PPO Quality Ratings - Testing for Cause of Back Pain
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Testing for Cause of Back Pain 2014 Edition

Why is it important to test for the cause of back pain?

Low back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work. It can come on suddenly or it can develop slowly. Because there are many different sources of back pain, it is important to understand the cause of your back pain to make sure you get the right care and treatment.

How should doctors test for the cause of back pain?

To test the cause of your back pain, your doctor should examine your back and assess your ability to sit, stand, walk, and lift your legs. This exam helps your doctor understand why you have back pain. Usually you do not need to have tests like an MRI or a CT scan, or other x-rays when you are first diagnosed.

Talk with your doctor and health plan to find out about what other services are available. Many health plans offer additional support and resources for patients with back pain. These additional services may be educational materials (online and in print), therapy, classes or support groups, or phone counseling.

What do the scores mean?

The scores show how well each health plan did at making sure patients with low back pain got an evaluation for the condition that meets recommended standards for the use of x-ray services. The higher score means more patients got the right care at the right time.

The scores are based on information from PPO member administrative records in 2012.

Look for differences of at least 4%. Smaller differences usually are not significant.

Testing for Cause of Back Pain

 
(Worse)
0%
(Better)
100%
 
CIGNA PPO 82% Horizontal bar, 82 units  
Aetna PPO 81% Horizontal bar, 81 units  
Blue Shield of California/Blue Shield Life PPO 81% Horizontal bar, 81 units  
UnitedHealthcare Insurance Co., Inc. 80% Horizontal bar, 80 units  
Anthem Blue Cross PPO 78% Horizontal bar, 78 units  
Health Net PPO 78% Horizontal bar, 78 units  
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  Score for top health plans nationwide 82% Score that ranks a health plan in the top 10% of all plans in the U.S.  
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