Imagine waking up with an acute back pain. Ask yourself what will you do, where will you go?

Some of us will turn to Dr. Google, some will call their Telehealth service, the lucky ones may be able to see their primary care physician on the same day. Not so lucky will go to ER.

Most recently available data suggests 37% visits for musculoskeletal (MSK) issues are made to primary care offices, compared with 31% to surgical specialists and 16.5% to medical specialists.

Essentially – the answer is all over the place. The pandemic is likely to have a big impact as well.

COVID-19 has not only changed where we work, but also how we work. In a recent survey, a significant percent of workers reported increased inactivity, insomnia, and alcohol consumption. People are hunching over their laptops in repurposed bedrooms and kitchen, which is causing a lot of them experience neck, shoulder or back pain. 3 out of 4 people with back pain stated that they have used internet to look for health information for themselves or their loved ones. We all know that online information is highly general and lacks context, creates more doubt and confusion over symptoms. This can lead to inaccurate self-diagnosis, inadequate advice and a prolonged treatment path.

MSK assessment and triage ensures that people with musculoskeletal (MSK) problems are directed to the right treatment in the right place at the right time. It provides clear, consistent and personalized information on prognosis, treatment options and self-management strategies to people with MSK conditions.

Fast access to right treatment options

Delays can be harmful to the member’s wellbeing whilst also adversely affecting the quality of care. Digital MSK assessment and triage reduces the timeline between someone deciding they need help and the time they receive clinical advice. It provides an online approach to finding the right care, and is accessible 24-hours a day; anytime, anywhere.

Digital MSK assessment uses a smart questionnaire which asks member specific questions related to their symptoms in an interactive discovery session. The tool picks up any worrying signs and symptoms more quickly and algorithmically analyze answers to identify the correct path to evidence-based treatments, in-app or in-person.

Because cost of treatment is a significant barrier to care in the US, it is important to combine suggested clinical pathway endpoints with cost-sharing data. This allows members get a side-by-side comparison of cost by providers for each suggested treatment. In some cases, where a self-management approach is appropriate it provides members access to tailored education resources and app-guided exercises, saving time and money.

Standardization of referrals to high-value care

Many muscle and joint problems can be successfully and safely self-managed without the need to see a health professional. The treatment guidelines for members at the initial stage of most musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions advocate that the diagnosis is based on history and physical examination rather than scans. Digital musculoskeletal (MSK) assessment helps in collecting information about patient history, needs and current symptoms to help clinicians perform better diagnosis and triage.

Digital approach to finding a correct path to treatment leads to standardized assessments and more consistent outcomes. When combined with network quality data, the triage helps in consistent treatment referrals to the recommended high-quality providers.

Cost Reduction

Getting members involved in their health results in best improvements in outcomes and cost savings. Members are often confused navigating multiple types of treatments before reaching the right course of action.

Where you start in the episode of care affects your outcome. The sub-optimal first-line treatment can be up to 25 times more expensive than the optimal option.

By guiding them to the right treatment options, digital MSK triage reduces waste on un-necessary, expensive imaging and treatments such as MRI, CT, Injections, surgeries etc.

Sprite health helps employers and health plans get the most out of their musculoskeletal benefits. Our digital musculoskeletal pain program provides a single point of access for all MSK conditions, across the entire MSK continuum. Our virtual physical therapy services provide a more affordable and convenient way to prevent and treat pain. MSK triage ensures that members get help and advice to pick the right treatment at the right time. Chronic pain management provides an evidence-based, PT-led digital program for chronic joint and back pain that includes personalized exercise therapy, behavioral health support, education & guidance. MSK financial management leverages predictive analytics, clinical expertise and plan administration capabilities to eliminate waste – resulting in over 30% net savings in your MSK spend.

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