Seeing a chiropractor first saves Optum Health millions of dollars in the treatment of back pain.
Optum Health has collected data over the past two years regarding the cost of treating back pain at the NASEM (National Academy of Sciences ) titled: “The Role of Nonpharmacological Approaches to Pain Management,” outlining the tremendous efficacy and cost savings associated with chiropractic and other forms of conservative care for spinal episodes; and the two-year plan to impact the 125 million consumers.
Dr. Elton said that it is time to recognize we no longer need any data to show using a chiropractor as a first contact for a lower back pain episode is much cheaper than any medical specialist or primary care provider for lower back pain. Using a primary medical doctor for the initiation of the episode segments the care, adds costs and medication, and according to the Annals of Internal Medicine should be a secondary approach.
The data proves action needs to be taken now to make it less expensive to see a non pharmacological care provider such as a Doctor of Chiropractic. He even goes on to say that barriers such as co-pays, deductibles and out of pocket costs should be waived for better access.
Dr. Elton believes it is time for action on this data which shows the immediate need for patients to be steered to the most cost effective providers with the least risk first. He also believes that patient should be able to access those providers whose offices are convenient for them to get to quickly and easily through an online portal.