Musculoskeletal disorders are putting a strain on healthcare spending and on employers, who rank MSK issues as one of the top cost-driving health conditions.
In response to strong employer demand to control and contain growing MSK spend, Hinge Health is pairing its digital MSK clinic with Carrum Health's MSK surgery bundles. The two companies will provide a fully integrated, end-to-end digital musculoskeletal solution that offers employers an affordable and complete clinical care model, the companies said.
Clients purchasing both Hinge Health and Carrum Health will gain access to MSK surgery bundles, free of administrative costs, which are covered by Hinge Health through December 2022. Additionally, clients will have preferred pricing on Carrum's other bundles across cardiovascular, bariatrics, and cancer.
Carrum Health is a digital marketplace that links employer-sponsored insurance plans with surgical centers of excellence. The company developed a service that enables employers to purchase healthcare services directly from top providers for a bundled price.
"Hinge Health is already proven to avoid two in three musculoskeletal surgeries for members going through our program. We understand, however, that for some members surgery is the right option. By integrating Carrum's MSK surgery bundle into our product, we will provide not only a seamless member experience but also fantastic cost savings for employers," said Daniel Perez, CEO and co-founder of Hinge Health in a statement.
The partnership delivers an end-to-end MSK member experience with access to digital physical therapy, health coaching for behavioral change, long-lasting pain management technology, pre- and post-operative care, concierge provider navigation, and low-cost, high-quality surgery. An integrated member experience is delivered by a unified clinical care team that guides members through evidence-based MSK care pathways.
The aim of the partnership is to reduce MSK costs, fewer surgeries, and improved clinical outcomes, including pain reduction, improved mental health, and fewer hospital readmissions, the companies said.
To close the gaps between conservative care and surgery, reduce medical spend, and improve clinical outcomes, employers are investing in MSK care. A 2020 Business Group on Health employer survey reported that 29% of employers will offer musculoskeletal management virtually next year, another 39% are considering adding it by 2023.
The musculoskeletal space is attracting massive investment dollars and driving M&A activity among digital health players. Hinge Health banked a $300 million funding round in January backed by Tiger Global. The financing deal valued Hinge Health at $3 billion, according to the company. The startup is eyeing a potential initial public offering in 2022.
Sword Health raised $25 million in February and Kaia Health banked a $26 million funding round in June.
In May, Omada Health scooped up digital health company Physera for a reported $30 million to add virtual musculoskeletal care to its services. Digital chronic condition management company DarioHealth also moved to grab a piece of the digital musculoskeletal market with the acquisition of Upright Technologies for $31 million in January.
Technology companies that help employers manage healthcare costs are seeing significant tailwinds due to the financial pressures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Carrum Health nabbed a $40 million series A funding round in February led by Tiger Global Management and backed by other investors.