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The MedRisk Blog

Statistic Spotlight: Reducing Costs for New LBP Cases

A recent BMC Health Services Research piece found that early referral to guideline-adherent physical therapy “was associated with significantly lower utilization for all outcomes, and 60% lower total … costs” among 753,450 military patients suffering lower back pain.

60percentThe study, “Implications of early and guideline adherent physical therapy for low back pain on utilization and costs,” authored by John D. Childs et al, concluded that “the potential for cost savings … from early guideline adherent physical therapy may be substantial.” It also extends findings from civilian studies by demonstrating “an association between early guideline adherent care and utilization and costs in a single payer health system.”

These findings are especially important given Bureau of Labor Statistics data that cites some 400,000 occupational injuries to the back in 2013, with a median loss of seven days of work for both government and private employees.

MedRisk, nationwide provider of managed physical medicine for the workers’ comp industry, employs a proprietary set of evidence-based clinical guidelines developed by our research and academic subsidiary, Expert Clinical Benchmarks.