There are multiple ways an employer can modify benefit plans and workplace policies and practices to support best practices in osteoarthritis. The Employer-Provider Interface Council (EPIC) task force recommends that benefit plans be designed to support and promote prevention and early intervention strategies and encourage evidence-based best practices including drug and non-drug approaches. Unfortunately, most individuals with osteoarthritis are not effectively supported by the current standards of care mainly because there is little awareness of the significant impact the condition has on employers and affected employees alike.
The Arthritis Foundation conducted a survey of individuals with OA. These are the top insurance issues/challenges they identified:
- Prior authorization
- High deductibles
- High co-insurance
- High premiums
In the same survey, when asked what they would look for in an ideal treatment, the majority noted that they want treatments that halt the progression of the disease and reduce pain, allowing regained function and mobility.
As employers begin to look at osteoarthritis and its impact on the workforce, it’s important to consider a benefit strategy that includes both drug therapies and non-drug alternatives, along with other creative initiatives that are focused on reducing pain and improving quality of life for those with osteoarthritis.