Factors that affect surgical rates in iowa

Sheila M. McGuire*, Kirk T. Phillips, James N. Weinstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Study Design. This study analyzed Insurance claims to estimate the probability of medical and sungical treatments In different lawa communities. The likelihood of surgical treatment was associated with patient characteristics of age end gender as well as hospital characteristics of size (number of beds), occupancy rate, and number of staff. Objectivée. Our findings are being used by a study group of 25 physicians to understand the ceuaes of variation in surgical rates for low back pain. Medical education and other interventions are beihg implemented, Summery of Background Data. Hospitalization rentes, forlower back operations in the United States increased by more than 20% from 1978 to 1986. Consequently, several studies in Iowa anc the US have been initiated to examinethe medical effectiveness of these treatments, Methods, A logistic regression model was used to determine the factors associated with the likelihood of having a low back surgery in a population of Blue Cross'Slue Shield (BCBS) subscribers in Iowa. The outcome, or dependent variable, of interest was a hospitalization that resulted in a surgical procedure on a low back pain patient Results. Surgical rates for the treatment of low back pain aielikely to be increased if a BCGS Iowa subscriber is female, older than 44 years of age, or if the surgery is performed in e hospital with either an occupancy rate less than 32%, with fewer than 774staff members, fewer than 267 beds, or noresidency programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2038-2040
Number of pages3
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 1994


  • Back pain
  • Hospital utilization
  • Laminectomy
  • Lowa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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