The Role of Insurance Coverage in the Vancouver Back Surgery or Non-Surgical Care Choice

“Back surgery is one of the most overused types of surgery as well as the most common ailment that sends patients to doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists,” conveys Crain’s Detroit Business magazine’s article called Health Insurers Look for Ways to Cut Costs with Back Surgery. What a way to open an article! It continues:

  • $90 billion on low back pain alone a year
  • 1.2 million spinal surgeries a year
  • $60,000 to $110,000 per lumbar fusion surgery (the fastest-growing type of surgery in the past 10 years)

The back surgery failure rate, the so-called “failed back syndrome” or the more “politically correct” term “post-surgical continued pain syndrome,” may be as high as 50%. (1) With healthcare spending in the US over $3.5 trillion - $10,739 per person – it is no wonder that insurers seek another way to cut costs, especially when one-third of the money goes to hospital care of chronic illnesses. (2) Vancouver Spine Care Centre is well-trained and knowledgeable in offering non-hospital-based care to help Vancouver back pain – chronic and acute – patients get relief of and manage their back pain – as well as post-surgical continued back pain - without surgery.

LOW BACK PAIN FACTS

Low back pain is the leading reason of years lived with disability globally. Today, recommendations for low back pain relief care discourage pain medications, steroid injections and spine surgery and encourage physical therapy and psychological therapy. Healthcare systems are apt to struggle with these new approaches. Why? Pharmaceutical companies’ financial interests, old payment systems that favor medical care, outdated traditions, and legal, personal, political, and societal beliefs of us all. These thoughts are presented in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, believe it or not. (3) Vancouver Spine Care Centre reads this with interest.

BACK SURGERY CHOICE

Considering these facts, it’s not hard to believe that some back pain sufferers will choose back surgery over non-surgical management of their back pain. “Patients go where insurance pays, even if it is surgery.” In one study, back pain sufferers made the choice to visit a primary care physician (PCP) or physical therapist (PT) or chiropractor initially based on their health plan type, co-payment, and deductible. Modifying these things to make them more valuable/less expensive/less restrictive as to provider type might well encourage low back pain sufferers to pick non-hospital, conservative treatment instead of back surgery. (4) Vancouver Spine Care Centre is all for this! Less than 1% of back pain sufferers require back surgery. (5) Vancouver Spine Care Centre is ready to help the other 99% of the Vancouver back pain sufferers cope with their back pain and rework their lifestyles to live with the spine they have and cope with its episodes of pain and relief.

RECURRENT BACK PAIN

Vancouver back pain sufferers are not alone if their back pain returns. It happens. It’s controllable. It’s manageable. Some facts first: Within a year of recovery, 69% of patients had another episode of back pain of some sort. What risks prompt a recurrence of back pain? Awkward postures, long sitting times, and more than 2 prior back pain experiences. (6) It’s ok though. Really! Vancouver Spine Care Centre helps Vancouver back pain patients navigate these recurrences and manage them so they don’t limit anyone’s enjoyment of life.  We have a treatment plan!

CONTACT Vancouver Spine Care Centre

Listen to Dr. Kimble Cater on The Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson discuss how he helped an expectant mother with her repeated episodes of back pain. Whether you’re pregnant or not, Vancouver chiropractic care at Vancouver Spine Care Centre can help you deal with repeated episodes of back pain, too.

Schedule a Vancouver chiropractic appointment at Vancouver Spine Care Centre for back pain relief. Our care is not overused!  The gentle, effective, evidence-based system of Cox® Technic look for 50% relief within 4-6 weeks of care and often gets 70%, 80%, 90% and more for many of our patients at less cost – in terms of finances and lifestyle – than back surgery.

Vancouver Spine Care Centre notes that back pain sufferers may choose their back pain treatment option based on insurance coverage. If insurance pays for back surgery, will you choose that?  
 
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