Skip to main content


Kareo Help Center

Use of Imaging Studies for Low Back Pain

Percentage of patients 18-50 years of age with a diagnosis of low back pain who did not have an imaging study (plain x-ray, MRI, CT scan) within 28 days of the diagnosis


Inverse Measure: A lower calculated performance rate for this measure indicates better clinical care or control.


Denominator: Patients 18-50 years of age with a diagnosis of low back pain during an outpatient or emergency department visit

  • Patient’s age is calculated based on the patient’s Date of Birth, which is entered when you created the patient’s account.
  • The diagnosis of Low Back Pain is entered in the patient’s Problem List.  See Add Problem to Patient’s Chart.
  • Make sure to add a Start Date to the problem.


Denominator Exceptions:

  • If Cancer, IV Drug Abuse, Neurologic Impairment or Trauma is documented in the Problem List, each with a Start Date, these patients will be excluded from the denominator.


Numerator: Patients without an imaging study conducts on the date of the outpatient or emergency department visit or in the 28 days following the outpatient or emergency visit.

  • If Low back imaging study is ordered, resulted and signed under Labs/Studies, these patients will not be included in the numerator.


Office Visit Documentation:

  • Create a Note detailing the patient’s office visit.  See Create a Note.
  • Make sure to include an E&M code under “Procedure Codes” on the Superbill.  See Create a Superbill.
  • Sign the Note.  See Sign Notes.  Once the note is signed, the measure will be added to the Quality Report.