Insurance Coverage Increases Usage of
In the February 11, 2002 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine
comes an article on a study performed to see if there is a relationship
between the usage of what the study called CAM (Complementary
and Alternative Medicine) and insurance coverage. Included in the CAM
professions, one of the most regularly used is chiropractic care.
Past studies showed that an estimated 44% of the US population used at
least 1 CAM procedure in 1997. Of those using CAM, 52% had seen at least 1
CAM provider in the last year.
This study was performed by conducting a nationally representative,
random household telephone survey of 2055 adults. Not surprising,
the study showed that factors independently associated with frequent use
(more than 8 visits per year) of a CAM provider were full insurance
coverage for the CAM service. This basically means that patients
with insurance coverage tended to go to their CAM provider more often than
those without insurance. According to the study some of the other
factors that increased usage of CAM care include patients with back and
neck problems as well as people desiring wellness or preventative care.
In concluding the study states, "A small minority of persons
accounted for more than 75% of visits to CAM providers. Extent of
insurance coverage for CAM providers and use for wellness are strong
correlates of frequent use of CAM providers."