This retrospective cohort study(learn about study design) was published in the American Journal of Managed Care in September, 2019 by Davis et. al. In this study, investigators looked at whether access to more or fewer practicing doctors of chiropractic (DC) impacted total spending for spine-related disorders in Medicare beneficiaries with a diagnosis of low back or neck pain. Access was calculated by the number of DCs practicing within a certain drive time from the patient’s home zip code. Study authors found that those “exposed” to areas of “higher chiropractic accessibility” resulted in lower ambulatory care expenditures, primarily for diagnostic imaging and evaluation/management services.
This study is important because it adds to the small but growing cadre of evidence indicating that access to chiropractic may result in lower costs for spine care, in this case for older adults.
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