Newly published Fulcrum Health study shows connection between chiropractic treatment approach and cost outcomes for treatment of low back pain

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New peer-reviewed research shows evidence-based chiropractic best practices result in lower patient costs

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An evidence-based, best practice chiropractic treatment can lead to cost savings, as well as rapid resolution of pain.

A chiropractor’s approach to treating low back pain (LBP) makes a measurable difference in how much consumers pay for treatment, according to new research from Fulcrum Health, Inc. The study, published recently in the journal Chiropractic & Manual Therapies, found that costs for patients whose chiropractor had been verified and received the designation of following an evidence-based, patient-centered care approach for LBP treatment were less on average than for providers who did not follow such guidelines.

Fulcrum Health completed the study, which received the publication’s Best Article of the Quarter recognition based on a number of quality indicators, as well as the possible clinical impact, using data from its ChiroCare network of providers. Researchers compared costs for more than 25,600 patients ranging in age from 18 to over 90 years old, who were seeking treatment for a new diagnosis of acute or subacute LBP. They found that care from a provider at a clinic certified as a ChiroCare Center of Excellence cost 22% less on average when compared to care at a clinic in the general ChiroCare network.

In order to be designated as a ChiroCare Center of Excellence, clinics must meet patient-centered care criteria such as the use of an integrated, collaborative approach for achieving positive outcomes; engaging patients in decision making; and aligning with all clinicians in a patient’s care team.

“Low back pain is a tremendous expense for patients and insurers, accounting for an estimated $134.5 billion in health care spending each year. But the full impact is likely even greater, as 83 million work days are lost each year due to back pain,” said Patricia Dennis, CEO at Fulcrum Health and co-author on the study. “Despite this, there is little application of a conservative, physical medicine approach to influence cost and outcomes. This study indicates that an evidence-based, best practice chiropractic treatment can lead to cost savings, as well as rapid resolution of pain.”

This study is significant because improving consumer understanding of the most cost-effective chiropractic approaches for treating LBP may have an impact on overall spending to treat the condition. In general, patients who seek chiropractic care first rather than conventional medical care for LBP have lower costs. This implies that broader implementation of evidence-based, patient-centered care approaches like those followed by ChiroCare Centers of Excellence may allow chiropractors to effectively care for a patient’s condition and appropriately triage them to the proper care when necessary.

For more information about Fulcrum Health visit For more on ChiroCare Centers of Excellence, visit


About Fulcrum Health
Fulcrum Health, Inc. is a nonprofit, NCQA accredited, physical medicine benefit management organization delivering quality care through its credentialed chiropractic providers for over 35 years. Its product offerings include chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy, and pain management services. Serving 2.1 million members in the Midwest, Fulcrum continues to offer innovative and inspiring ways to leverage physical medicine that help lower health care costs, achieve better outcomes, and increase patient satisfaction. Fulcrum Health is a multiple year recipient of the Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award for outstanding performance in patient satisfaction. For more information, visit Follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Media contact: Barbara Tabor, APR / (651) 230-9192 /

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