Insurer finds Chiropractic reduces costs

F4CP highlights data shared by Optum about the cost effectiveness of chiropractic care

f4cplogoMarch 19, 2015 — The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the value of chiropractic care, points to data from Optum, a global entity that works to improve the delivery, quality and cost-effectiveness of healthcare, which concludes that spinal manipulation is the single service that—if not included during management of a nonsurgical spinal episode—will lead to higher total episode costs.

Optum data, which covered a two-year span, projected a total savings of $1.3 billion had its reported 14.7 million nonsurgical spinal episodes begun with chiropractic care.

“Musculoskeletal conditions rank amongst the costliest in healthcare and are a top concern for all stakeholders—patients and payers alike,” says Gerard Clum, DC, spokesperson for F4CP. “Doctors of chiropractic provide evidence-based, cost-effective care, which includes spinal manual care appropriate for the management of these conditions and other health concerns.”

In the U.S., DCs deliver over 94 percent of spinal manipulations and, according to Optum records, when

spinal manipulations occur within the first 10 days of a spinal episode, results include:

Reduced overall episode costs
Lower frequency of imaging, injections, prescription medications, and surgery
Experts at the F4CP assert that when chiropractic care precedes other options, specifically medical or surgical interventions, costs per episode are reduced by 40 percent.

Furthermore, chiropractic care is connected with favorable clinical outcomes and high patient satisfaction scores.

“Chiropractic care advances the opportunity for optimal outcomes across care delivery, quality, and cost,” Clum says. “In fact, according to research published in Spine, patients experiencing low-back pain who first visited a DC versus a surgeon were over 40 percent less likely to experience surgery.

Excited about the potential of emerging reports to positively impact our nation’s population, Clum concludes, “The Optum data further validates the value of chiropractic care and acceptance of the rising trend: chiropractic first, medicine second, and surgery last.

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