Health care providers who can help the system to save money while maintaining high quality care for patients are rewarded.

Health care providers can contribute to savings in at least four different ways:

  • Providing therapies that are less expensive than similar treatments provided by other professionals or in differentsettings
  • Eliminating duplicate, repetitive, or unnecessary treatments or visits
  • Providing treatments that ease the overall burden of care
  • Helping patients avoid expensive complications or other adverse health events

Massage therapy can potentially contribute in all four of these areas. The use of massage therapy for easing chronic symptomsor preventing ergonomic injury can prevent unnecessary medical treatments and relieve the overall burden of care. The role of massage therapy in lowering blood pressure, easing stress, and reducing anxiety and depression can help patients avoid adverse health events.

 The evidence base that demonstrates the medical effectiveness of massage therapy also suggests a role for massage therapy in reducing the overall cost of care. Studies of the cost-effectiveness of access to complementary and integrative therapies have noted the economic favorability of those therapies compared to standard medical care, particularly to those who have high deductible plans.

Studies have also shown that those therapies have an increasing value to patients with complex health needs.The potential of integrative therapies such as massage therapy to provide cost savings is greater for patients who have larger “disease burdens”, and who therefore spend more on health care than the average patient. A 2010 analysis showed that a patient with major medical issues requiring multiple visits will generally pay less overall when they utilize complementary modalities.