Medicare should extend to chiropractic care

Medicare should extend

to chiropractic care

A recent study looked at disabled individuals in Medicare or SSDI also known as social security disability insurance. Most of these individuals are younger in age with 30.5 percent of those having suffered back pain. Forty percent of the growth in disabled persons has come from back pain since 1996.

An inverse relation existed when the amount of chiropractic care was available and those who started opioid use. Those who choose standard medical care are often directed to narcotic use for control of pain. No difference existed when the patient was already on an opioid since the amount of opioid use was not individually measured. The study did suggest a possible reduction in pain medication use after instituting chiropractic care although not clearly stated.

This study suggests Medicare and the disability insurance policy makers would benefit to expand coverage on chiropractic services. The impact may stem the use of opioids, second offset the demand for primary care treatment, third, reduce the demands on the disability insurance two ways, initial use of chiropractic care reduces disability rates at one year after injury and avoidance of opioids has been associated with lower disability rates one year following injury.

West Virginia is facing an alarming rise in prescription drug abuse and our states coffers have less to pay out. Disability is an alarming drain on any state’s budget and requires careful and transparent consideration on implementing future policies once thought to be taboo. I urge our state’s leadership to consider all our resources and leave nothing off the table.

Byron Folwell, DC