The mission of the CDMI is to facilitate collaborations between industrial and academic experts in musculoskeletal disorder prevention, healthcare economics, biomedical sciences, and clinical medicine, in order to reduce the costs of primary and secondary injuries, advance technological developments, and add value in the healthcare system through regulation changes, payor reimbursements, and adoption of improved medical technologies and clinical practices.
Prevention of musculoskeletal disorders continues to be a priority for U.S. business, as these types of incidents account for about 37% of all injury cases. They are expensive as well. Recent estimates of the average direct costs of a work-related sprain/strain injury (including medical and indemnity expenses) was more than $32,000. Low-back pain alone is estimated to total in excess of $100 billion annually, just in the U.S. Surprisingly, the causes of these cumulative trauma injuries are not well understood, given their multi-factorial nature. A more-comprehensive and systematic understanding of their development, as well as the creation of new and improved tools and technologies to evaluate exposures, is needed to not only reduce their prevalence but also decrease their severity and extent of treatments for those injuries that do occur.
Treatment of musculoskeletal injury is critical, as current healthcare debates and policies create an acute conflict between the need for medical cost containment and our nation’s commitment to fostering technological innovations to improve human health. Approximately 40-50% of healthcare expenses can be traced to the adoption of new technologies or the intensified use of old ones. Consequently, the control of technology is arguably the single most important factor for managing healthcare costs. As a result, third-party payors are giving ever-increasing attention to medical devices in their coverage decisions, with a growing focus on authorizing the use of medical technology only on those patient segments where it truly adds value. Unfortunately, without confidence that a new medical technology will be reimbursed, it is increasingly difficult to justify the investment required to bring that technology to market. This creates a significant deterrent to innovation and places America’s leadership position in medical technology in jeopardy. More importantly, these trends negatively impact the opportunities for patients to experience the life-enhancing benefits of technologies that are never developed into products that can be brought to market. Therefore, there is a pressing societal need to create more value from the money spent on medical technology, and thereby manage healthcare costs without sacrificing the benefits of innovation.