Leading up to the current health care debate was talk of reducing cost and improving care. Of the many topics being discussed to achieve those ends, I have not heard any talk of Chiropractic care. This is mind-blowing, because recent research shows that if Americans use Chiropractors as their primary care doctors quality of care goes up, way up, and cost goes down.
The study, which I've blogged on before, followed members of an HMO for 7 years--half of the members were assigned a medical doctor as their primary, the other half were assigned a Chiropractor as their primary. The researchers sum up the results of those seeing the Chiropractors below:
"Clinical and cost utilization based on 70274 member-months over a 7-year period demonstrated decreases of 60.2% in-hospital admissions, 59.0% hospital days, 62.0% outpatient surgeries and procedures, and 85% pharmaceutical costs when compared with conventional medicine IPA performance for the same health maintenance organization product in the same geography and time frame."
Imagine if the country as a whole were to save 85% on pharmaceuticals! Our national health crisis would be over. This is in addition to the dramatically better outcomes using Chiropractic care. Why is the model in this study not on the table in the health care debate? A big part of it is Chiropractors don't have the pharmaceutical industry behind them. Pharmaceutical companies have a huge role in health policy, and that is where our system breaks down. In order to pass any new policy the pharmaceutical industry and the AMA have to get theirs, and in the meantime, Chiropractic is not part of the debate.
Read the study here.