Spine Centers of Excellence

The Priority Health Spine Centers of Excellence (COE) help ensure that all patients with persistent neck and back pain or other spine-related problems receive a timely, comprehensive, non-surgical medical evaluation. This evaluation is required before surgical evaluation for Priority Health patients.

Physiatrist-led multi-disciplinary Spine COE clinics offer patients the best and most appropriate care. Physiatrists are physicians who are trained to diagnose and manage musculoskeletal problems, including spine- or back-related problems.

Through the Spine Centers of Excellence, patients receive:

  • An evaluation within 2 working days
  • In-person acute case reviews within 10 business days
  • Treatment that usually does not require surgery.


Physicians can refer members to a Priority Health Spine COE at any point in the treatment process without prior authorization, including before or after failure of conservative care. Referrals to surgeons, however, do require prior authorization and plan approval.


At times, self funded employer groups choose to opt out of the Spine COE program. Referral to a physiatrist is not required for employees of:

  • RCO Engineering, group #789338, effective 01/01/2015

More details:

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Last modified: 12/5/2014
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