A study appearing in the Archives of Internal Medicine (2004; 164:1985-1992), shows that having access to chiropractic care lowers medical costs. Back pain is the second leading reason for physician visits and hospitalization with an annual cost of about $100 billion. The researches analyzed data over a four-year period for health expenditures in 1.7 million health plan members. Of the group, 700,000 had chiropractic coverage and 1,000,000 did not. Those with chiropractic coverage had lower annual expenditures for health care than those without the coverage. The average cost per year for a member with chiropractic coverage was $1463, compared to $1671 per year cost for a member without chiropractic coverage.
The authors concluded that access to chiropractic may reduce overall health care expenditures. There are several reasons for the reduction in cost. Substituting chiropractic for medical care for spine conditions is less expensive. Those with chiropractic coverage were more likely to use conservative, minimally invasive treatment. Access to chiropractic care is not only good for patients clinically, it saves money.