An Analysis of Florida Workers' Compensation
Medical Claims for Back-related Injuries

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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FROM:   J American Chiro Association 1988;   25 (7):   5059

Wolk, S.

This study is an analysis of worker's compensation claims in Florida from June through December of 1987.   All of the claims analyzed were related to back injuries.   The greater purpose of this study was to compare the cost of osteopathic, medical and chiropractic doctors.   The cost of drugs were not included in the analysis.   The results of the study lead to the finding that individuals who had compensable injuries and were treated by chiropractors often times were not forced to be hospitalized.   It was also revealed that chiropractic care is a "relatively cost-effective approach to the management of work-related injuries."

This study examined 10,652 patient files, for individuals who sustained back-related injuries on the job.   The findings revealed that individuals who received chiropractic care compared with standard medical care for similar diagnoses experienced a:

  • 51.3% shorter temporary total disability duration

  • lower treatment cost by 58% ($558 vs. $1,100 per case)

  • 20.3% hospitalization rate in the chiropractic care group vs.
    52.2% rate in medical care group.

The Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research (FCER), with cooperation of the Florida Department of Labor and Employment Security, Division of Workers' Compensation, conducted an analysis of Florida's workers' compensation medical claims for back-related injuries. The analysis focused on the cost of treatment, frequency of compensable injuries (an injury which disables an individual for more than seven days, resulting in wage compensation benefits), and frequency of hospitalization for workers' compensation claim patient.

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