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Health Services Research & Development

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HERC Health Economics Seminar

Causes and Consequences of Inappropriate MRI of the Lumbar Spine


by Paul Barnett, PhD ; Josephine Jacobs, PhD ; Andrea Nevedal, PhD
Seminar date: 3/18/2020

Description: Abstract: Our research evaluated inappropriate Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the lumbar spine in VA primary care. We found that past practice can identify primary care providers likely to order inappropriately. Inappropriate scans were associated with more back surgery, more prescription opioid use, higher costs of care, and a higher pain score at follow-up. Qualitative interviews with providers identified the provider and environmental factors associated with low concordance with imaging guidelines. Target audience:The presentation is intended for health services researchers, providers and managers interested in the de-implementation of this low-value health service.



DOWNLOAD: PDF handout | Audio only (mp3) | transcript not yet available


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