Back to basics to cut employee medical claims
Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions are the most costly disease for multinationals, according to MAXIS Global Benefits Network. A study for the network, which was cofounded by MetLife and AXA, found that, despite COVID-19, MSKs costs higher than those for respiratory system diseases (11.5%), as well as digestive conditions (10.3%). Nearly half (48%) of the total amount paid under the MSK category was for chronic issues, of which 43% was for back (or disc) disorders.
On average, surgeries and procedures for MSK conditions cost $629 per member per year.
The report’s analysis is based on several years of comprehensive medical claims data from 43 local insurers in MAXIS GBN’s network across 27 markets worldwide.
According to MAXIS GBN, which provides a wide range of risk management and captives solutions, better preventative measures and programmes could significantly cut costs for multinationals and lead to better results for patients.
Dr Leena Johns, head of health and wellness at MAXIS GBN, said: “MSK conditions remain a major challenge for businesses of all types, affecting employees’ health and productivity and adding significant cost to medical policies and programmes. With the shift to working from home and poor ergonomic working environments, we may find that MSKs continues to rise in 2022 and beyond. Conservative treatments for MSK conditions – such as physical therapy – could help to give better results for patients and lower costs, but access remains a problem. In 31% of countries, there is less than one practising physical therapist per 10,000 people.
“In the era of COVID-19, where respiratory illnesses have dominated headlines, the fact that MSKs are the biggest cost driver shows the need for an effective and dedicated approach to better care for employees with MSK conditions.”