Insurance companies have been increasingly pushing plan members to utilize drug-based services over more corrective approaches for years, citing cost savings as the major reason.
A study in the November 2010 Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics looked at the cost comparison of the most common types of back pain when treated by a medical doctor versus when treated by a chiropractic doctor. What they found was shocking!
Out of 85,000 Blue Cross/Blue Shield patients involved in a 2-year study where each patient had their own choice of whom to see for treatment (MD versus chiropractor), the paid costs for episodes of care initiated with a doctor of chiropractic were 40% less expensive than episodes initiated with a medical doctor.
40% less expensive care to get to the actual cause and correct the underlying condition versus 40% more expensive care to treat just the symptoms of the condition. Sounds kinda crazy that any insurance company would promote drug-based symptom care when it is almost twice as expensive as chiropractic, but nobody is accusing insurance companies of making rational decisions.
The main point is this: We live in a pharmaceutical world where everyone is being led to believe that you can medicate yourself back to good health. We have doctors pushing drugs on their patients, we have patients clamoring for more drugs because they see ads on TV every night that tell them to “ask their doctor if X is right for them”, and we have an insurance industry that actually pays for drugs instead of covering valuable services that can fix the patient’s problem for the long-term.