SAN FRANCISCO, May 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — A new peer-reviewed paper published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine revealed that employer-sponsored primary care that integrates physical medicine into the delivery model improves quality of care, reduces costs, and decreases opioid use. Currently, less than half of employer-sponsored primary care clinics provide integrated physical therapy services. The study illustrated why employers are increasingly moving toward healthcare solutions based on prevention and integrated care.
The paper was co-authored by Daniel J. Lord, DC, physical medicine senior program manager at Crossover Health, and Dena Bravata, MD, MS, senior affiliate of the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research at Stanford University. Crossover Health is the leading provider of comprehensive health services for self-insured employers. The study authors compared healthcare claims and clinical outcomes data of Crossover Health patients with musculoskeletal complaints to the largest national database of outpatient physical medicine outcomes, provided by Focus On Therapeutic Outcomes, Inc. (FOTO). According to the study, risk-adjusted patients who received integrated physical medicine treatment provided by Crossover Health received faster treatment, achieved better outcomes, and relied far less on opioids — all at a lower cost than care provided by traditional healthcare organizations.
Specifically, patient episodes required on average eight fewer provider visits and 52 percent fewer imaging services than patients receiving care in the community. This resulted in an overall cost savings of up to $630 for employers per patient episode — an average 67% reduction. In addition, patients treated by Crossover Health with integrated services such as physical therapy, chiropractic, behavioral health and acupuncture for pain management, used significantly lower levels of opioids. Opioid use for all non-cancer patients in the study treated by Crossover was one-tenth the rate of typical prescription rates for the same treatments in the community.
Musculoskeletal complaints are among the most common reasons for outpatient visits among adults in the US. Employees with these types of conditions are typically subject to over-use of high-cost imaging procedures, orthopedic and neurosurgical specialist visits, and prescription pain medications including opioids.
“Employers are actively looking for innovative healthcare solutions to care for employees with musculoskeletal complaints, which represents the second largest cause of short-term or temporary work disability,” said Dena Bravata, MD, the paper’s co-author. “This study demonstrates that employer-sponsored physical medicine deeply integrated with primary care can be a solution to this critical problem. Crossover Health is unique in its comprehensive and deeply integrated model, which combines primary care, physical medicine, behavioral health, and other services.”
“From the get-go, Crossover Health has integrated physical medicine services into our unique care delivery model, which has allowed us to achieve patient outcomes that no one else can,” said Crossover’s Lord, the paper’s lead author. “We believe that by directly managing comprehensive, preventative, and value-based care themselves, employers really solve the problem of skyrocketing health costs, while simultaneously taking excellent care of their employees. Ultimately, we see this integrated care model becoming the standard for employer sponsored musculoskeletal care across the country.”
The full journal paper manuscript can be found here.
About Crossover Health:
Crossover Health is creating a new model of primary care in partnership with the nation’s leading health activist employers. Crossover’s connected system of health integrates disconnected wellness benefits and digital health with a data-enabled and outcomes-based primary care service for employees near and far. This approach has been proven to lower healthcare costs and improve clinical outcomes while delivering an unrivaled patient experience, demonstrated by industry-leading net promoter, engagement, and patient satisfaction scores. Crossover Health is based in San Clemente, CA.