Research Shows Chiropractic Care Saves Healthcare Costs
In the medical world, chiropractic and other forms of nontraditional treatment are often under fire. When the massive costs associated with the healthcare system are considered, it’s no surprise that many are looking for answers and ways to cut costs. Despite criticisms, a recent study has found chiropractic treatment to be a cost-effective healthcare option.
Findings of the Medical Care Journal Study
According to a study published in the December, 2012 issue of Medical Care, individuals with spinal conditions who opted for nontraditional forms of treatment like chiropractic spent less in the form of inpatient fees. This was partially because chiropractic costs fall outside of the inpatient model.
In other words, patients who were spending money on chiropractic care didn’t have this spending included in their inpatient total, because chiropractic care is not considered an inpatient treatment.
The cost savings associated with chiropractic treatment remained even after adjusting for this factor. When evaluating what patients were spending on a chiropractor in lieu of traditional care, overall costs associated with care were lower with the use of nontraditional treatment.
Studies that come out in favor of chiropractic treatment are often accused of selection bias. This is because the demographic most likely to seek chiropractic care tends to be healthier, younger, and of a higher socioeconomic status than the whole patient pool at large. This makes it a bit more difficult to prove chiropractic treatment’s low price tag and effectiveness. After all, younger people who live healthier lifestyles are likely to incur smaller healthcare bills, because they experience fewer health complications.
Yet, this study adjusted for the complicating factors caused by a statistically younger and healthier pool of patients who use nontraditional treatment. Carried out in the US, the chiropractic care study included data taken from over 12,000 adults.
Even when age and health disparities were taken into consideration, cost savings remained associated with nontraditional treatment options. Overall, those who chose nontraditional treatment spent an average $424 less per year on spinal-related conditions. Similarly, nontraditional treatment users spent $796 less on healthcare treatment costs overall.
Traditional medical treatment may be the right option for many people. However, this chiropractic care study suggests that nontraditional forms of medicine can serve as a viable alternative. This is particularly true for patients who are concerned about healthcare expenses. In addition to being associated with lower costs, nontraditional treatment options like chiropractic care are often touted as being noninvasive, as they stress spinal manipulation over the use of surgical measures.