Chiropractic Care Lowers Health Care Costs and Reduces Drug Risks

Chiropractors began helping men, women, and children of all ages get and stay well without the use of drugs and surgery in 1895. The chiropractic profession stands the test of time through patient-centered care and results. Research continues to show the value of chiropractic care through evidence that shows a reduction in the need for drugs, surgery, and expensive forms of healthcare. Current research evaluated the cost effectiveness of chiropractic care compared to standard medical care. The research reveals that people with insurance coverage that included chiropractic care experienced lower annual healthcare costs. A Blue Cross and Blue Shield Insurance study documented that those who first sought chiropractic-guided treatment saved an average of 40% on annual healthcare cost. Seeking chiropractic treatment reduced overall medical spending.

Chiropractic treatment also led to a 60% decrease in spinal surgeries and produced more favorable outcomes. People who seek relief for lower back pain through the medical care model usually end up taking painkillers that can lead to negative outcomes. Patients who visit chiropractors not only discover relief from neck and lower back pain at a lower annual cost, but also report long-term outcomes that produce more effective long-term wellness.

Over a dozen states in the US embrace alternative therapy options like chiropractic care to combat the cost of the opioid abuse epidemic. The Missouri health division committee estimated that such savings would exceed $25 million by 2019. Another dynamic model estimated savings of up to $42 million. A large portion of that savings (up to $6.4 million) directly attributed to using chiropractic care for treatment, including reduced costs from spinal surgery. The largest source of savings in this model stemmed from how much money would be saved if people chose chiropractic to manage pain and seek healing rather than choosing to use potentially dangerous opioids. Savings in this category ranged from $11.2 million to $42 million.

Research shows that chiropractic care provides better outcomes at lower cost for people in pain. Chiropractic leads to a reduction in the cost of spinal surgery while producing significant savings from reduced use and abuse of opioid prescription drugs. Studies continue to show the value of chiropractic care for individuals as well as the whole of society. Chiropractic will continue to be a key healthcare profession utilized to lower costs, improve outcomes, reduce drug abuse, and help improve quality of life for all ages.

Journal of Chiropractic Humanities December 2019
“Cost-Efficiency and Effectiveness of Including Doctors of Chiropractic to Offer Treatment Under Medicaid: A Critical Appraisal of Missouri Inclusion of Chiropractic Under Missouri Medicaid.”
John R McGowan, Leonard Suiter