Effects of Chiropractic on Health Care Costs
Healthcare Costs: A National Dilemma:
The cost of medical care in the United States exceeds one trillion dollars annually. These costs are rising. Policy makers need to consider strategies which reduce medical expenditures without compromising the health of our citizens.
Studies suggest that chiropractic care may result in significant savings of health care dollars. An analysis of an insurance database, compared persons receiving chiropractic care with non-chiropractic patients. The study consisted of senior citizens over 75 years of age. It was reported that the persons receiving chiropractic care reported better overall health, spent fewer days in hospitals and nursing homes, used fewer prescription drugs, and were more active than the non-chiropractic patients. The chiropractic patients reported 21% less time in hospitals over the previous 3 years. 139
Another study surveyed 311 chiropractic patients, aged 65 years and older, who had received chiropractic care for 5 years or longer. Chiropractic patients, when compared with US citizens of the same age, spent only 31% of the national average for health care services. There was a 50% reduction in medical provider visits. The health habits of patients receiving maintenance care were better overall than the general population, including decreased use of cigarettes and decreased use of nonprescription drugs. 140
These are but two recent studies demonstrating improved health outcomes and reduced costs associated with chiropractic care. In other studies chiropractic care in general and chiropractic care directed at reduction of vertebral subluxation has demonstrated positive effects on physiological outcome measures. In a review of literature related to objective physiological changes following chiropractic care, Hannon discusses more than twenty studies documenting objective health benefits in subjects who were specifically described as “asymptomatic,” “healthy,” “normal,” or “free from physical injury.” Nearly an equal number of studies were found documenting objectively measured health benefits in subjects in which no symptomatic presentation was described. 141
Potential benefits of increased chiropractic utilization may include reduced medical costs, improved productivity, and effective techniques for coping with stress. The benefits to society include economic and health-related issues. We encourage the further exploration of conservative, subluxation-centered chiropractic care on health outcomes and health care expenditures.
_________________________________________________________ Council on Chiropractic Practice Clinical Practice Guideline Number 1 Vertebral Subluxation in Chiropractic Practice – 2003 Update & Revision