Survey Report 2021
Creating a Frictionless Healthcare Experience: What Members Want in Musculoskeletal Care
What members want in musculoskeletal care
In total, 87% of those surveyed have suffered from musculoskeletal conditions at some point in their lives, with the most common being back pain (64%). Over half of these individuals said their pain was moderate to severe and it impacted their daily life (work or play, or both). What’s more, 2 in 3 shared they have been suffering with this pain for over a year.
Over half said they have seen two or more providers for their MSK condition. Miscommunication between the provider and patient was a major complaint in the survey.
- Survey Report 2021: What members want in musculoskeletal care
Higher cost, worse outcomes
Surgery and injections are often the go-to solution
One-third of survey respondents were told to get invasive interventions, including surgery or injections, by their physicians. In fact, 40% of these members with moderate or severe pain had 1 or more surgeries for their MSK pain.
High co-pays also delay therapy, leading to worse outcomes. For those referred to physical therapy (PT), over half took more than two weeks to actually see a physical therapist. Based on the survey, 75% of patients had co-pays associated with PT, and almost half delayed getting PT treatment because of these expensive out-of-pocket costs.
This is bad news for members, employers, and health plans. In fact, multiple studies have shown that a delay in PT of over two weeks has been associated with worse outcomes.
Getting early PT leads to decreased physician follow-up visits, advanced imaging, spinal injections, spine surgery, emergency department visits, prescription medication use, and opioid use. In addition to reducing costs, early PT improves patient outcomes.