Reduce the Economic Burden of Orthopedic Conditions
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) create widespread human suffering and extreme economic setbacks—especially for self-insured employers (SIEs). The burden from musculoskeletal injuries in and out of the workplace has reached a critical point. MSDs are the number-one spend for many SIEs.
Workplace musculoskeletal injuries are typically attributable to accidents and to cumulative and repetitive motion. These injuries tend to be more severe than the average nonfatal workplace injury or illness. They require an average recovery time of 9 days, 2 days longer than the workplace injury average.
Individuals born between 1946 and 1964 (Baby Boomers) account for an increasing proportion of total treatment costs and lost wages associated with MSDs—a trend expected to continue for the next several decades.
By some accounts, SIEs lose 5.9 hours of productivity per work week for this generation and others suffering with lower back or other musculoskeletal pain.
Help Employees Return to Full Function
Employees with MSDs often:
- endure weeks and months of pain;
- lose physical function, productive capacity, and a sense of purpose; and
- face disheartening financial setbacks.
In turn, their employers experience:
- performance-compromising increases in orthopedic episodes, clinical encounters, and group health costs;
- greater volume, durations, and expenditures around workers’ compensation claims; and
- greater volume, durations, and expenditures around short-term and long-term disability claims.
Efforts to increase workplace safety, route patients to onsite primary care practitioners (PCPs), and assign case managers are good, but not good not enough.
Prevailing preventive, diagnostic, and treatment strategies for MSDs are not reliable in resolving patient setbacks.
Overcome the High Cost of Unreliable Diagnostics
The era of Big Data has led SIEs to an understanding of what’s wrong with MSD-related healthcare and what to do about it:
- Orthopedic medicine has an inexplicable level of diagnostic variability relative to other areas of medicine.
- Orthopedic diagnoses correlate with clinician training and scope-of-practice laws and orthopedic interventions correlate with third-party payment precedents.
- When outcomes are unfavorable, incorrect orthopedic diagnoses (and the inappropriate orthopedic care that those diagnoses drive) are most often the cause.
- Costs in orthopedic medicine are driven by vast diagnostic variability.
- Cost containment efforts must focus on decreasing diagnostic variability and restricting networks to those with good patient outcomes and lower total costs of care (TCOC) (measured longitudinally, to account for condition recurrence).
- Patient-centric strategies (e.g., improving patient diagnoses, referrals, and outcomes) are far superior to deceptive short-term fixes such as narrowing provider networks based on their billing practices or prior year’s complication rates.
Expect MSD-Related Cost Savings of 25%
Integrated Mechanical Care (IMC) offers unsurpassed expertise in improving MSD-related diagnoses, referrals, and outcomes. This accelerates patients’ recovery from MSDs and leads to healthier employees, with greater productive capacity, and a heightened ability to contribute to bottom-line competitiveness. It also reduces MSD costs in group health, workers’ compensation, and disability programs.
IMC guarantees 25% cost reductions over baseline years and consistently outperforms this target.
SIEs reduce their MSD costs and slow MSD cost escalation—gaining COGS and SG&A cost advantages over competitors who fail to gain control over their orthopedic expenses.
And Employees return to work with heightened satisfaction, better able to support corporate performance objectives.
Sources: AHRQ, NCHS, DOL/BLS.