WEA Trust and Kiio have released the results of an updated and expanded claims data analysis evaluating the impact of Kiio’s digital musculoskeletal (MSK) therapeutic on medical utilization and cost of care for low back pain.

Overall, Kiio participants had a 56% lower combined medical and pharmacy spend as compared to the traditional care group, a media release from Kiio suggests.

Compared Claims Data

The large, longitudinal study compared a year’s worth of claims from Kiio participants (N=656) to a control group receiving traditional MSK care for low back pain (N=27,465). The study results demonstrated statistically significant lower utilization and spend in the Kiio group, including lower use of urgent care services, diagnostics, and procedures:

  • 90% lower use of urgent care and emergency
  • 67% lower use of radiology (X-ray, ultrasound, nuclear medicine)
  • 58% lower use of advanced imaging (MRI, CT)
  • 52% fewer surgeries, spinal injections, and radio frequency ablation procedures

Similarly, the claims study found significantly lower utilization of pain medications (as measured by days’ supply) in Kiio participants, including opioids:

  • 87% lower use of opiate agonists
  • 70% lower use benzodiazepines
  • 70% lower use of analgesics & antipyretics
  • 49% lower use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents

Utilization of Antidepressants

The study also evaluated pharmaceutical utilization of antidepressants. Kiio members had 47% lower antidepressant use than WEA Trust members with a low back pain diagnosis who did not participate in Kiio.

“With COVID compounding mental health challenges and causing members to delay appointments, the impact of Kiio’s effective pain management on not only physical but also mental well-being is critical.  

“WEA Trust believes in taking a leadership role to high-value, innovative care delivery models like Kiio that provide members with immediate access, convenience, and supported control over their health outcomes. With Kiio, we’ve been able to help members reduce pain and improve quality of life while lowering costs for both our members and our employer groups.”

— Tim Bartholow, MD, WEA Trust Vice President and Chief Medical Officer

WEA Trust began offering Kiio’s low back pain program in 2018, and now provides Kiio’s full MSK platform to all of its members to help them manage and prevent back, knee, neck, and hip pain, the release continues.

“Kiio’s easily accessible solution is customized to each member’s individual needs. Kiio is a high-impact, low-cost population health strategy that empowers members to take control of their condition; avoid unnecessary, aggressive treatments; and use less pain medication.

“Our members like the flexibility and that they’re in the driver’s seat. They can use Kiio and get support whenever and wherever it’s best for them. Our team likes Kiio’s evidence-based approach and how Kiio integrates clinical practice guidelines with technology to tailor therapeutic exercise, monitor improvement, provide coaching, and report on progress.”

— Lisa Harlow, MS, CES, Director of Member Health Services at WEA Trust

“WEA Trust’s results with Kiio are consistent with what we see across our book of business with our partners. Health plans and employers are at a critical point. Musculoskeletal issues are already in the top three medical cost drivers. Their incidence has increased during COVID with poor ergonomics, stress, and decreased mobility. And 40% of Americans are still putting off medical care.

“The simple math: plans and employers are about to get deluged with MSK claims. Forward-thinking health plans and employers are actively adding a proven digital solution that provides members immediate access to easy, effective, consumer-centric care. That’s a win-win-win.”

— Lydia Zeller, Kiio CEO

[Source(s): Kiio, GlobeNewswire]

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