Cost comparison of two approaches to chiropractic care for patients with acute and sub-acute low Back pain care episodes: a cohort study

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Abstract

Background: Low back pain (LBP) imposes a costly burden upon patients, healthcare insurers, and society overall. Spinal manipulation as practiced by chiropractors has been found be cost-effective for treatment of LBP, but there is wide variation among chiropractors in their approach to clinical care, and the most cost-effective approach to chiropractic care is uncertain. To date, little has been published regarding the cost effectiveness of different approaches to chiropractic care. Thus, the current study presents a cost comparison between chiropractic approaches for patients with acute or subacute care episodes for low back pain. Methods: We employed a retrospective cohort design to examine costs of chiropractic care among patients diagnosed with acute or subacute low back pain. The study time period ranged between 07/01/2016 and 12/22/2017. We compared cost outcomes for patients of two cohorts of chiropractors within health care system: Cohort 1) a general network of providers, and Cohort 2) a network providing conservative evidence-based care for rapid resolution of pain. We used generalized linear regression modeling to estimate the comparative influence of demographic and clinical factors on expenditures. Results: A total of 25,621 unique patients were included in the analyses. The average cost per patient for Cohort 2 (mean allowed amount $252) was lower compared to Cohort 1 (mean allowed amount $326; 0.77, 95% CI 0.75–0.79, p

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Whedon, J. M., Bezdjian, S., Dennis, P., Fischer, V. A., & Russell, R. (2020). Cost comparison of two approaches to chiropractic care for patients with acute and sub-acute low Back pain care episodes: a cohort study. Chiropractic and Manual Therapies, 28(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12998-020-00356-z

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