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Daily Archives: October 23, 2009

Study Finds the Availability of Chiropractic Care Improves the Value of Health Benefits Plans

By |October 23, 2009|Research|

This review, was commissioned by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress ( to summarize the existing economic studies of chiropractic care published in peer-reviewed scientific literature, and to use the most robust of these studies to estimate the cost-effectiveness of providing chiropractic insurance coverage in the US.

Executive Summary:

Low back and neck pain are extremely common conditions that consume large amounts of health care resources. Chiropractic care, including spinal manipulation and mobilization, are used by almost half of US patients with persistent back-pain seeking out this modality of treatment.

The peer-reviewed scientific literature evaluating the effectiveness of US chiropractic treatment for patients with back and neck pain suggests that these treatments are at least as effective as other widely used treatments. However, US cost-effectiveness studies have methodological limitations.

High quality randomized cost-effectiveness studies have to date only been performed in the European Union (EU). To model the EU study findings for US populations, researchers applied US insurer-payable unit price data from a large database of employer-sponsored health plans. The findings rest on the assumption that the relative difference in the cost-effectiveness of low back and neck pain treatment with and without chiropractic services are similar in the US and the EU.

The results of the researchers’ analysis are as follows:

-Effectiveness: Chiropractic care is more effective than other modalities for treating low back and neck pain.

Total cost of care per year:

-For low back pain, chiropractic physician care increases total annual per patient spending by $75 compared to medical physician care.

-For neck pain, chiropractic physician care reduces total annual per patient spending by $302 compared to medical physician care.

Cost-effectiveness: When considering effectiveness and cost together, chiropractic physician care for low back and neck pain is highly cost-effective, represents a good value in comparison to medical physician care and to widely accepted cost-effectiveness thresholds.

These findings, in combination with existing US studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, suggest that chiropractic care for the treatment of low back and neck pain is likely to achieve equal or better health outcomes at a cost that compares very favorable to most therapies that are routinely covered in US health benefits plans. As a result, the addition of chiropractic coverage for the treatment of low back and neck pain at prices typically payable in US employer-sponsored health benefit plans will likely increase value-for-dollar by improving clinical outcomes and either reducing total spending (neck pain) or increasing total spending (low back pain) by a smaller percentage than clinical outcomes improve.

The full report can be downloaded here.

For CAs: The Health-Service Role of the Doctor of Chiropractic

By |October 23, 2009|Chiropractic Assistant, Education, Practice Management|

For CAs: The Health-Service Role of the Doctor of Chiropractic

The Chiro.Org Blog

We would all like to thank Dr. Richard C. Schafer, DC, PhD, FICC for his lifetime commitment to the profession. In the future we will continue to add materials from RC’s copyrighted books for your use.

This is Chapter 3 from RC’s best-selling book:

“The Chiropractic Assistant”

These materials are provided as a service to our profession. There is no charge for individuals to copy and file these materials. However, they cannot be sold or used in any group or commercial venture without written permission from ACAPress.

Chapter 3: The Health-Service Role of the Doctor of Chiropractic

This chapter briefly describes the role of the doctor of chiropractic in the health care of the nation. It also introduces the reader to the rationale of clinical diagnostics, therapeutics, rehabilitation, and counseling in the chiropractic approach. Some particular areas of special interest are also described.


The diagnostic process of a patient’s disorder begins with the recording and interpretation of the patient’s medical history. Thus, the initial interview and consultation with the patient is of utmost importance. It will direction the examinations and tests that are to follow. Every measure of observation that will substantially profile the patient is employed and recorded. A systematic and thorough physical examination is conducted using the methods, techniques, and instruments that are standard with all health professions. In addition, the doctor of chiropractic will include a postural and spinal analysis, an innovation in the field of physical diagnosis and examination.


The chiropractic physician uses the standard procedures and instruments of physical and clinical diagnosis, and he is well acquainted with the need for differential diagnosis. Diagnostic radiology, especially as it pertains to the skeletal system, is a primary clinical diagnostic aid in chiropractic and has been since the early 1900s.

In addition, doctors of chiropractic are knowledgeable in the standard and special clinical laboratory procedures and tests usual to modern diagnostic science. Facilities for roentgenography (x-ray), thermography, electrocardiography (ECG or EKG), and electromyography (EMG) are standard among many other technologic advancements. Each accredited chiropractic college has a laboratory licensed to carry on clinical laboratory examinations, including such fields as cytology, chemistry, hematology, serology, bacteriology, and parasitology. (more…)