Not Seeing a Chiropractor Could Cost You (266)
(NewsUSA) - Didn't consult a chiropractor first for your back pain?
That'll cost you $1.3 billion.
No, you personally won't be on the hook for the entire amount. But in
analyzing two year's worth of its own insurance data, the health care giant
Optum projected that's how much money healthcare consumers would've
saved had patients who'd experienced 14.7 million reported non-surgical
spinal episodes received chiropractic care at the outset.
Optum's definition of "at the outset" is "within the first 10 days" of a spinal
episode. Taking advantage of that window, it found, drastically reduces the
need for everything from costly surgery to injections to prescription
medications -- a conclusion certain to fuel the growing "chiropractic first"
movement espoused by many health experts.
And it's not just about the money.
"The quality of back pain treatment" would likewise be "improved,"
Optum has contended, if doctors of chiropractic -- who already perform
more than 94 percent of all spinal manipulations in the U.S. -- were
consulted first by patients.
"Chiropractic care advances the opportunity for optimal outcomes
across care delivery, quality and cost," said the not-for-profit Foundation
for Chiropractic Progress' Gerard Clum, DC, who also pointed to a recent
study in the journal "Spine" that found that patients suffering from lower
back pain who first visited a chiropractor, versus a surgeon, were more than
40 percent less likely to go under the knife.
Coincidentally, 40 percent is also what the Foundation pegs the per-episode
savings at when chiropractic care precedes medical or surgical interventions.
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