Study 6: “Coverage of nonpharmacologic treatments for low back pain among US public and private insurers” Heyward et al.

This study assessed the coverage of 45 different health plans for low back pain and evaluated their coverage of nonpharmacological treatments. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and chiropractic were covered by almost every single health plan included, however, psychological interventions, massage therapy, and acupuncture were rarely covered. The key takeaways are that while many health plans cover some therapies such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and chiropractic, there is a need to ensure that all guideline recommended therapies are covered by insurance companies so that the patient has the ability to access the guideline recommended treatment that may benefit them the most. This is still another study to demonstrate the importance of the paradigm shift in health care guidelines, reimbursement, and patient management.  Guideline recommended care will continue to be a significant force in providing patients the most efficient, effective, and economically viable care.  Clinicians who previously were not considered because of non-pharmacological are now being viewed as first options to consider. Full study available at:

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