A new study by Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield suggests that people who seek chiropractic care for common spinal diagnoses have a 10-23% cost savings over traditional medical care.
Over the past decade or two there have been occasional studies investigating the effectiveness of chiropractic care. I’ve reported on some of them in the past. In general the studies look at low back pain. They usually find that chiropractic care is at least as effective as traditional care in results without the side effects. Very few have looked at costs. As expected some of the studies are less favorable and some are more. The preponderance of the evidence points to good outcomes, few side effects and cost savings over the traditional care.
With the public eye on health reform and cost savings; here are some numbers that should be considered. At any given time about 15% of the US population suffers from back issues. In 2005 we as a nation spent $85.9 billion on back treatments, yet only 8% of Americans have used chiropractic. To extrapolate out from this study and these numbers there is an annual health care savings of about $9-20 Billion to be had just by referring all back pain patients to chiropractors. (That could pay for numerous Cash for Clunkers programs or actually save the taxpayers money.)
So, call your congressman or the White House. Tell them if they have to pass some sort of health insurance reform to make sure it includes the cost saving advantages of chiropractic care. Go to http://www.chirovoice.org/ to find out how to support chiropractic politically, or directly here to contact your representatives.