Chiropractic Treatment of Workers’ Compensation Claimants in the State of Texas
In 2002, the Texas Chiropractic Association (TCA) commissioned an independent study to determine the use and effectiveness of chiropractic with regard to workers’ compensation, the results of which were published in February 2003. According to the report,chiropractic care was associated with significantly lower costs and more rapid recovery in treating workers with low-back injuries.
- Lower back and neck injuries accounted for 38 percent of all claims costs.
- Chiropractors treated about 30 percent of workers with lower back injuries, but were responsible for only 17.5 percent of the medical costs and 9.1 percent of the total costs.
These findings were even more intertesting:
- The average claim for a worker with a low-back injury was $15,884. However, if a worker received at least 75 percent of his or her care from a chiropractor, the total cost per claimant decreased by nearly one-fourth to $12,202.
- If the chiropractor provided at least 90 percent of the care, the average cost declined by more than 50 percent, to $7,632.
Doctors of chiropractic have been licensed to practice in Texas since 1949 and have been a fundamental part of the state’s workers’ compensation system since 1953. Each year, Texas DCs treat tens of thousands of injured workers, but until recently, little data were available comparing the cost-effectiveness and efficacy of chiropractic versus other forms of care available through the workers’ compensation program.