What is it?
Acute care, otherwise known as relief care, is the phase of care in which patients seek chiropractic care to address both pain and discomfort. Often, patients have exhausted all other perceived options and decide to seek chiropractic care as a last resort.
What is the frequency of care?
Typically, the frequency of care is high for individuals in acute care. It is not uncommon to have two or more office visits per week until the condition is properly managed. As the condition is supported, the frequency of care is diminished and treatment goals are modified.
What therapeutic modalities will be used?
In addition to chiropractic manipulative therapy, many modalities are employed during acute care. As pain and inflammation need to be controlled, cryotherapy, electrotherapy, ultrasound, and soft tissue work are often implemented into the treatment plan to increase clinical outcomes.
What are the treatment goals?
Common treatment goals for patients in acute care include pain reduction, inflammation control, and increased active range of motion. The initial concern is the management of pain and inflammation. As these treatment goals improve, long-term goals are assessed to support the patient's condition.
What is the cost of care?
Because of the frequency of care and the types of therapies employed, the cost of acute care is high. As the condition improves, the cost of care becomes much more reasonable, due to a reduction in the frequency of care and the number of therapies administered.
Will insurance cover it?
Generally speaking, insurance is more likely to cover this phase of care than any other phase. While the patient is in an acute phase, Medicare, along with many other providers, is likely to pay for chiropractic manipulative therapy. As the patient progresses in care, the insurance provider is less likely to cover these services. As many insurance providers deem supportive/preventive care as "medically unnecessary," the financial responsibility of preventive care is unfortunately passed on to the patient.