CAM-oriented primary care providers result in cost savings, high patient satisfaction

Arlington, Va. (June 7, 2007) -- Patients visiting chiropractors and other holistically-oriented physicians who serve as primary care physicians (PCPs) have lower utilization costs and higher patient satisfaction levels than patients treated by conventional medical doctors, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics that tracked data from a unique Independent Physicians Association (IPA) where chiropractors serve as first-contact, primary care physicians.

The escalation of medical expenditures remains an urgent problem in the United States and its becoming quite clear that cost containment strategies by conventional medical providers are failing to achieve even mediocre results, said study coauthor James Winterstein, DC. This study confirms that integration of allopathic, chiropractic and other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) providers can positively impact patient quality of care while limiting overall costs. This approach to patient care has great potential to improve the U.S. healthcare system.

Led by Richard Sarnat, MD, researchers directly compared cost and clinical utilization data from an integrative CAM Independent Physicians Association (IPA) with conventional medical IPA data from members enrolled in a traditional health maintenance organization (HMO). The recent report analyzes data from 2003 to 2005 and is a follow up to the original report published in 2004, which compared data from 1999 to 2002.

Our most recent analysis supports earlier findings that patients visiting CAM-orientated primary care physicians (PCP) primarily chiropractors experienced fewer hospitalizations, underwent fewer surgeries and used considerably fewer pharmaceuticals than HMO patients who received traditional medical care, Dr. Winterstein said. Moreover, doctors of chiropractic succeeded in diagnosing and treating patients at a lev

Contact: Angela Kargus
American Chiropractic Association

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