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travel is one of the biggest barriers to accessing medical care

Interventional Orthopedic Insights

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From the Desk of Regenexx CEO Jason Hellickson

Uber, Lyft and Self-Funded Employers Are Redefining Access to Quality Medical Care

Why are Uber and Lyft getting into healthcare transportation? It turns out that travel, even locally, is one of the biggest barriers to accessing medical care. It is estimated that up to $150B is lost annually due to missed or canceled appointments¹. It’s been long understood that social detriments affect health outcomes, but what of these lessons can be applied to a self-funded health plan?

If it’s worth covering travel to get someone to show up for a local preventative benefit, it is worth ensuring patients get the best services possible when it comes to major surgery. Even fully funded health plans like Aetna are now covering travel costs for valve replacement at the Cleveland Clinic and other specialties. Large employers like Walmart and Boeing have built travel coverage into their plans for high-cost orthopedic care like spine surgery and joint replacement to ease access to Centers of Excellence (COE).

Orthopedic medical events are episodic, occurring in approximately 3% of plan members within a calendar year². Many employers are willing to assist in all or some of the travel expenses for a plan member to help eliminate distance as a barrier to seeking a Regenexx treatment. Since Regenexx consultations can be conducted via telemedicine, this essentially means travel is only covered when we know treatment is necessary and the patient is a candidate.

Regenexx Corporate has established a Medical Travel Program that is available to our partners and provides confidential, turn-key travel planning services when the nearest Regenexx clinic is too far away (usually 60+ or 90+ miles depending on the location and population). Employers select the per diem rate and when a qualifying patient needs to travel for a Regenexx procedure, travel arrangements are made that include a prepaid debit card to cover expenses. This program also supports arrangements needed for a travel companion. With our nationwide pricing, location is no longer a barrier to choosing a Regenexx procedure as an option in care. When an employer utilizes our travel program, it gives their employees easier access to our value-based procedures while offering peace-of-mind when making their decision in care.

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Concierge Travel Offers Employees Convenience and
Peace-of-Mind

Regenexx partners, such as Dean Foods, have established medical travel guidelines to assist in all or some travel expenses for a plan member to help reduce distance as a barrier to seeking a Regenexx treatment. Dean Foods added this expanded travel benefit mid-year 2019, and has already received accolades about its impact.

“The closest Regenexx clinic was over 3 hours away to drive. I would have never considered this without travel included.”

“Removing the cost of travel in addition to the other costs related to Regenexx made it easy for me to decide to cancel my surgery. I’m so glad my wife was able to travel with me at no additional expense.”

Offering this kind of medical concierge program as part of the Interventional Orthopedics care platform is another piece to the standardized care model only found through partnering with Regenexx. The cost of a Regenexx procedure, even combined with travel expenses for a patient and companion, is still significantly less than the costs for a potentially unnecessary and risky orthopedic surgery.

The average cost for a Regenexx Corporate procedure in 2019 has been just under $5,400 while orthopedic surgeries, like total knee replacements, cost on average $31,124 and have a 267% variation in cost depending on the hospital, according to a Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Study.

An employer does not have to be the size of Walmart or Boeing to build thoughtful travel coverage into their healthcare plan that allows employees to utilize Regenexx procedures as a part of their care continuum. To learn more about how we assist our partners with medical concierge, or for more information on the Regenexx procedures, call 877-341-5968 or visit Regenexxcorporate.com.

Live Informed,

Jason Hellickson
Chief Executive Officer, Regenexx
1-319-899-4332
jhellickson@regenexx.com

Your Trusted Resource to Reduce Orthopedic Costs and Achieve Better Patient Outcomes

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