Foundation Finalizes Study on Chronic Back Pain
Graduates Shamrock Wellness Healthy Balance Program
July 29, 2015. Indianapolis, IN. Research completed by the Foundation for Complex Healthcare Solutions indicates chronic back pain can be successfully treated with alternative methods of care outside of surgical procedures and expensive medications. Shamrock Wellness, Inc. developed the Healthy Balance program and approached the Foundation for Complex Healthcare Solutions to assist in a research study to determine the impact of the program. The study was designed by the Foundation to include cost measure benchmarks and quality of life benchmarks.
Program Approach Studied
Participants chosen to enroll in the study had a chronic back pain diagnosis. They were enrolled in a 16 session program (2 one hour sessions over 8 weeks) that included physician visits, massage therapy, yoga therapy, nutrition education, and meditation coaching. Close communication with a participant’s current providers, family, and any case managers was an important key to the program design as well.
Eric Banter, Co-Founder of Shamrock Wellness, stated, “we had been offering the program to individuals for a while and knew it was a success based on the feedback we received from the participants regarding their quality of life. (Link to video of participant testimonials). We were interested in working with the Foundation to determine what impact we had on the cost of their medical care as well. The data collection from insurance was not something we had access to prior to working with the Foundation. We were excited to see that our program not only impacted lives but also cost.”
Cost Measure Results
Medical and Rx claims were monitored 6 months after the participants in the study graduated from the program. The following results show the improvements in costs identified in the research. Monthly paid Medical and Rx claims across all study participants decreased by $1147 (15%) on an average monthly basis, and monthly filed Medical and Rx claims decreased by $3602 (18%) after graduation from Healthy Balance.
Cost data provided by participant health carriers.
Quality of Life Results
An initial SF-36 survey was completed at the onset of the study for each participant to set the baseline for overall physical and emotional health. The same survey was conducted immediately after graduation from the program. Domains of SF-36 with an asterisk (*) showed statistically significant improvements. Participants had significantly higher scores upon completion of the program in all domains of the SF-36, except the “role limitations of physical health” and “role limitations of emotional health” domains (scores in these 2 domains were higher upon completion of the program, as evidenced above, but the difference was not statistically significant). Overall, participants significantly improved their SF-36 scores overall in the physical and emotional component domains (I & J).
Data was compared to general normative population data (orange). Post-program scores were higher than baseline and closer to general population scores. SF-36 general population data comes from: Ware, J., Kosinski, M., & Keller, S. (1994). SF-36 physical and mental health summary scales: A user’s manual. Boston: The Health Institute, New England Medial Centre.
Based on the results demonstrated in the cost and quality of life benchmark measures, the Shamrock Wellness Healthy Balance program approach proved successful in both measurement criteria. The Foundation for Complex Healthcare Solutions has finalized the study for the program, and Shamrock Wellness continues to enhance the program based on the results identified. This program is now available on the commercial market through Shamrock Wellness for employers and payors to access. Doug Stratton, Founder and CEO of the Foundation concluded, “We work with many programs and know that one on one interventions for complex conditions can be highly successful. As we reviewed the results of the study, we were equally pleased to see how the program mitigated cost for the industry. These savings will continue for Indiana carriers and self-funded groups for many years.” The Foundation continues to support the program and reach out to other Foundations and donors, so we can offer funding for individuals that would benefit from the Healthy Balance program who do not have the resources to enroll.” You can watch a full video explaining the program here.
About the Foundation
The Foundation is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization with the purpose of developing specialty disease management initiatives and cost management programs for individuals with chronic, complex, and complicated conditions. The Foundation works with self-funded employers, provider organizations, research organizations, and payors to manage the care of individuals who can benefit from Foundation programs and to research alternative methods of healthcare approaches. Collaborate with well-respected providers and healthcare networks ensures implementation of the best outcomes and eliminates unnecessary costs to enhance patient outcomes for all of our programs. All programs result in quality study outcomes.