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CHIROPRACTIC CARE AND WORKERS COMPENSATION COSTS

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Too often, money minded bureaucrats at plants and factories will reject the option of chiropractic care for injured workers and look for a cheaper alternative when chiropractic care is exactly what the worker needs. Nothing could be more foolish, though, as the effects of capable chiropractic treatment and therapy will generally be felt almost immediately after treatment, getting the worker back on the job quickly and safely after a short rehabilitation period, saving the company money in worker’s compensation while they’re unable to work and reducing the chance of having to pay for further treatment should the injury recur due to insufficient initial treatment of the worker’s injury because the employer wouldn’t consider chiropractic care. In the event of injury, chiropractic care and workers can be something of an ace in the hole.

Thanks to a surge in costs throughout the nineties and into the 21st century, independent research was conducted in Texas in 2002 by the national research and consulting firm MGT America, commissioned by the Texas Chiropractic Association, to determine what role chiropractic care played in these escalating worker’s compensation costs. Of nearly 900,000 workers compensation claims made between 1996 and 2001, only 14.6% of workers were treated by chiropractors and only 8.5% received more than half of their treatment from said professionals. Chiropractic care only made up 6.9% of total worker’s compensation costs.

According to the study, the average claim for a worker with lower back injury was just under $16,000. The average claim for a worker with lower back injury receiving treatment from a chiropractor was only about $12,000. Furthermore, if the worker was receiving at least 90% of their treatment from a chiropractic care professional, the number dropped to about $7,500, less than half of what a worker’s claim was if the worker had received no chiropractic treatment.

Not surprisingly, the study found that chiropractic care was, in fact, one of the most cost effective treatments available to workers with musculoskeletal ailments. It would be untrue to say that other studies haven’t shown an increase in cost when treatment is handled solely by chiropractors, but the MGT America study is considered to be amongst the more thorough. Regardless of what any studies say, though, a competent, thorough diagnosis by an unbiased professional might prove to be the most powerful strategy for reducing the cost of worker’s compensation claims. Correct, competent treatment should always be the most important thing to an injured worker, his or her employer and the company at large, whether that treatment entails chiropractic care or some other form of treatment.


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