August/September 2021  Volume 19, Number 4        

More Evidence In Favor of Evidence Based Medicine

A study published in the June issue of PLOS ONE reveals that people with lower back pain injury miss 11 more days of work in a year when they receive lower back pain treatments that don’t include treatment recommended by medical evidence-based guidelines.

Overtreatment and low-value care cost the U.S. healthcare system between $75.7 and $101.2 billion annually. Despite the associated high cost, unnecessary or ineffective care appear to be on the rise. One strategy to promote quality is value-based care, which applies evidence-based medicine (EBM) to help guide treatment decisions. EBM integrates medical research with clinical expertise and patient values to support decision making based on the best available evidence.

In the U.S., state workers’ compensation systems have developed or adopted treatment guidelines to promote evidence-based care for occupational injuries. The most common occupational injury is back strain, and occupational stressors are thought to contribute to low back pain (LBP).

Considerable differences exist between evidence-based recommendations and current clinical practice for the treatment of LBP. An increasing number of studies suggest that following EBM guidelines improves outcomes and/or decreases costs. In one sturdy, medical and total claim costs, which included payments for lost time (i.e., indemnity), decreased by $353 and $586, respectively, per unit of compliance with LBP guidelines in Workers’ Compensation Fund of Utah claims.

For more information on the studies, see “Guideline adherence and lost workdays for acute low back pain in the California workers’ compensation system” at

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In this issue:

This Just In...

Workers Comp Industry Remains Healthy

Employers Face Wrongful Death Claims from Pandemic

5 Exceptions to the Exclusive Remedy Rule

More Evidence In Favor of Evidence Based Medicine



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