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Societal Costs

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Link MSDs to Human Suffering and Economic Hardship

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) create widespread human suffering and extreme economic setbacks. They are more prevalent than cardiovascular conditions, respiratory problems, and cancer—affecting nearly double the population who report any other medical condition. They are a leading cause of pain and reduced quality of life in the U.S., where MSD sufferers consume an estimated $849 billion in direct and indirect resources per year. MSDs are the leading cause of chronic disability in adults, and the most costly and disabling clinical condition worldwide. (USBJD, 2008; AHRQ, 2008)

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) affect muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. They result in more visits to physicians’ offices than any other condition, and they are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. They are also a leading healthcare cost driver.

More than 3 in 5 accidental injuries in the U.S. are to the musculoskeletal system. In 2004, more than 57.2 million such injuries were treated in healthcare settings. These accounted for 60% of all injuries treated that year.

In 2005, MSDs prevented nearly 15 million adults from performing at least one common activity (e.g., self-care, walking, rising from a chair) on a regular basis. This year, 107.7 million adults (about half of those 18 and over) reported suffering from an MSD with a duration of three months or longer. By 2008, 110 million people reported having an MSD.

Orthopedic medical procedures are widely viewed as a preferred strategy in mitigating MSD symptoms and improving patients’ mobility and quality of life.

In 2012, U.S. orthopedists performed an estimated 675,360 initial knee replacements; 427,950 hip replacements, and 347,420 spinal fusions in hospital settings. (NHIS, 2008; USBJD, 2008; AHRQ, 2008)

A staggering 70-90% of these surgical cases could have been avoided—with debilitating pain, eliminated, and function, restored—using Integrated Mechanical Care’s self-care, diagnostic, and therapeutic methods.

Consider the Economic Incentives

Specialty physicians are a widely recognized driver of healthcare cost escalation. Their interventions generally depend on high-cost diagnostics and, in a fee-for-service environment, both they and the diagnostic equipment manufacturers are enriched by high volume.

Integrated Mechanical Care (IMC) researchers note that surgeon density has a stronger correlation than the prevalence of MSDs to the number of advanced diagnostic and surgical procedures performed in a region.

In 2012, more than 27,770 total orthopedic surgeons were on record with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), with a density of 8.72 surgeons per 100,000 lives.

Outpatient Orthopedists earn about $200,000 per year, while Orthopedists who are also Medical Practice Partners earn $480,000. This level of income is sustained by evaluating advanced diagnostic reports and performing surgeries. The more diagnostics and surgeries, the higher the income.

Advanced diagnostic procedures for MSDs (e.g., MRIs, CT scans, EMG/NCV tests) produce a notoriously high number of false positive results, yet the majority of MSD patients view these procedures as gold standard care.

Opt for the Industry’s Most Reliable Assessment Method

Integrated Mechanical Care’s musculoskeletal assessment methods are more reliable than any other diagnostic methods in the orthopedic domain. They enable patient-focused orthopedists to eliminate unnecessary imaging and nerve conduction tests and help these clinicians spot false positive results. With accurate diagnoses and appropriate treatment, patients find more than 70-90% of MSD surgeries, 75% of advanced imaging procedures, 65% of pain injections, and 50% of physical therapy visits are unnecessary.

Sound compelling?

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Sources: USBJD.org, AHRQ, NCHS, AHRQ, DOL/BLS.