Feel free to use your insurance card when seeing a doctor of chiropractic.
About 30 million Americans seek chiropractic care annually, and apparently not all of them realize their visits are now routinely covered by major medical plans, Medicare, workers’ compensation, and even some Medicaid plans. Part of the increased availability is a result of measures like the Affordable Care Act and the embrace of chiropractic care at various government levels including military bases and Veterans Administration facilities.
How much of a game-changer would boosting awareness be?
Well, consider this: The more than $796 billion spent caring for musculoskeletal diseases in 2011 made it among the costliest health care expenditures, according to the latest available statistics. Meanwhile, the “chiropractic-first” approach many experts advocate — avoiding traditional surgery and potentially addictive drugs, that is — has been shown in numerous studies to be friendlier to both wallets and patients.
“Chiropractic care is documented to reduce costs per episode of care by up to 40 percent, while also yielding improved clinical outcomes and overall higher patient satisfaction,” notes Sherry McAllister, DC, executive vice president of the not-for-profit Foundation for Chiropractic Progress.
Doctors of chiropractic, who have a minimum of seven years of higher education, practice a hands-on, drug-free approach to addressing neuro-musculoskeletal conditions, including back, neck and joint pain. Although perhaps best known for performing spinal adjustments, doctors of chiropractic are also trained to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.