What Was Measured?

What percentage of HMO members, with low back pain, got an evaluation for the condition that met recommended standards for use of high cost x-ray services?

These results are based on HMO patient administrative records.

Why Is It Important?

How patients are treated for back pain signals how well HMOs and their doctors see that patients get care that is proven to work. Millions of people suffer from low back pain. Although low back pain can limit your activities, the symptoms usually get better within a month. Unless you have clear signs of a spinal problem, typically you do not need to have costly tests like an MRI or a CT scan, or even x-rays.

Compare California Scores to National Results

Click here to compare these California health plan scores to the top health plans nationwide.

Testing for Cause of Back Pain 2011 Edition

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

Testing for Cause of Back Pain

We compared HMO members' records in 2009 to a set of national standards for quality of care.
  • (Worse)
  • (Better)
Kaiser Permanente - Northern California 83%
Horizontal bar, 83 units
Horizontal bar, 83 units
Western Health Advantage 82%
Horizontal bar, 82 units
Horizontal bar, 82 units
Kaiser Permanente - Southern California 80%
Horizontal bar, 80 units
Aetna Health of California, Inc. 79%
Horizontal bar, 79 units
Health Net of California, Inc. 79%
Horizontal bar, 79 units
UnitedHealthcare of California (formerly PacifiCare) 78%
Horizontal bar, 78 units
Anthem Blue Cross - HMO 78%
Horizontal bar, 78 units
Blue Shield of California - HMO 78%
Horizontal bar, 78 units
Horizontal bar, 76 units
Score for top health plans nationwide 81%*
*see page 3 for more information