King of Prussia, PA – MedRisk celebrates 25 years of service to the workers’ compensation community this year. Its combination of clinical expertise, innovation and highly personal service set the stage for a number of industry “firsts.”
MedRisk was the first managed care company to address physical medicine. In the early 1990s, Founder Shelley Boyce recognized that physical therapy was a significant cost driver that was going unnoticed in workers’ compensation. “Because the per-service amount was relatively low, payers did not realize that the cumulative costs were representing 20 to 30 percent of the claim’s medical dollar,” she said.
She developed a way to clinically manage these costs for a class assignment for her Master’s in Business Administration at The Wharton School. Despite her professor’s concern that the business model was not viable, Boyce put her theory into action and established MedRisk in 1994 with three employees and a small regional network. Now with over 800 employees and 260,000 physical medicine providers in a national network, MedRisk serves over 516,000 injured workers each year and is the country’s largest managed care organization dedicated to physical rehabilitation.
MedRisk recruited internationally recognized experts in physical medicine to establish its International Scientific Advisory Board in 1996. ISAB created the industry’s first guidelines for the evidence-based treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and regularly reviews research and updates these guidelines.
MedRisk was also the first to offer a nationally managed telerehabilitation program for injured workers, enabling specially trained physical therapists to work with patients from their homes or workplaces via video conferencing. “Especially valuable for patients in remote areas, telerehab is convenient and reduces travel time and costs,” Boyce said. “Plus, videos help patients remember how to properly perform exercises.”
Patient education plays a strong role with patient advocates setting up initial appointments and educating patients on their injuries and treatment. “Education relieves fear and anxiety, which can delay recovery,” Boyce said. “When patients understand the treatment and the reasons for it, they are more engaged, and the outcomes are much higher.”
Source: MedRisk/King Knight
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