Low Back Pain (LBP) will affect 80% of us at some point in our lives and at any moment 20-30% of our population is suffering with LBP. It’s the second most common reason for doctor visits in the U.S. following upper-respiratory infections. The costs associated with treating LBP exceed $100 billion dollars per year not including lost wages. The total cost of treating LBP in industrial workplace injuries surpasses all other workplace injuries combined. When you suddenly experience an episode of LBP, where will you go for relief?
Have you tried to get an appointment at a doctor’s office lately? If it’s not an emergency, and you’re not an established patient, you can likely expect a wait. It’s typically not the fault of the doctor, but more a failure of our current healthcare delivery system. Currently the government is pushing healthcare providers to incorporate “complete” electronic medical records that are able to collect patient data and report it to various agencies. This data collection and coding process is tedious and time-consuming for the doctors and their staff. This has caused unusually long appointment wait times and frustration for both doctor and patient.
Routinely our office gets phone calls from prospective new patients who have just “thrown their back out.” They need to be treated right away but have never been to our office before. We don’t have any information on them, they may have never been to a chiropractor before, and we do not know what chiropractic benefits their insurance plan provides. For the first appointment, it takes approximately 60-75 minutes to collect the data necessary to establish the patient’s file, diagnose and administer a treatment, and complete a compliant treatment note demonstrating medical necessity. If this same patient had already established a relationship with our office, we could address their needs much more efficiently. Most of the time they could be scheduled within 24 hours, and treated and on the road to recovery within 15 minutes.
You’ve probably heard that many insurance plans now require that a deductible be met before the plan will pay anything toward your health care costs. This trend will probably continue, because it decreases premium costs and encourages patients to be more cost conscientious. As a comparison, consider that a patient could receive 20-30 chiropractic treatments for the price of just one MRI!
Chiropractic is a safe and effective treatment for low back and neck pain. It decreases medication usage, advances rehabilitation, and in most cases allows a person to continue to work and remain active as they recover. Please call our office to establish yourself with a chiropractor, so you have a place to turn when you suddenly experience an episode of back or neck pain.
Information provided by Christopher M. Renze, D.C., D.I.B.C.N., of Renze Chiropractic Clinic, P.C. For more information, visit www.renzechiro.com or call the office at 965-3844.