Study shows chiropractic care lowers costs workers’ compensation costs with a faster return to work.
The evidence continues to grow supporting chiropractors as the most cost-effective providers for lower back problems. This latest study shows significant savings under workers’ compensation. WCRI researchers examined more than 2 million claims from 28 states with injuries dating from Oct. 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2017, to compare costs and claim duration for workers who were treated exclusively by chiropractors to workers who received no chiropractic care and workers who received services from both chiropractors and other types of providers.
In NJ, few workers are referred to chiropractors since the insurance companies can determine who you go to for care. This law that has been in effect since 1990 has forced chiropractors to jump through hoops to treat their patients under workers’ compensation or have them go outside the system to get the care they need to stay on the job.
The process is simple. An injury is reported to the employer. An injured worker visits an authorized workers’ compensation clinic. These clinics are little more than places you can be evaluated, given medication, and some basic physical therapy. These clinics are often ineffective and patients will commonly seek help elsewhere.
More knowledgeable patients will demand to see their chiropractor first. The chiropractor evaluates the patient and then asks the insurance carrier for treatment authorization. Once authorized, the doctor can treat the patient until the problem resolves.
Workers’ compensation companies have often avoided chiropractors treating these patients due to long-time prejudices. With the evidence showing as this study does that the cost of full management through a chiropractor was on average 61% less than with other modes of care, workers’ compensation carriers are likely to be more profitable by regularly using chiropractors.
Check out the study below
Study Links Chiropractic Care to Lower Costs, Faster Return to Work
May 18, 2022
Chiropractors are involved in only a small fraction of workers’ compensation claims for low back pain in states where insurers or employers control the choice of medical provider, but a report released Tuesday suggests that skepticism about runaway costs may be unfounded.
A study by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute found that medical care costs less and claimants return to work more quickly when low back pain treatment is provided solely by chiropractors. Costs were also lower when chiropractors provided physical medicine services but other types of clinicians were in charge of evaluation and management, but the difference was not as dramatic.
“This study will be helpful for policymakers and stakeholders who are interested in re-evaluating the role of chiropractors, especially those who have been adopting evidence-based practices and contributing to cost-effective care,” stated WCRI President and Chief Executive Officer John Ruser in a press release.
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