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How To Overcome Social Determinants of Health in Musculoskeletal Care

The Institute of Medicine, in the 2001 landmark report Crossing the Quality Chasm, outlined six key aims for healthcare to focus on in the twenty-first century: a prime healthcare experience that is safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable. Although many of these goals have been at least partly achieved, one is lagging – health equity.

Healthcare is no more equitable now than it was twenty years ago. The divide between rural and urban communities continues to show itself in average life expectancy. Research shows that 33 states have seen at least one rural hospital close in the last 10 years, and it’s estimated that just over 30 million Americans live more than an hour away from trauma care. In urban communities, like Milwaukee, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, physical disability, disease prevalence, and mortality rates are significantly higher in zip codes with lower median household incomes.

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Are more health benefits better?

How employers can help ensure they are getting the value from their investment and employees are getting the value to their health

A lot more is asked of employers, particularly in terms of the workplace benefits they offer, including health care. As companies continue to recover from the variability in health care spending brought on by COVID-19, high-performing employers must look toward tomorrow as they execute on providing the best health care benefits to keep their workforces healthy, happy, and productive.

At one time, the primary health benefit that employers provided their workers was a health plan. Today’s health benefits landscape looks much different, with a myriad of plan options and point solutions offered to employees. This trend has only accelerated since the pandemic started. Employers must increase the perceived value of these new benefits by raising awareness and utilization and helping employees navigate their benefits. But how can employers do all this and administer these new benefits?

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Long COVID will be a top 10 medical cost driver within the next 3 years

What is Long COVID?

Long COVID is the persistent presentation of symptoms 4 weeks after a COVID-19 infection. There are over 150 different symptoms of Long COVID, but common symptoms include brain fog, fatigue, loss of smell, difficulty breathing, joint pain, digestive issues.

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Unstoppable Healthcare Cost Pac-Man Gobbling Up Valuable Resources

Unstoppable healthcare costs are eating up resources that companies and governments could better use to advance other important priorities. Healthcare rate increases will jump around 5% in 2021, according to a recent SHRM article. Not only does this hamper employers’ abilities to focus on their missions, but it also impacts HR departments’ ability to attract and retain employees by their attractive compensation and wellness offerings.

The go-to strategy of moving employees to high-deductible health plans has inadvertently created adverse financial and health consequences. The Mass Health Policy Commission reports that 46% of the state’s adults skipped needed healthcare in 2019 due to unaffordable out-of-pocket costs. The numbers were especially alarming for low-income and people of color, but even high-income people were not immune. A new study from Gallup and West Health showed similar results.

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