I recently had a patient come in for a consultation regarding a lower back disc injury. He had already seen his medical doctor and one of the local "Spinal Decompression Specialists" you hear about. His care was going to cost him more than $8,000.00 ----CASH!
There is no insurance coverage for this particular form of spinal decompression, so he has to pay the full amount up front. When he discontinued treatment due to worsening pain. Even though the treatment didn't help, he only received a portion of his money back.
Why do some doctor's charge so much for Spinal Decompression?
That is a question that I am asked almost daily. Here is what I have been able to deduce:
- The doctor purchased an overpriced spinal decompression table.
The technology behind Decompression Tables such as the DRX-9000, VAX-D, Antalgic-Trac has been around since 1989, yet these tables can range from $80,000 to $125,000. Effective decompression tables can be purchased today for 1/10 of that price.
-The doctor does extensive radio, TV and print advertising.
While researching a marketing class I was teaching at D'Youville College, the Buffalo News informed me that a 1/2 page color advertisement would cost $20,000.00 per issue! A large per patient charge is the only way to get a return on this type of costly advertising investment.
-Because they can get away with it.
Let's face the truth, some doctor's think that there services are worth the cost because it saves you from surgery (sometimes) and surgery is expensive! However, most people have insurance that covers surgery and they do not need to take out a loan to pay for it. Also, some doctor's will scare and pressure their patients. "I may have ended up in a wheelchair....." is only an opinion and may not have any basis in fact. Evidence based research shows that most patients get better with chiropractic treatment and enough time to heal - even patients with herniated or slipped discs.
An alternative to expensive spinal decompression treatment:
Dr. James Cox developed flexion - distraction spinal decompression therapy in early 1960's and to date it has a tremendous amount of scientific evidence to back up it's effectiveness in reducing pain, herniations and time of disability. Dr. Gefaller has studied with Dr. Cox and he has used this technique effectively for over 30 years.
Flexion - distraction spinal decompression is covered by all insurance companies that cover chiropractic treatment - so you are only responsible for any co-pay or deductible. You do not pay up front for a series of treatments. You pay your co-pay as you go and can stop anytime you want.
We carefully screen our patients to decide who would benefit from our treatment and who needs to be referred for medical consultation or medical co-management (the chiropractor and the MD or PT work together to get you healthy).
Flexion - distraction cannot help everyone with a disc injury. No treatment - medical, physical therapy or chiropractic - can help everyone. Flexion - Distraction has shown in studies to be just as effective as machines like the DRX-9000 for a fraction of the cost.