February 2011
M T W T F S S
« Jan   Mar »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28  
Please support our Sponsors

Chiropractic Treatment of Workers’ Compensation Claimants in the State of Texas

Chiropractic Treatment of Workers’ Compensation Claimants in the State of Texas

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   MGT of America, Austin, 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.

They found:
  • 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.

Last year, 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. According to the report, Chiropractic Treatment of Workers’ Compensation Claimants in the State of Texas, chiropractic care was associated with significantly lower costs and more rapid recovery in treating workers with low-back injuries, and is not a contributor to the state’s rising worker’s compensation costs.

The study considered two questions:

  1. Does chiropractic play a significant role in driving the escalating costs in the Texas workers’ compensation system?

  2. Is chiropractic a cost-effective treatment option within the state’s workers’ compensation system?

To answer these questions, the national research/consulting firm MGT of America was hired to review more than 70 articles and published studies on the cost and effectiveness of chiropractic care.

The firm also analyzed data on approximately 900,000 workers’ compensation claims filed from 1996 to 2001.

Among the firm’s findings:

  • Of the nearly 900,000 workers’ compensation claims received from 1996 to 2001, only 14.6 percent of claimants were treated by doctors of chiropractic, and only 8.5 percent of those workers received more than half of their treatment from chiropractors.

  • Chiropractic care accounted for only 12.5 percent of medical fees and 6.9 percent of the total workers’ compensation costs. However, the firm noted that these figures did not include the costs of pharmaceuticals, because insurers are not required to provide such information to the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission (TWCC). If those costs were included, the percentage of costs related to chiropractic care would have been even lower.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Based on its analysis, the firm reached two noteworthy conclusions:

1.   Chiropractic’s medical costs are the lowest in the state’s workers’ compensation system.

“The existing body of research indicates that chiropractic is a cost-effective means of treatment for musculoskeletal injuries,” the firm noted. “Chiropractic care is associated with lower medical costs and more rapid recovery in the overwhelming majority of studies concerning chiropractic care and workers’ compensation costs.” Data from the study also clearly linked increased use of chiropractic care with lower costs relative to lower back injuries.

2.   Chiropractic cannot be blamed for the state’s rising workers’ compensation costs.
Based on the evidence, the firm found it “unlikely” that chiropractic could be held responsible for escalating costs: “Our analysis of TWCC claims data demonstrated that chiropractic currently plays a relatively small role in the system as a whole, and therefore could not be a significant factor in driving costs, chiropractic would have to be demonstrated as a vastly more expensive means of treatment, or it would have to comprise a greater share of treatment in this system.”

To get a better grasp of the effectiveness of all forms of care, MGT also recommended that TWCC require insurers to provide all information requested on its workers’ compensation forms – particularly pharmaceutical costs and return-to-work data. Including this information would provide a more complete picture of how patients are treated under the workers’ compensation system, and result in “further decreases in the overall cost to the system.”

The complete TCA/MGT study can be purchased from the TCA at: Texas Chiropractic Association, 815 Brazos, Suite 802, Austin, TX 78701
For more information, call (512) 477-9292.

There is more info like this at:

The Cost-Effectiveness of Chiropractic Page

3 comments to Chiropractic Treatment of Workers’ Compensation Claimants in the State of Texas

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Keith Pittman, Chiro.org and ChiroResource. ChiroResource said: New Post: : Chiropractic Treatment of Workers’ Compensation Claimants in the State of Texas http://bit.ly/gQ5GvS [...]

  • Mork

    A study from eight years ago.


    RESPONSE from Frank:

    Mork, Guess what? People had low back pain back then too!

    Even a cursory review of our Cost-Effectiveness Page will reveal that this study is just one in a LONG LINE of studies supporting the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of chiropractic care, especially when it is compared to standard medical (U&C) management.

    This study is just one petal in the bouquet that is chiropractic.

  • Hello Dr. Painter:

    I just wanted to say that you have a great chiropractic site that I visit on frequent occasion to browse and glean new information, studies and events in our profession. I also wanted to express a tiny bit of frustration about the difficulty I always have if I happen to want to print the information off to display it on my office bulletin board for patients to see, or gather the information to send to an M.D. or P.T. acquaintance. If I am simply ignorant of how to go about printing the information correctly I was hoping you could set me on the path to resolving that problem.

    I also wanted to say that your February article on MGT of America’s evaluation of claims and costs data from the TWCC is another blazing example of how much capability Chiropractic actually has to play a star role in contributing to the rescue of our national healthcare system from bankruptcy (or further from being one of the primary causes for the complete bankruptcy of our total economy!).

    The sad reality is however, that we have a nauseatingly long line of similar Worker’s Comp. and private pay studies that serve prior witness to MGT’s findings and reveal a medical establishment, political community and government attitude that shouts “Ask Us If We Care”. How do we use this information as individual practitioners, local and state associations effectively and repeatedly until we hammer enough consciousness into our patient population and our government representatives on all levels for the purpose of bringing a small level of sanity to healthcare cost and effectiveness for patients????

    I’m not sure you have the time or interest to reply, but just wanted to say “Thank You” for the information you present. At the very least it gives all of us a witness that we do have a valuable part to play that can improve the quality of life for a meaningful number of people who have not been served so well and have come to our offices for rescue from their crisis.

    Respectfully,

    Jeff Taylor, D.C.


    RESPONSE from Frank:

    Hi Jeff,

    I seem to have missed your question until today (4-03-2013), so sorry about that!

    It’s ALWAYS a disaster trying to PRINT things directly from a website. You have absolutely NO CONTROL over that process.

    The SOLUTION is something called CUT n PASTE.

    If you know how to COPY (right-click, drag and highlight) followed by CTRL-C (aka COPY), you then move the copied material to a Word Processing document and hit PASTE (CTRL-V).

    Once you have it in a processor (I prefer MS Word) you can completely format it (size, font, colors etc) to your liking.

    PLEASE…if you are copying materials from our site, especially my Editorials, don’t forget to cite us as the SOURCE of the materials or comments, preferably with a LINK back to our original materials.

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

CAPTCHA Image

*

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>