This article analyzes differences in costs, patterns of care, and returns to work between workers treated by either a chiropractor or a physician for an episode of back pain. The article extends prior research by adding controls for unobserved heterogeneity to the models and by using data on health care payments rather than charges. The results imply that chiropractors and physicians are equally effective in treating back pain and that neither group offers a clear advantage in terms of the costs of care or the total costs of a workers' compensation back claim. In effect, chiropractors and physicians are close substitutes as care givers for non-surgical cases of work-related back pain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics