Low Back Pain and Spine SCOAP

Read the Low Back Pain Report and Recommendations
(Adopted November 2013)

Read the Revised Spine SCOAP Recommendation
(Adopted March 2013)

Low back pain is a major concern for many Washington State residents and their employers. We prioritized spine/low back pain in September 2011 through a two-step approach:

  • Forming a workgroup to develop recommendations for preventing the transition of acute pain to chronic pain and disability.
  • Recommending that all hospitals participate in the Spine Surgical Care and Outcomes Assessment Program (SCOAP) to improve surgical outcomes for chronic low back pain patients. SCOAP is a provider-led program of the Foundation for Health Care Quality that collects data on select surgical procedures for quality improvement.

The workgroup met from November 2012 to October 2013 to develop recommendations including increasing:

  • Appropriate evaluation and management of patients with newly diagnosed and persistent acute low back pain and/or nonspecific low back pain not associated with major trauma in primary care.
  • Early identification and management of patients diagnosed with low back pain that is not associated with major trauma but have psychosocial factors (e.g., anxiety) that place them at a high risk for developing chronic low back pain and disability.
  • Awareness of low back pain management among individual patients and the general public.

Supporting Materials:

Letter from Health Care Authority Accepting TKR/THR Bundle, Warranty, and Spine Report
Public Comments Summary: Spine/Low Back Pain Report and Recommendations
Original Spine SCOAP Recommendation to HCA (Adopted January 2013)
Workgroup Charter

Letter from Health Care Authority Accepting Spine SCOAP and Cardiology Recommendations

Workgroup Members

Member Title Organization
Dan Brzusek, DO Physiatrist Northwest Rehab Association
Neil Chasan Physical Therapist Sport Reaction Center
Andrew Friedman, MD Physiatrist Virginia Mason
Leah Hole-Curry, JD Medical Administrator WA State Labor & Industries
Heather Kroll, MD Rehab Physician Rehab Institute of Washington
Chong Lee, MD Spine Surgeon Group Health Cooperative
Mary Kay O’Neill, MD, MBA (Chair) Executive Medical Director Regence Blue Shield
John Robinson, MD, SM Chief Medical Officer First Choice Health
Michael Von Korff, ScD Psychologist & Researcher Group Health Research Institute
Kelly Weaver, MD Physiatrist The Everett Clinic