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In a study on the effects of chiropractic care to the medicare program costs conducted in 1999 (Muse and associates), it was found out that patients who claimed and received chiropractic care for pain due to sprains, dislocations and other musculoskeletal anomalies had lower number of medicare claims compared to their counterparts who didn’t. During the period of study, 26.8 million patients (26.8%) of patients who experienced the conditions mentioned above received chiropractic care, while the remaining 4.3 million (73.2%) received other form of treatments. The study found out that the patients who received chiropractic care had fewer medicare claims compared to their counterpart (33.4 claims versus 38.5 claims). It was also noted that those who received chiropractic care had significantly lower Medicare payments for all Medicare services compared to their counterparts ($4426 versus $8310). In average patients who received chiropractic care had lower payments per claim ($133 versus $210).

The study also suggests that patients who received chiropractic care for their conditions had lower second and third encounter with medical professionals, after they first received chiropractic care. The statistics show that patients who received chiropractic manipulation had 14% chances of going back for another consultation, while those who did not receive chiropractic care had 34% chances of coming back for a second consultation. A third encounter is almost absolute for patients who received chiropractic care at 11% while those who did not showed 20% of coming back for a third medical consultation. The study did not hint that age or gender has something to do with the number of claims of those patients who received chiropractic care. The study clearly suggests that chiropractic care is a vital medical service that can lower down the cost of treatments for several musculoskeletal anomalies including low back pain, sprains and dislocations

Source: Muse and Associates- Utilization, Cost, and Effects of Chiropractic Care on Medicare Program Costs July 2001

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