What Types of Treatment Are Provided for Patients With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? A Retrospective Analysis of Commercial Insurance

Nancy A. Baker, Joel M. Stevans, Lauren Terhorst, Allen M. Haas, Yong Fang Kuo, Soham Al Snih al snih

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background: Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in commercially insured patients across the spectrum of provider types rarely has been described. Objective: To describe patterns of types of treatment for patients with CTS using a large commercial insurance database. Design: Retrospective cohort descriptive study. Setting: Administrative health data from the Clinformatics Data Mart (OptumInsight, Eden Prairie, MN). Patients: Adults with a primary diagnosis of CTS seen from between January 2010 to December 2012 who had a total of 48 months of continuous data (12 months before diagnosis and 36 months after diagnosis) (n = 24,931). Outcomes: Frequency of types of treatment (heat, manual therapy, positioning, steroids, stretching, surgery) by number of treatments, number of visits, provider type, and characteristics. Results: Fifty-four percent of patients received no reported treatment, and 50.4% had no additional visits. Surgery (42.5%) and positioning (39.8%) were the most frequent single treatments. Patients who were seen by orthopedist for their first visit more frequently received some treatment (75.1%) and at least 1 additional visit (74.1%) compared with those seen by general practitioners (59.5%, 57.5%, respectively) or other providers (65.4%, 68.4, respectively). Orthopedists more frequently prescribed positioning devices (26.8%) and surgery (36.8%) than general practitioners (18.8%, 14.1%, respectively) or other providers (15.7%, 19.7%, respectively). Older adults more frequently had CTS surgery, as did people who lived in the Midwest. Overall, only 24% of patients with CTS had surgery. Conclusions: For more than one-half of patients with CTS no treatment was provided after an initial visit. Surgery rates were much lower than what has previously been reported in the literature. Generally, patients with CTS receive treatments that are supported by current treatment guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPM and R
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Insurance
Therapeutics
General Practitioners
Musculoskeletal Manipulations
Cohort Studies
Hot Temperature
Steroids
Databases
Guidelines
Equipment and Supplies
Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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What Types of Treatment Are Provided for Patients With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? A Retrospective Analysis of Commercial Insurance. / Baker, Nancy A.; Stevans, Joel M.; Terhorst, Lauren; Haas, Allen M.; Kuo, Yong Fang; Al Snih al snih, Soham.

In: PM and R, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Background: Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in commercially insured patients across the spectrum of provider types rarely has been described. Objective: To describe patterns of types of treatment for patients with CTS using a large commercial insurance database. Design: Retrospective cohort descriptive study. Setting: Administrative health data from the Clinformatics Data Mart (OptumInsight, Eden Prairie, MN). Patients: Adults with a primary diagnosis of CTS seen from between January 2010 to December 2012 who had a total of 48 months of continuous data (12 months before diagnosis and 36 months after diagnosis) (n = 24,931). Outcomes: Frequency of types of treatment (heat, manual therapy, positioning, steroids, stretching, surgery) by number of treatments, number of visits, provider type, and characteristics. Results: Fifty-four percent of patients received no reported treatment, and 50.4{\%} had no additional visits. Surgery (42.5{\%}) and positioning (39.8{\%}) were the most frequent single treatments. Patients who were seen by orthopedist for their first visit more frequently received some treatment (75.1{\%}) and at least 1 additional visit (74.1{\%}) compared with those seen by general practitioners (59.5{\%}, 57.5{\%}, respectively) or other providers (65.4{\%}, 68.4, respectively). Orthopedists more frequently prescribed positioning devices (26.8{\%}) and surgery (36.8{\%}) than general practitioners (18.8{\%}, 14.1{\%}, respectively) or other providers (15.7{\%}, 19.7{\%}, respectively). Older adults more frequently had CTS surgery, as did people who lived in the Midwest. Overall, only 24{\%} of patients with CTS had surgery. Conclusions: For more than one-half of patients with CTS no treatment was provided after an initial visit. Surgery rates were much lower than what has previously been reported in the literature. Generally, patients with CTS receive treatments that are supported by current treatment guidelines.",
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AU - Kuo, Yong Fang

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AB - Background: Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in commercially insured patients across the spectrum of provider types rarely has been described. Objective: To describe patterns of types of treatment for patients with CTS using a large commercial insurance database. Design: Retrospective cohort descriptive study. Setting: Administrative health data from the Clinformatics Data Mart (OptumInsight, Eden Prairie, MN). Patients: Adults with a primary diagnosis of CTS seen from between January 2010 to December 2012 who had a total of 48 months of continuous data (12 months before diagnosis and 36 months after diagnosis) (n = 24,931). Outcomes: Frequency of types of treatment (heat, manual therapy, positioning, steroids, stretching, surgery) by number of treatments, number of visits, provider type, and characteristics. Results: Fifty-four percent of patients received no reported treatment, and 50.4% had no additional visits. Surgery (42.5%) and positioning (39.8%) were the most frequent single treatments. Patients who were seen by orthopedist for their first visit more frequently received some treatment (75.1%) and at least 1 additional visit (74.1%) compared with those seen by general practitioners (59.5%, 57.5%, respectively) or other providers (65.4%, 68.4, respectively). Orthopedists more frequently prescribed positioning devices (26.8%) and surgery (36.8%) than general practitioners (18.8%, 14.1%, respectively) or other providers (15.7%, 19.7%, respectively). Older adults more frequently had CTS surgery, as did people who lived in the Midwest. Overall, only 24% of patients with CTS had surgery. Conclusions: For more than one-half of patients with CTS no treatment was provided after an initial visit. Surgery rates were much lower than what has previously been reported in the literature. Generally, patients with CTS receive treatments that are supported by current treatment guidelines.

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