The study was conducted in partnership with Medstat, an IBI member that, in addition to advice and assistance, provided two employer databases and its proprietary tools to create non-occupational episodes of medical treatment, absence and disability and to control for severity. We compared full-costs (direct costs of treatment and both the direct and hidden costs of disability) for medical conditions common at the workplace when physicians provided medical treatment that complied with national treatment guidelines versus results when they didn’t comply.
The results for those with acute low-back pain represent the clearest case where over-treatment under the medical guideline standards from the National Guideline Clearinghouse [www.guideline.gov] creates both excess medical and absence-related costs. On average, cases, where treatment did not comply with guidelines, cost 3.67 times more in full costs than cases where the treatment was compliant. This executive summary provides an overview of the main findings. The full findings can be found in this report.