Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the volume and rate of Medicare Part B claims for chiropractic spinal manipulation longitudinally from 1998 to 2004.
Methods: A descriptive retrospective analysis was performed on Medicare part B claims from 1998 to 2004 using the Medicare Part B Standard Analytical Variable Length File. Using a 5% random sample of Medicare part B claims, the total number of claims were determined for chiropractic spinal manipulation procedures, and the rate of chiropractic spinal manipulation procedures per 1000 beneficiaries.
Results: From 1998 through 2003, the number of chiropractic spinal manipulation claims increased by 38% (from 824 249 total claims in 1998 to 1 133 872 in 2003) followed by a 24% decline from 2003 to 2004. The rate of total chiropractic spinal manipulation claims rose 29% from 649 claims per 1000 beneficiaries per year in 1998 to a high of 839 claims per 1000 beneficiaries per year in 2003 and then declined by 25% to 632 claims per 1000 beneficiaries per year in 2004.
Conclusion: Medicare Part B claims for chiropractic spinal manipulation increased significantly from 1998 to 2003 and then abruptly declined from 2003 to 2004. Estimates for 2004 are at variance with earlier published estimates.
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