There is growing evidence that granting chiropractors full scope access would have a positive impact on the health care system. Here are just five ways it may help patients.
Posted in Chiropractor on Friday, August 25, 2023
Recently there’s been a debate surrounding chiropractic care and its integration into the Medicare system. There is growing evidence supporting the positive impact granting chiropractors full scope access could have on the health care system. There are several potential benefits that could come from allowing chiropractors to offer their full range of services under Medicare. This decision could improve patient outcomes and enhance overall health care access.
1. Enhanced Access to Non-Invasive Care
One of the key advantages of expanding Medicare access to chiropractors is the enhanced availability of non-invasive care options. Chiropractic treatments, such as spinal adjustments, soft tissue mobilization, and exercise therapy, are known to be effective in managing various musculoskeletal conditions, including back pain, neck pain, and headaches. By empowering chiropractors to provide full scope care, patients could access these non-invasive therapies as a first-line treatment for their conditions, potentially reducing the need for more expensive and invasive interventions.
2. Cost-Effectiveness and Health Care Savings
Incorporating chiropractic care into Medicare could also lead to substantial cost savings in the health care system. Studies have shown that chiropractic care can be cost-effective for treating conditions like low back pain when compared to traditional medical treatments. Patients may be more inclined to seek chiropractic services earlier in their treatment journey, preventing the progression of musculoskeletal issues and reducing the need for costly surgeries or long-term medication use.
3. Holistic and Patient-Centered Care
Chiropractors are well-known for their patient-centered approach to care. They often spend more time with patients, taking detailed histories, conducting thorough examinations, and tailoring treatment plans to suit individual needs. Integrating chiropractic care into Medicare would promote a more holistic approach, addressing not only physical symptoms but also lifestyle factors, stress management, and overall wellness. This shift towards a patient-centered model could improve patient satisfaction and overall health outcomes.
4. Reducing Opioid Dependency
The ongoing opioid crisis has highlighted the need for effective non-pharmacological pain management options. Chiropractic care offers a drug-free approach to pain relief and management, making it a potentially valuable tool in combating opioid dependency. By making chiropractic services more accessible through Medicare, patients suffering from chronic pain could be offered a safer alternative to opioids, reducing the risk of addiction, and associated adverse effects.
5. Addressing Rural Health Care Disparities
In many rural and underserved areas, access to specialized health care services can be limited. Chiropractors often work in community-based settings, making them an excellent option for delivering musculoskeletal care in such areas. By granting chiropractors full scope access under Medicare, rural communities could experience improved access to musculoskeletal health care, bridging the gap between urban and rural health care disparities.
Integrating chiropractic care into Medicare with full scope access has the potential to bring about positive changes in the health care landscape. By providing patients with non-invasive treatment options, promoting cost-effective care, and addressing musculoskeletal issues with a holistic approach, chiropractors can play a vital role in improving patient outcomes. Additionally, the inclusion of chiropractic services could contribute to reducing the burden on the health care system, promoting the responsible use of health care resources.
For more information, watch our webinar Serving a Medicare Population: Preparing for Full Scope to learn how you can be ready for Medicare coverage.