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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chiropractic accounts for majority of no-fault payments

No-fault insurance rates going up? Blame your chiropractor. According to a study by the Insurance Research Council, chiropractors now account for a greater share of total provider charges in Minnesota's no-fault insurance system than all other types of treating providers combined. A new IRCstudy says that 58 percent of all provider charges for treatment of no-fault insurance claimants in 2007 were from chiropractors. In a study conducted five years earlier, IRC found that 41 percent of all treatment charges were from chiropractors.

The recently released study, Analysis of No-Fault Auto Insurance Claims in Minnesota, is based on a review of more than 500 personal injury protection (PIP) insurance claims closed with payment in 2007. The claims were among the 42,038 claims examined in the IRC's countrywide report, Auto Injury Insurance Claims: Countrywide Patterns in Treatment, Cost, and Compensation. Twenty-two automobile insurance companies representing 57 percent of the countrywide private passenger auto insurance market, and 61 percent of the Minnesota market, participated in the study.

According to the study, the growing cost of chiropractic treatment in Minnesota's auto insurance system is attributable primarily to rapid growth in average charges per visit to chiropractor offices. Between 2002 and 2007, average chiropractor charges in Minnesota increased 30 percent, from $122 to $158 per visit. In addition, the percentage of PIP claimants receiving chiropractor treatment increased approximately 5 percent. Minnesota had the third highest utilization rate for chiropractors (42 percent) among 17 states with no-fault insurance claims. Only Washington and Florida had higher chiropractor utilization rates in 2007.

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