Utilization, Cost, and Effects of Chiropractic Care on Medicare Program Costs
An older study of Medicare cost data completed in June (2001 or 2002) by the well-known Washington, DC-based firm Muse & Associates helps demonstrate the cost-saving impact that chiropractic care has on the current Federal Medicare program.
The study, titled “Utilization, Costs, and Effects of Chiropractic Care on Medicare Program Costs“, was commissioned by the ACA and is the first study of its type to compare the global, per capita Medicare expenditures of chiropractic patients to those of non-chiropractic patients receiving care in the federal Medicare program. The study utilizes data obtained from Medicare’s Standard Analytical Files for 1999 — the most recent year that cost data was available for analysis.
The study’s executive summary states:
“The results strongly suggest that chiropractic care significantly reduces per beneficiary costs to the Medicare program. The results also suggest that Chiropractic services could play a role in reducing costs of Medicare reform and/or a new prescription drug benefit.”
The study specifically found that:
- Beneficiaries who received chiropractic care had lower average Medicare payments for all Medicare services than those who did not ($4,426 vs. $8,103);
- Beneficiaries who received chiropractic care averaged fewer Medicare claims per capita than those who did not; and
- Beneficiaries who received chiropractic care had lower average Medicare payments per claim than those who did not.