Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BCBS) of Kansas in August 1999, presented a study titled “Lumbago Treatment.” The information for this study was gathered from a program called the McKesson Episode Profiler. This data program allowed BCBS to sort the health care statistics of different types of doctors as well as the types of conditions that were listed on the insurance claim forms. Using this information BCBS could determine the cost and effectiveness for chiropractic with what they termed “Lumbago”.
The results showed that 38 percent of the patients chose to seek chiropractic care rather than medical care. This was in contrast to the fact that less than eight percent of the doctors in the study were chiropractors. This showed that it took fewer chiropractors to care for more people.
The results showed that chiropractic was more cost-effective than anesthesiology; neurosurgery; neurology; registered physical therapy; orthopedic reconstructive surgery; physical medicine and rehabilitation; and rheumatology. The study also showed that most of the chiropractic expenses 89%, were related directly to patient care, while only 45 percent of the medical costs were related to treatment of the condition with remainder of the costs being for diagnostic procedures.
Additionally, the study deliberately excluded any costs for hospitalization, surgery, or any fees paid to orthopedists or neurosurgeons for costs associated with surgery. Without these additional costs being included in the study, the costs related to medical care were reported much lower than they actually were, and the savings from chiropractic care was actually much larger.
This study confirmed what many others have in the past. Patients suffering from back problems are in much better, and cost effective hands with chiropractic care.