A recent white paper by Optum Health supports the quality and affordability of chiropractic in resolving spinal issues. According to its website, Optum is a global company “working collaboratively across the health system to improve care delivery, quality and cost-effectiveness.”
The company notes that treatment of musculoskeletal conditions is the top category of medical expense, and that spinal complaints are the primary driver of musculoskeletal costs. When a chiropractor is the first provider seen for a spinal complaint, the result is a better clinical outcome for the patient, fewer prescription medications and lower costs. Here’s the link to the white paper:
In it, Optum analyzed the distribution of medical expense for treatment of more than 290,000 complete episodes of non-surgical back pain ending in 2005, Spinal manipulation and therapeutic exercise accounted for only 16 percent of total expenditures, while more than 40 percent of treatment costs were for services with little support — for example, radiology, pharmacy and passive therapies.
“These data suggest that providers who are skilled in the administration of manipulation and exercise therapies, who emphasize patient education, and who use radiology and passive therapy services judiciously, have an important and currently underutilized role to play in the treatment of back pain,” the white paper notes.