Integrated Musculoskeletal Care (IMC)
**Winner of the 2019 Health Value Award for Direct Care Provider – General Primary Care**
Question / Intervention Goal / Objectives
The intervention equips primary care practices to work more effectively with patients suffering muscle/bone/ joint related conditions. By assigning these patients to the appropriate care pathway early in the disease process, the intervention seeks to reduce costs.
The analysis used matched cohorts within a single 5,000-life employer group – one receiving community care and the other receiving care at a Super Clinic. Per patient per year costs including pharmacy, hospital and professional services were compared between the two cohorts. The analysis also addressed the care received in the six months following the musculoskeletal care episode.
Findings / Metric/ Outcome/ Savings
After risk adjustment, the average cost per intervention group patient was 51.48% lower than the community care patients’ average cost (p < .0279). The utilization of MRIs, injections, and surgeries was lower in the intervention group by 49.75%, 39.44%, 78.38% respectively. The community care patients’ relative risk of seeking follow-up care in the six months after the initial episode was 4.49 times higher than the intervention patients. All three of these differences between the two groups were statistically significant.
Quality and outcome data were not provided for the two groups studied. The six-month post-treatment follow-up period is a proxy for quality, but patient pain and functional assessments would be superior.