Non-invasive physiotherapy and education are the foundation of best practice for musculoskeletal disorders.
WHO IS REMOTE PHYSIOTHERAPY SUITABLE FOR?
Remote physiotherapy can be used on a whole-of-workforce basis for two purposes: 24/7 access to triage of symptoms
- Prevention programs (keeping joints, muscles and bones healthy to prevent injury)
Remote physiotherapy treatment (prescribed after a triage) is estimated to benefit 20-40% of patients requiring treatment. This is based on the following data:
- In a UK public health case study, about 20% of patients are triaged into a remote treatment programme
- In a UK private health insurance case study about 40% were triaged into a remote treatment setting. In this cohort over 94% of insured members opted for digital self-management over face-to-face treatment when given the choice.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF REMOTE PHYSIOTHERAPY PLATFORMS FOR MY ORGANISATION?
Work related claims (employers)
Musculoskeletal disorders account for 31.6 percent of the frequency and 40.8 percent of the cost of all work-related claims. The main work factors causing work-related musculoskeletal conditions were manual handling, working in awkward or tiring positions, and keyboard or repetitive work
53% of people with musculoskeletal conditions say their symptoms have a negative impact on work, while 46% report that they interfere with their ability to concentrate
Musculoskeletal conditions were the second most common reason for working days lost over the last decade in the US. The UK data is similar. In 2020 17.5% of total sickness absence was attributed to musculoskeletal conditions, surpassed only by minor illness such as coughs and colds. In addition, musculoskeletal conditions remain the second most common diagnosis on fit notes and 44% last five or more weeks (38% more time is lost on musculoskeletal conditions than the average injury/illness).
Claim incidence and cost reduction (insurers)
Today, musculoskeletal disorders rank as the top condition by incidence of medical claims globally and the leading cause of disability globally. Medical claims are primarily associated with back pain, disc and soft tissue disorders. Data indicates that between 20 – 40% of musculoskeletal cases can be treated remotely through a self-management pathway. Musculoskeletal platforms can reduce the cost of triage through scalable and remote triage capabilities, reduce the incidence of out-patient claims by triaging medically appropriate cases into more cost-effective self-management pathways and provide data insights into all pathway outcomes to inform your claims management strategy. Our partner can also offer a full TPA service, removing all musculoskeletal risk by handling triage, self-management and face-to-face treatment through their own network for a fixed annual fee.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF REMOTE PHYSIOTHERAPY PLATFORMS FOR EMPLOYEES AND INSURED MEMBERS?
Physiotherapy and education are the foundation of best-practice care for musculoskeletal conditions, but there are three inherent challenges in traditional care pathways that are overcome with remote solutions.
The effectiveness of physiotherapy is reliant on programme adherence. Yet, adherence rates in traditional PT are strikingly low (49% of patients with lower back pain give up after four sessions).
Lack of adherence is due to the lack of convenience of many musculoskeletal treatments, with 26.3% of pain sufferers reporting that they haven’t had treatment because they haven’t had the time.
Most people wait until pain is affecting their daily lives (for example, of those who have not treated their pain, 58% claim that they don’t think the pain is bad enough). However musculoskeletal conditions are best treated early because the longer we experience pain, dysfunction, and range of motion limitations, the more our nervous system, movement patterns, and behaviours will adapt, but these adaptations manifest additional issues
WHAT EVIDENCE IS THERE THAT EMPLOYEES AND INSURED MEMBERS WILL USE REMOTE MUSCULOSKELETAL SERVICES?
74.3% of all pain sufferers would consider a virtual physical therapy solution.
In fact, in a UK health insurance case study, over 94% of members given the option to undertake a self-guided digital triage or pre-booked telephone triage, selected digital.
IMPORTANT: When assessing providers, it’s important to note that 68% want care from a licensed physiotherapist, not a non-clinical health coach (GEB’s partners utilise licensed physiotherapists)
HOW DO REMOTE MUSCULOSKELETAL SOLUTIONS WORK?
24/7 access to clinical triage means your employees can navigate to appropriate and available care pathways quickly to prevent, reduce and overcome symptoms more effectively than is possible if they have been left to get worse.
Where medically appropriate, members will be directed through a remote treatment plan overseen by a licensed physiotherapist. With two–way communication, tools to improve patient technique and pain-reporting scales, these platforms enhance patient monitoring and therefore adherence and outcomes.
Integration with in-person pathways
Remote musculoskeletal solutions do not operate independently from in-person care. The triage and ongoing patient monitoring allows the clinicians to identify members more suited to in-person care and direct them to the preferred clinical providers.
The data collected in remote and integrated musculoskeletal solutions is significantly greater than traditional pathways. This data can be used by employers to adapt their controls for musculoskeletal hazards, tailor their health promotion activity and enhance their work design and employee wellbeing strategies. This data can be used by insurers to inform your claims pathways for musculoskeletal conditions.
WHAT OUTCOME DATA IS AVAILABLE?
Our partner for digital musculoskeletal services, EQL, serve over twelve million members in public and private health markets, with the following results:
- They speed up diagnosis and access to treatment by up to 10 days
- Members using the service rate it highly with >93% completion rates and 80+ NPS scores
- Their remote self-management platform reduces pain by 81%
- 94% of users opted for digital self-management over face-to-face treatment when given both options.
WHAT SOLUTIONS ARE AVAILABLE AT GEBs PREFERENTIAL RATES?
Visit our partner page to find out about our digital musculoskeletal partner, available from GEB at preferential rates.