What would happen if Americans used chiropractors exclusively as their primary care physicians? Researchers set out to answer this question in a study that began in 1999. Patients in an HMO that required a chiropractor to be the primary physician were compared to patients in traditional HMO's. In 2004 the initial results were reported as follows:
... clinical and cost outcomes on 21,743 member months over a 4-year period demonstrated decreases of 43.0% in hospital admissions per 1000, 58.4% hospital days per 1000, 43.2% outpatient surgeries and procedures per 1000, and 51.8% pharmaceutical cost reductions when compared with normative conventional medicine IPA performance for the same HMO product in the same geography over the same time frame.
In other words, hospital admissions, surgeries, and drug use were cut in half! In addition, the patients in the chiropractic HMO's experienced "substantially improved clinical outcomes".
The study continued through 2005 and the results were reported this month--patient's actually experienced even more benefit as follows:
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. Remember that today's chiropractors are trained as gatekeepers to the medical system. See your chiropractor first!
Read the 2004 report here.
Read the 2007 update here.