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Revolutionizing Musculoskeletal Care: An Interview with Mark Luck Olson

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Interview at thINc360 Conference

In this insightful interview, Mark Luck Olson, CEO of Recovery One, discusses the challenges and solutions in musculoskeletal care. He highlights the mission to improve cost and quality while addressing issues of overuse and misuse in the healthcare system. Olson also shares strategies for enhancing consumer engagement and reducing unnecessary surgeries.

You can view the full video interview here

Key Takeaways

  1. Musculoskeletal care affects 50% of U.S. adults, with a third developing a new condition each year. Recovery One aims to improve both cost and quality.
  2. The U.S. wastes over $100 billion on overuse and misuse of healthcare resources, leading to mixed results. Recovery One addresses these inefficiencies.
  3. Consumer engagement is crucial for reducing healthcare costs and improving outcomes. Strategies include accessible solutions, coaching, and community connection.
  4. The U.S. performs 5-8 times more surgeries per capita than other developed countries. Recovery One focuses on non-surgical interventions to reduce unnecessary procedures.

Interview with Mark Luck Olson on Musculoskeletal Care

Host Mabel Jong – thINc360:

“Well, thanks for joining us. We’re here now with Mark Luck Olson, who is the CEO of Recovery One. Thank you so much for your time today.”

Mark Luck Olson:

“Thanks for having me, Mabel.”

Exploring the Mission and Impact of Recovery One with CEO Mark Luck Olson

Host Mabel Jong – thINc360:

“Well, Mark, you focus on the musculoskeletal area of healthcare. Why there?”

Mark Luck Olson:

“Well, Maybel, 50% of us adults in the U.S. have one of these conditions. A third of us will have a new one each year. It’s a very big category. ”

Host Mabel Jong – thINc360:

“Very big category. And what is the mission of Recovery One?”

Mark Luck Olson:

“Well, Mabel, we’re all about improving the cost and quality of musculoskeletal care. We waste over a hundred billion dollars in the U.S. alone on overuse and misuse of expensive healthcare resources. And then the results, what do we get for the money? The results are a bit mixed, and so we are improving the quality while reducing the cost.”

You may also like: RecoveryOne – Validated Program Report

Addressing Core Problems and Avoiding Unnecessary Surgeries

Host Mabel Jong – thINc360:

“Okay, and how? Give me some examples of how you’re doing that.”

Mark Luck Olson:

“Yeah, well, to answer that question, I think you got to ask a question: what’s the problem? What’s the problem? And there really is, we see it, three core problems.

One, we have a single specialist in our healthcare system, which is an orthopod, and they’re trained and paid to cut. It’s a very high surgical rate.

Too much of musculoskeletal care is treated by primary care physicians, but they’re wildly undertrained in the musculoskeletal system.

And lastly, you might say, well, but we have physical therapists, and while we do in the U.S., they’re largely relegated to a post-surgical role for rehab.

So, take all those three in combination, and we end up wasting all that money and having mixed outcomes. So, coming back to your question, our solution is all about being the friend to the consumer on the journey from ouch to all better.

We put in that consumer’s back pocket everything they need to navigate that journey, other than the surgery itself, although that may happen one day too.”

Host Mabel Jong – thINc360:

“Okay, now, do you have a figure on how many surgeries are done that could have been avoided?”

Mark Luck Olson:

“Yeah, I mean, the data is a little mixed. What we can tell you is, depending on what research you read, between five and eight times the number of surgeries per capita occur in the U.S. than any other developed country in the world. So, particularly hips, knees, and spines, we operate way more than any other developed country in the world, and that’s just sad.”

Enhancing Consumer Engagement and Navigating Initial Steps in Musculoskeletal Care

Host Mabel Jong – thINc360:

“Yeah, it does sound dire, really. What is your company focused on in terms of engaging the consumer?”

Mark Luck Olson:

“It’s a great question because engagement is the X factor to cost and quality. And this is where, honestly, Mabel, it gets a little complicated because there’s no one panacea.

There’s nothing that works for most of us most of the time. So, the answer is it’s a list of 12 things or 15 things, and I’ll give you some examples.

For some people, some of the time, simply having a solution that is accessible, available, intuitive 24/7, that works for some people, some of the time.

For some people, some of the time, having a coach who’s there for you to back you up works some of the time. For others, it’s about connecting with others who are going through exactly what you’re going through because connection matters.

So, what all those have in common is there’s really no one thing. For us, the critical success factor is knowing which of the 15 interventions to pull out of the bag for any individual at any point in time.”

Host Mabel Jong – thINc360:

“Okay, what is the first step for consumers then when they feel that ouch?”

Mark Luck Olson:

“So, right now, what most of us do is we self-diagnose and self-refer. So, we think we understand what our problem is. We either go to urgent care, we go to see our primary care physician, or sometimes we make an appointment with a specialist.

And so, for us, the first step is having a clinically staffed, rigorous, evidence-based front door to healthcare for musculoskeletal conditions.

So, if you have joint dysfunction or joint pain or back pain, one place to go to say ouch, it hurts. And for us, our front door, our navigation hub, is all about understanding your individual condition, your maybe attitude or behavioral preconceptions, and then getting you to the right place up front.

Sometimes that is an orthopedic surgeon if you really need it. A lot of times that’s not necessary, and we’ll get you to our physical therapy program or a number of other providers or programs.”

The Importance of In-Person Conferences and Industry Collaboration

Host Mabel Jong – thINc360:

“Terrific. Well, we’re so glad that we get a chance to speak with you, Mark. We’ve been away from in-person conferences for a little while. Why was it important for you to be here today?

Mark Luck Olson:

“Well, look, we’re, I don’t know, we’re 10 years into a massive change agenda in healthcare in our country. And for me, I’ve been in healthcare for 30 plus years.

We still, as an industry, we waste so much precious resources. The quality we produce is mixed, and the experience for everyone, clinicians and patients alike, is not good.

And, you know, for me, before I hang up those boots, I just, I want to make sure that we improve the cost and quality of healthcare in a sustainable way.”

Host Mabel Jong – thINc360:

“And how is the thINc meeting important in your schedule?”

Mark Luck Olson:

“It’s just an opportunity to meet and rub shoulders with other change agents in the industry.”

Host Mabel Jong – thINc360:

“Olson, thank you so much.”

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