Title: Cost comparison of two approaches to chiropractic care for patients with acute and sub-acute low back pain care episodes: a cohort study
A ChiroSecure Research Update
Low back pain (LBP) imposes a costly burden upon patients, healthcare insurers, and society overall. Spinal manipulation as practiced by chiropractors has been found be cost-effective for treatment of LBP, but there is wide variation among chiropractors in their approach to clinical care, and the most cost-effective approach to chiropractic care is uncertain. To date, little has been published regarding the cost effectiveness of different approaches to chiropractic care. Thus, the current study presents a cost comparison between chiropractic approaches for patients with acute or subacute care episodes for low back pain.
A total of 25,621 unique patients were included in the analyses. The average cost per patient for Cohort 2 (mean allowed amount $252) was lower compared to Cohort 1 (mean allowed amount $326; 0.77, 95% CI 0.75–0.79, p < .001). Patient and clinician related factors such as health plan, provider region, and sex also significantly influenced costs.
This study comprehensively analyzed cost data associated with the chiropractic care of adults with acute or sub-acute low back pain cared by two cohorts of chiropractic physicians. In general, providers in Cohort 2 were found to be significantly associated with lower costs for patient care as compared to Cohort 1. Utilization of a clinical model characterized by a patient-centered clinic approach and standardized, best-practice clinical protocols may offer lower cost when compared to non-standardized clinical approaches to chiropractic care.
Whedon, J.M., Bezdjian, S., Dennis, P. et al. Cost comparison of two approaches to chiropractic care for patients with acute and sub-acute low Back pain care episodes: a cohort study. Chiropr Man Therap 28, 68 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12998-020-00356-z.