Providence to adopt new assessment tool for hip, knee patients; training set for October

Beginning in November, Providence Health Plan will begin using a process to assess functional status and outcomes for patients undergoing total knee and total hip replacements. The Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index, or WOMAC, is a physician-validated tool that uses a proprietary set of questions to evaluate patients who have impaired functioning of the joints – namely the knee and hip.

Providence is implementing this assessment – which will be part of the prior authorization process for total joint replacements – to help orthopedic surgeons receive valuable feedback and improve care. Patients will complete pre- and post-surgical assessments, and Providence will use these survey results to track outcomes and improvements in patients’ day-to-day living following surgery. As well, physicians can compare their own results against those in a national database.

Physician training for the WOMAC assessment tool will take place in October. For additional information, contact Eileen James at