Savings Strategies

On-Site Chiropractic Care Offers Multiple Benefits

Employers that offer on-site chiropractic care are experiencing reduced costs related to musculoskeletal injuries as well as reduce injury frequency.
By: | September 28, 2014

“Compared with off-site care, on-site chiropractic services are associated with lower health care utilization,” says a new study. “Although we did not capture costs in this analysis, we may infer that the lower amount of health care utilization in patients visiting the on-site clinic for their chiropractic care resulted in direct cost savings for the company health plan.”

Companies have increasingly turned to employer-sponsored work site clinics to control costs and improve health care for their employees. The researchers compared the utilization patterns of employees at a Missouri company who obtained chiropractic care on-site with those who went to community-based centers.

“Doctors of chiropractic promote wellness and injury prevention, and chiropractic care has been demonstrated to deliver effective treatment for the symptoms of musculoskeletal conditions,” the researchers wrote in an article published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. “Furthermore, on-site chiropractic care has been shown to deliver substantial value through convenience of access, high quality of care and delivery, and lowered overall costs.”

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There were 876 on-site and 759 off-site participants of Cerner Corporation’s employee health plan who received chiropractic care from 2010 to 2012. The researchers measured utilization differences as having one health care event or more, including radiology or clinical visits.

“Off-site group patients had significantly higher outpatient utilization — 47.3 percent vs. 30.2 percent of on-site group members,” the researchers reported. “The number of repeat services was also higher in the off-site patient group: 29.5 percent of off-site group members had two outpatient visits or more compared with 18.5 percent of on-site group members. Emergency department visits were higher in the off-site group — 19 percent vs. 13.1 percent of on-site group members.”

In comparing specific radiological services, the off-site group had 14.6 percent receiving MRIs vs. 12.4 percent for the on-site group, 15.8 percent for ultrasounds vs. 10.7 percent for the on-site participants, and 46 percent for radiographs vs. 26.6 percent for the on-site group. The off-site group also had a higher percentage of patients with more than one ultrasound compared to the on-site group.

Nancy Grover is the president of NMG Consulting and the Editor of Workers' Compensation Report, a publication of our parent company, LRP Publications. She can be reached at [email protected]

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The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]