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Services for physicians

Salem Health Spine Center offers you an easier way to refer patients with neck, back or spine pain.

Use the Salem Health Spine Center to:

  • Help your patients receive timely treatment.

  • Save your staff time in coordinating additional patient care.

  • Be kept in the loop with progress reports.

  • Have a happier patient by leveraging this valuable service.

For optimum patient referral, we suggest first completing the following:

  • Initial evaluation/exam.

  • Initial medications (e.g., anti-inflammatories).

  • Initial diagnostics and treatment (e.g., MRI, PT).

  • Salem Health Spine Center referral form.

Once you refer your patients, they will receive rapid assessment by a spine specialist and coordination of care.

A Salem Health Spine Center nurse navigator will keep you updated throughout the process.

Make a referral


To make a referral, call the Salem Health Spine Center at 503-814-BACK (2225) or download a physician referral form and fax it, along with records that pertain to the spine problem, to the Salem Health Spine Center at 503-814-5495.

Salem Health Spine Center hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Once the Salem Health Spine Center receives your referral, one of our intake specialists will call your patient to obtain a complete history of their spine problem and collect recent X-rays, MRIs or other pertinent images.

A spine specialist reviews that information and makes a treatment recommendation. If multiple patient referrals are necessary, our nurse navigators will handle those referrals — once we have received your initial referral — and keep you informed of your patient’s progress.

Frequently asked questions


• Does the Salem Health Spine Center only contract with Salem Health medical care providers
?
The Salem Health Spine Center does not have contracts with any specific providers. We use a network of spine specialists for referrals. Each has his/her own practice.

We refer patients to medical care providers who have the required credentials and licenses to treat patients.

• Do you take Medicare and Medicaid patients?
The Salem Health Spine Center’s services are free of charge. However, it is the patient’s responsibility to contact their insurance company and verify coverage for treatments prior to any appointments recommended by our service.

• How long does it take to get an appointment for my patient? What if it is an emergent case?
In most cases, the spine specialist reviews the patient’s information (medical history, films, etc.) within a few days of receiving it. Once the spine specialist provides an impression and treatment plan, the specialist decides if the patient’s symptoms indicate an urgent appointment (one to four days), an expedited appointment (one to two weeks) or the first available appointment.

• How are you able to get my patient an appointment with a specialist or neurosurgeon so quickly?
Our service is set up so our intake specialists and nurse navigators have access to spine specialists who provide an impression and treatment plan shortly after receiving all of your patient’s pertinent medical background.

With less than 20 percent of spine patients requiring surgery, the spine specialist can determine if your patient needs to see a neurosurgeon, or if, for example, physical therapy is the best way to get them on their road to recovery.

Our nurse navigators have access to multiple surgeons and specialists, and their appointment openings.

• What percentage of patients sent to Salem Health Spine Center have spine surgery?
Conversion rates to surgery are typically lower than 20 percent and often as low as 10 percent.

• How do I keep track of my patient’s diagnosis, treatment and progress once I have referred him/her to the Salem Health Spine Center?
Our nurse navigators will send you the spine specialist’s report, including the initial impressions and treatment recommendations.

If your patient will have an appointment with a surgeon, physical therapist or other specialist, we notify you by letter once an appointment date is scheduled.

At this point, the providing practitioner (therapist, interventionalist, etc.) is responsible for keeping you informed of your patient’s progress.

• Does my staff need to order imaging and send it to the Salem Health Spine Center?
Although it is not required to have completed imaging prior to referral, it is very helpful as it will expedite your patient’s care. If you would like a neurosurgeon to review your patient’s record, then a recent MRI of the appropriate spine level must be provided.

Once we have the imaging and medical history from your patient, one of our spine specialists will begin evaluating the patient’s medical history.

If you do not have completed imaging for your patient and Salem Health Spine Center has your referral, we can work with you and your patient to order imaging or track down existing imaging.

• How much will it cost me to use the Salem Health Spine Center? How much will it cost my patient?
There are no out-of-pocket costs to you or your patient to use Salem Health Spine Center services. We are committed to serving our community by helping spine patients get treatment faster.

We do not personally see or treat patients at the Salem Health Spine Center. We facilitate the process so patients are treated faster and get the appropriate treatment as early as possible.