Volume 50 | Number 6 | December 2015

Abstract List

Julie M. Fritz P.T., Ph.D., FAPTA, Gerard P. Brennan P.T., Ph.D., Stephen J. Hunter D.P.T.


Compare health care utilization and charges for low‐back‐pain () patients receiving advanced imaging or physical therapy as a first management strategy following a new primary care consultation.

Data Source

Electronic medical record () and insurance claims data.

Study Design

Retrospective analysis of propensity‐matched groups.

Data Collection/Extraction

Claims and data were used. Utilization and ‐related charges over a 1‐year period were extracted from claims data.

Principal Findings

In the propensity‐matched sample ( = 406), advanced imaging recipients had higher odds of all utilization outcomes. Charges were higher with advanced imaging by an average $4,793 (95 percent : $3,676, $5,910).


For patients with whom newly consulted primary care referred for additional management, advanced imaging as a first management was associated with higher health care utilization and charges than physical therapy.