Why is Back Pain Killing My Budget?

Treatment of low back pain can be one of the more expensive cost centers for commercial payors or for those who are self-insured. For example, a typical insurer pays $15.40 per member per month for the treatment of low back pain and much of this is not evidenced based. 82% of patients with acute low back pain will be better within eight weeks with treatment consisting of most heat, NSAIDS and activity modification. However, in Arizona, 27% of the total low back pain spend is spent on physical therapy, chiropractic care and imaging alone with limitations on the effectiveness of these interventions and additional funds are spent on Pain Management which seldom resolves the underlying issue. The goal & solution is to have an integrated program with primary care physicians to educate them on evidence-based guidelines and a coordinated case management approach for acute and chronic low back pain patients. For patients whose pain becomes chronic, there are minimally invasive, evidence-based procedures that can be done. By collaborating with Primary care and adopting the guidelines by the American College of Physicians Feb 2014) and you can save self-insured plans a minimum of 20% on an annual basis by being establishing a program that links a more integrated approach to primary care and spine surgery centers.

In this session attendees will learn:

  • Evidenced base guidelines for the treatment of low back pain
  • New novel ultra-minimally invasive procedures which allow patients to have better outcomes
  • Opportunities on alleviating the true cause of the pain that can be done endoscopically and shift the paradigm away from straight spinal fusion

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