Am J Manag Care. 1998 Apr; 4(4): 576-9.
A new gatekeeper for back pain.
Massachusetts Board of Chiropractic Examiners, Boston, USA.
Managed care programs have evolved in response to the escalating costs of healthcare in the United States. Expenses related to back pain represent a significant portion of these costs. Chiropractic physicians handle more back pain visits than do medical doctors and are playing an increasing role in the management of neuromusculoskeletal problems in general. Furthermore, chiropractic patients are more satisfied with their care than are patients of family physicians. A number of studies have shown chiropractic medicine to have high efficacy and cost-effectiveness. Its utilization for neuromusculoskeletal problems in the managed care setting may well offer competitive advantages. Using chiropractic physicians as gatekeepers for back pain would result in more expedient movement through the algorithmic process and facilitate treatment of the patient with acute back pain. Many medical facilities are enhancing their services by utilizing chiropractic physicians as gatekeepers for the diagnosis and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal disorders.