their care (96%, 94% and 91%, respectively).