Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment for Long-term Care Patients

by | Last updated Feb 28, 2023 | Published on Jun 23, 2017 | Specialty Billing

Chiropractic Treatment Care
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Chiropractic care is a popular non-invasive option for musculoskeletal pain and is available to active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces as well as veterans. The treatment, which involves gentle spinal manipulation, is covered by major health insurance plans, workers’ compensation, Medicare, and some Medicaid plans and many providers outsource chiropractic medical billing and coding services to optimize reimbursement. Spinal manipulation gained traction when the American College of Physicians (ACP) included it the updated guidelines for the noninvasive treatment of nonradicular subacute, acute, and chronic low back pain in primary care.

According to a recent McKnight’s news report, chiropractic care offers considerable benefits for long-term care patients whose major concern is musculoskeletal pain. A review of studies relating to LTC settings revealed that patients’ musculoskeletal pain rates range from 49% to 83%. Low back pain (LBP) was the most common source of pain in nursing home patients, according to one study. Several studies provide evidence to support the use of spinal manipulation for low back pain:

  • A systematic review and meta-analysis of 26 randomized clinical trials found that spinal manipulative therapy was linked with statistically significant benefits in both pain and function, of on average modest magnitude, at up to 6 weeks.
  • Spinal manipulative therapy can produce significant improvements in pain and function with no serious side effects.
  • Several clinical trials show that chiropractic care is an effective, safe and acceptable option for older people.
  • According to studies of Medicare patients, chiropractic care may provide a protective effect against the declines in activities of daily living (ADL), which is typically seen in musculoskeletal pain patients and improve functional outcomes in the same way medical care does.

According to a subanalysis of a small group of patients in a large study, older adults who received chiropractic care have lower risks of hospitalization, are less likely to have used a nursing home, and are more likely to report a better health status, to exercise vigorously, and to be mobile in the community.

Older adults have problems related to balance and gait due to osteoarthritis and other medical conditions. By addressing joint pain and stiffness, chiropractic care could help in fall prevention. Research also suggests that spinal manipulation therapy could have a positive effect on certain types of vertigo.

Chiropractic care involves many different types of interventions, including preventive strategies. Older patients may have co-morbidities and so chiropractors first rule out risks to and customize these interventions to suit their needs. Chiropractic strategies employed include low-force instrument-assisted manipulation, and use of specialized tables, and padded wedges. Chiropractors also work with other providers to optimize care and including them in the LTC team could help patients make the most of minimally invasive options for the management of pain and functional health concerns.

As chiropractors focus on their patients, chiropractic medical billing and coding companies help them submit accurate and timely claims to maximize collections and ensure compliance. Their teams are well-versed and up-to-date on everything that pertains to the chiropractic business such as CPT Codes, ICD-10-CM Codes, and HCPCS codes, Medicare billing rules, use of modifiers, quarterly NCCI edits, PQRS measures, Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and MACRA, HIPAA compliance, and OIG audit focus areas. For instance, there are several new ICD-10 codes in the M.50 category for 2017:

  • M50.0 Cervical disc disorder with myelopathy
  • M50.1 Cervical disc disorder with radiculopathy
  • M50.2 Other cervical disc displacement
  • M50.3 Other cervical disc degeneration
  • M50.8 Other cervical disc disorders
  • M50.9 Cervical disc disorder, unspecified

For maximum reimbursement, claims would need to be submitted with these ICD-10 codes as well codes that indicate the diagnosis in greater detail for high cervical region, mid-cervical region, and at C4-C5 level, at C5-C6 level, and at C6-C7 level.

Knowledgeable about industry developments and billing and coding changes, reliable medical billing service providers help chiropractors navigate complex payer rules, maintain compliance and increase revenue.

Meghann Drella

Meghann Drella possesses a profound understanding of ICD-10-CM and CPT requirements and procedures, actively participating in continuing education to stay abreast of any industry changes.

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