"Smooth Implementation, 3.4x ROI, and 100% Positive Feedback"
How Douglas County, CO drives down MSK pain and costs with Hinge Health
Like many other employers, musculoskeletal (MSK) pain has been a costly problem for us. We decided to offer Hinge Health to our members as a way to proactively address MSK conditions in a drug-free way that promotes total well-being. We have been very pleased with the results to date.
Douglas County, Colorado
Douglas County is located south of Denver, Colorado and is a mix of dense residential and rural areas.
Our 1,300-person workforce is 57% male and employees work in a wide range of positions. The Sheriff’s Department and road and bridge maintenance team, for example, engage in highly physical work. In contrast, the office work done by clerks and recorders, human services, and administrative staff tends to be more sedentary. Some of these individuals have a hybrid work model.
Douglas County’s MSK challenges
Douglas County’s benefits philosophy is to focus on total wellness, which includes physical, mental, social, and financial health. Our goal is to focus on early intervention to keep people healthy and moving in all areas. With this approach, the hope is that members can avoid surgeries if possible.
Our insurance broker identified that in 2019 and 2020, musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions were the top cost driver for the county’s healthcare claims. In response, our benefits team decided to examine different alternatives. One of the broker’s other clients had used Hinge Health successfully, so we evaluated the solution and decided to move forward.
Hinge Health: A smooth path to positive member feedback and lower MSK costs
The Hinge Health implementation went very smoothly. One of the biggest challenges for our benefits team is internal marketing, since no budget exists to fund that role within the department. Hinge Health has done a fantastic job helping us get targeted communications out to employees. I never have to rewrite anything to make it clearer before sending it out.
The results we saw in 2021 speak for themselves:
Program engagement. Over the 12-week Hinge Health program, participants on average participated in 41 exercise therapy sessions (about 3.4 weekly sessions) and 71 care team interactions (about 5.9 weekly interactions).
Pain. Over the 12-week Hinge Health program, each of our participants reported around a 48% reduction in pain.
Surgery intent. Among participants, there’s been a 42% decrease in surgery intent.
Cost savings. After implementing Hinge Health, we’ve experienced a 3.4x return on investment.
We’ve had nothing but positive member feedback about Hinge Health. One member recently told me:
“For the first time in over 20 years, not with ease, but I was able to stand up straight and bend down slowly to touch my toes! Never thought that would ever happen again!”
Hinge Health’s coaching, training, and goals make members and employees feel well cared for.
Overall, the cost of MSK has decreased in Douglas County—it is now the third highest claims category. But more importantly, our employees have found a natural and physical way to improve their total wellbeing without turning to drugs or surgery for MSK pain.