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The Association of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use and Health Care Expenditures for Back and Neck Problems

By |March 2, 2017|Chiropractic Care, Complementary and Alternative Medicine|

The Association of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use and Health Care Expenditures for Back and Neck Problems

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SOURCE:   Med Care. 2012 (Dec); 50 (12): 1029–1036

Brook I. Martin, PhD MPH, Mary M. Gerkovich, PhD, Richard A. Deyo, MD, MPH, Karen J. Sherman, PhD, MPH, Daniel C. Cherkin, PhD, Bonnie K. Lind, PhD, Christine M. Goertz, DC, PhD, and William E. Lafferty, MD

Department of Orthopaedics,
The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth &
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center,
Lebanon, NH 03756, USA.


This first national study of CAM/chiropractic expenditures for spine conditions finds that neither adds to overall medical spending.

From Page 23:   A recent study of 12,036 records in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) investigated the costs of treating patients with low back and neck pain (Martin et al., 2012). The study estimated the expenditures for care among complementary and alternative medicine (chiropractic, homeopathy, herbalism, acupuncture, and massage) users relative to non-users. This study included a chiropractic-specific analysis of expenditures for chiropractic users versus non-users, as approximately 75% of all complementary and alternative medicine services were rendered by doctors of chiropractic.

Survey data were analyzed for the years 2002–2008. The
analysis demonstrated that seeing a CAM/chiropractic provider did not add to overall medical spending. In fact,
adjusted annual healthcare costs among chiropractic users were $424 lower for spine-related costs when compared to non-CAM users.

Additionally, those who used complementary and alternative providers, including doctors of chiropractic, had significantly lower hospitalization expenditures.


BACKGROUND:   Health care costs associated with use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by patients with spine problems have not been studied in a national sample.

OBJECTIVES:   To estimate the total and spine-specific medical expenditures among CAM and non-CAM users with spine problems.

RESEARCH DESIGN:   Analysis of the 2002-2008 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

SUBJECTS:   Adults (above 17 y) with self-reported neck and back problems who did or did not use CAM services.

MEASURES:   Survey-weighted generalized linear regression and propensity matching to examine expenditure differences between CAM users and non-CAM users while controlling for patient, socioeconomic, and health characteristics.

RESULTS:   A total of 12,036 respondents with spine problems were included, including 4,306 (35.8%) CAM users (40.8% in weighted sample). CAM users had significantly better self-reported health, education, and comorbidity compared with non-CAM users. Adjusted annual medical costs among CAM users was $424 lower (95% confidence interval: $240, $609; P<0.001) for spine-related costs, and $796 lower (95% confidence interval: $121, $1,470; P = 0.021) for total health care cost than among non-CAM users. Average expenditure for CAM users, based on propensity matching, was $526 lower for spine-specific costs (P<0.001) and $298 lower for total health costs (P = 0.403). Expenditure differences were primarily due to lower inpatient expenditures among CAM users.

There are more articles like this @ our:

Cost-Effectiveness of Chiropractic Page

and our

Chronic Neck Pain and Chiropractic Page

(more…)