Employees Avoiding Unnecessary Surgeries: Long-Term Follow-up Study Results on Informed Decision-Making Released by Consumer's Medical Resource (CMR)

Oct 12, 2010, 09:00 ET from Consumer's Medical Resource

PEMBROKE, Mass., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumer's Medical Resource (CMR), the pioneering company that created Medical Decision Support® (MDS), released a three-year case study today evaluating the long-term impact of its Surgery Decision Support™ (SDS) program. The small but compelling case study fills a void in research focused on the long-term behavioral impact of programs. Results show that 86% of patients who participated in SDS, when queried more than 2.5 years later, have maintained their original treatment decision to either avoid surgery completely or undergo a less invasive procedure with equally good outcomes.  The remaining 14% ultimately required surgery but confirmed they did not need it at the time it was first recommended.

"Our Surgery Decision Support™ program is clearly effective at helping patients avoid unnecessary surgeries, improving quality and patient satisfaction, and generating significant cost savings.  One of our customers measured $1.7 million in direct cost savings with only 62 cases," said David J. Hines, President of Consumer's Medical Resource (CMR). He continued, "This study confirms patients  can make better treatment decisions when they are given reliable information and support around their options to create a 'win-win' for employers and their employees while improving medical literacy."  

The study focused on the frequency of change in participants' original treatment decisions over an average of 31 months or 2.6 years. The seven medical conditions and their associated surgical procedures tracked and studied were endometriosis and uterine fibroids (hysterectomy), osteoarthritis of the hips and of the of the knee (joint replacement), low back pain (lumbar surgery), breast cancer (mastectomy) and prostate cancer (prostatectomy). There were 82  participants in this study, 56 of whom completed surveys. They all worked one-on-one with physician-led research teams and decision-support specialists who prepared objective information and research tailored to the needs of the individual. Website tools, print materials and on-going phone support were all part of the program. Notable findings include:

  • All 56 participants had avoided surgery or had less invasive procedures at the time they were in the program
  • 86% (48 of the 56 individuals) had still avoided or had less invasive surgery 2.6 years later, thus sustaining their original treatment decision
  • 100%  of the participants were still satisfied with their original treatment decisions

"Employers seeking to better manage the high cost of medical premiums recognize that their employees need to take on more decision-making responsibility. But with that comes the need to provide them reliable information to make good choices about treatment options. This is especially true for certain surgical procedures where two or more medically legitimate options exist. Our data shows that for five common elective surgical procedures, 24% of recommended surgeries are  unnecessary. If these surgeries can be avoided, it translates into significant cost savings for employers in addition to patients getting significantly better care," said Hines.

The full study is available on CMR's corporate website, www.consumersmedical.com.

About Consumer's Medical Resource

Consumer's Medical Resource (CMR) is the first company in the U.S. to provide employees of Fortune 500 companies and other large organizations with in-depth, objective, personalized, and timely information on serious and complicated illnesses and treatment options through its Medical Decision Support® (MDS) service. Leveraging a state-of-the-art integrated model of Web, phone, and print-based services, CMR enables employees to fully understand and evaluate their options so they can make the most informed medical decisions possible with their doctors.

Medical Decision Support® (MDS) is a trademark of CMR in the United States and is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

CMR was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Pembroke, Massachusetts.

Website: www.consumersmedical.com

SOURCE Consumer's Medical Resource