Orthopedic surgeon Michael Oberlander, MD, presented on the promise of telerehabilitation for patients with orthopedic injuries at Healthcare Information Management Systems Society 2018 in Las Vegas.
Here are five things to know.
1. Dr. Oberlander is the president and CMO of Trainer Rx, a HIPAA-compliant web application that provides solutions for treating musculoskeletal injuries.
2. According to Dr. Oberlander:
- The annual cost of treating orthopedic injuries, including care and lost wages, is $213 billion
- 65.8 million healthcare visits are specific to orthopedic injuries
- The U.S. spends $12.7 billion on physical therapy
"While the majority of patients may benefit from physical therapy, less than 15 percent on average are given prescriptions for PT," Dr. Oberlander claimed in his presentation. "Many ignore their injury until it becomes debilitating or rely on medications to alleviate pain. In some cases, patients would actually prefer to undergo surgery to relieve their suffering."
3. Patients are largely saddled with paying for PT due to reimbursement reductions, and in addition to cost constraints, outside obligations lead patients to complete only 70 to 80 percent of their treatment plan on average. Failing to complete the therapeutic plan increases patient risk for re-injury and substance abuse.
4. The Trainer Rx platform offers patients an annual fee that is typically lower than insurance co-pays, providing them with 24/7 access to the PT platform after a physician has prescribed it. "Physical therapy can be an effective pain management solution, while addressing the underlying pathology," Dr. Oberlander said. "Telerehab holds the promise of improving patient health outcomes while reducing reliance and potential abuse of pain medicines."
5. Trainer Rx will launch new products in April.
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Orthopedic surgeon to know: Dr. S. David Stulberg of Northshore Orthopaedic Institute