In this case study, we’ll showcase how Artemis Health client Danaher Corporation is tackling musculoskeletal health:
Danaher is a diversified conglomerate with product focuses in environmental and applied solutions, dental, life sciences, and diagnostics. They’re ranked 162nd on the Fortune 500 list with over 21,000 employees in the United States. Their dedication to continuous improvement applies not only to their business, but also to their benefits strategy.
Musculoskeletal health is a hot topic for many benefits teams, not just because of the cost of care, but also due to concerns around quality of life and productivity. In this case study, we’ll showcase how Danaher Corporation formed a task force and organized a vendor Health Summit to measure, intervene, and improve employee musculoskeletal health.
Danaher wanted to better understand their musculoskeletal-related healthcare costs. They knew costs were rising, and that these conditions are often associated with other comorbid conditions that affect the health and happiness of employees. They also wanted to explore the indirect effects of musculoskeletal conditions so they could take action.
Artemis Health teamed up with Danaher’s benefits leaders and their benefits consulting group to help. First, we conducted an in-depth analysis to gather insight into musculoskeletal demographics, conditions, and trends. Here’s what we found:
The analysis revealed that both the number of members with claims, which includes employees and their spouses and dependents, and the cost of these conditions is rising. Additionally, we gained an understanding of top conditions and how they’re being treated:
Over 50% of members with musculoskeletal disorders are not receiving physical therapy, occupational therapy, or chiropractic treatment. However, nearly 25% of those with musculoskeletal conditions are taking some form of opioids.
The average cost for an orthopedic surgery episode is $40,000, and spinal fusion surgery can cost upwards of $175,000. By intervening early for those with musculoskeletal conditions, the goal is to lessen the need for costly surgery later in life.
Next, Danaher’s benefits leaders wanted to gather anecdotal data on the work environments and requirements of associates. To do this they go to “gemba”, which means “the place where the actual work is done.” They partnered with the employee health and safety team at one of their operating companies to gather feedback on the day-to-day work and conditions experienced by associates.
While data is key, it only presents one side of the story. Going to “gemba” helped Danaher learn from employees and focus on what matters to them.
Danaher, their consulting partners, and Artemis used this data to plan and organize a “Health Summit,” which included a large group of Danaher’s benefits vendors:
The format of the Health Summit included two days of brainstorming sessions, group exercises, setting priorities, and sharing expertise. The end goal was to develop pilot innovations that mitigate the future costs of musculoskeletal conditions.
Several key learnings emerged during the Health Summit due to close collaboration among Danaher’s benefits partners:
The experts at the Health Summit also offered plans for some innovative interventions:
Danaher will implement a number of these solutions aimed at musculoskeletal health over the coming months and measure their impact with the help of Artemis and their consultant.