Published 10/1/2011
Toby King

USBJI summit addresses value of musculoskeletal care

Biannual event will be held this month in Washington, D.C.

Given the increasing costs of health care and the changing demographics of the U.S. population, the cost and cost-effectiveness of musculoskeletal care can no longer be ignored. The AAOS is working hand in hand with the U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI) to address these issues, which will be the focus of the USBJI musculoskeletal summit, being held this month in Washington, D.C.

Rising healthcare expenditures in the United States may make current models for care delivery unsustainable and require new strategies to optimize health and improve quality of life. Moreover, the cost of caring for musculoskeletal disease in this country is approaching $1 trillion a year and is likely to increase with both an aging and more active population.

As unprecedented debates on health care take place in Washington, D.C., the USBJI, composed of representatives from all areas of the musculoskeletal healthcare community, is taking on the challenge of defining and measuring the value of musculoskeletal care. During the summit, a broad range of stakeholders—including patients, providers, industry, payers, and policy makers— will address the critical issue of the value of musculoskeletal care from their various perspectives.

By definition, value represents a standard or feature regarded as desirable or worthwhile. Although the value of care involves quality and cost-effectiveness, it transcends both in its impact on society. Determining value in care demands consideration of societal and personal health and well-being that can result from diverse approaches for prevention and treatment.

During the summit, William Robb III, MD, Lane Koenig, PhD, and William Martin III, MD, will present information from a recently developed AAOS white paper on the Social and Economic Value of Orthopaedic Surgery. The USBJI and the AAOS are committed to taking leadership roles not only in improving the nation’s healthcare system but also in making value (in all of its dimensions) an important goal of musculoskeletal care.

For more information about the USBJI, visit www.usbji.org

Toby King is executive director of the USBJI. He can be reached at king@usbjd.org