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Plan Administrators: Survey Supports Chiropractic Care As Low-Cost Care Alternative

, April 2, 2013

To whom should your health plan members turn to first if they’re among the millions of Americans who suffer lower back pain in the coming year? A new survey  (links to 4.6.2) from ChiroCare gives you more reasons to encourage your plan members to seek help for back and neck pain from a chiropractor, before they incur the higher cost of treatment from either a general practitioner, internist or orthopedic doctor.

Here are some of the findings in black and white: Minnesotans surveyed by ChiroCare thought the average cost per visit to a chiropractor was $66, which is indeed correct. In contrast, Consumer Reports (July 2012) said the average cost of spine surgery ranged from $8,150 to $25,760. You could safely conclude: chiropractic care could dramatically reduce your claims costs.

Perhaps the most stunning finding of the survey is that 8 of 10 Minnesotans who suffered from back or neck pain concluded that it’s more effective to BEGIN treatment with a chiropractor than starting with a medical doctor or specialist. That suggests your plan members would welcome education and even plan incentives (such as, perhaps, a waived copay) to begin treatment for neck and back pain by seeing a chiropractor.

The survey found that Minnesotans are comfortable with chiropractors and use them frequently. One in five adults surveyed (we only surveyed those with reported neck and back pain), or 20.3%, has seen a chiropractor in the past year, and 97% say chiropractic care helped them return to work sooner.

As you know, the average cost of chiropractic treatment is between $30 and $90 a session, compared to costs that are three to six times greater for visits to internists or specialists. Your goal, and ours, is to manage costs of treatment and provide quality care with positive outcomes. This survey, conducted by independent researcher Q Market Research in Eagan, shows that chiropractic care supports that goal.