Two chiropractors and one medical doctor performed a study to analyze clinical and cost utilization data from 1999 to 2005. These physicians compiled random patient surveys and independent physician association-incurred claims and descriptively analyzed them for clinical utilization, cost offsets, and member satisfaction. They compared patients with a medical doctor as a primary care physician (PCP) to patients with a chiropractor as a PCP. Overall, 70,274 member-months (the total number of participants who are members for each month) were examined, and patients using a chiropractor as a PCP yielded the following results (as compared to patients using a medical doctor as a PCP):
- 60.2% decreased in-hospital admissions
- 59% decreased hospital days
- 62% decreased outpatient surgeries and procedures
- 85% decreased pharmaceutical costs
Importantly, the data compared between chiropractor PCP patients and medical doctor PCP patients shows drastic differences in the previously mentioned areas. The decreases noted in all these areas means decreased out-of-pocket expenses as well as decreased expenses for insurance companies. The incentives to decreasing costs to the insurance companies may mean lower premiums or extended coverages with the current premiums. Additionally, the data indicate improved health in the patients seeing chiropractors in that there are less prescribed drugs being taken, surgeries performed, hospital stays, and admissions to hospitals.