The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality, recently announced that it is developing a new program to "identify physicians who provide high-quality, patient-centered care for chronic back pain." According to the NCQA, the program is designed to promote evidence-based medicine and allow patients to make decisions about appropriate treatment options concerning back pain.
A 15-member Spine Care Advisory Committee was formed on July 29, 2005, to help guide development of the "Spine Care Recognition Program." John J.
A 1973 graduate of Logan College of Chiropractic, Dr. Triano holds a PhD in spine biomechanics from the University of Michigan. An accomplished researcher and author, he was the first DC on the staff of TBI, and has served as a back-injury consultant for the U.S. Department of Labor, the RAND Corporation, and the AHCPR. Dynamic Chiropractic honored Dr. Triano as its "Person of the Year" for 2002.
The Spine Care Advisory Committee features clinical researchers from various specialties, as well as representatives of prominent national corporations, health plans and disability insurers. Dr. Triano's appointment to this diverse committee bodes well for chiropractic's inclusion in the multidisciplinary solution to back pain.
Margaret E. O'Kane, NCQA president, emphasized the importance of the new program: "In many cases, back pain is treated with unnecessary surgery that still leaves the patient in pain. This program will steer people to doctors who not only know how to diagnose back problems, but who also explain the pros and cons of treatment options, help them manage their condition and get well again."
"Back pain is one of the most common and expensive causes of disability in the U.S.," added Richard Deyo, MD, chair of the advisory committee and professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. "Yet millions of Americans get substandard care for back pain; there's tremendous potential for improving outcomes and controlling costs by helping doctors and patients make more informed choices in this area."
The NCQA mission is generate useful, understandable information about health care quality, in order to inform consumers and provide employer choices. The organization also works to gather and disseminate information and feedback to help practitioners, health plans and other interested parties to identify opportunities and make changes and improvements that enhance quality of patient care.