WPS Health Insurance Partners with Sword Health to Bring Digital Musculoskeletal Care to its ASO Members

Company Info
January 13, 2023
WPS offers digital physical therapy

WPS Health Insurance has joined forces with Sword Health to bring digital health care to the WPS, powered by Auxiant Administrative Services Only (ASO) group health plans. Employers can choose to offer this convenient care to help their group members find relief from musculoskeletal pain.

Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions such as arthritis, back, and neck pain make up half of all medical care costs and affect more than 1 out of every 2 people over the age of 18 in the U.S., according to the United States Bone and Joint Initiative.

A 2022 Large Employers Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey showed that 75% of employers identify musculoskeletal care as their highest expense. Nationwide, care costs are estimated at $381 billion per year, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, exceeding mental health and cancer combined. With the aging of the U.S. population, the impact of musculoskeletal conditions will only worsen, and more convenient, accessible, and effective solutions are needed to address them.

While traditional physical therapy is effective, it is often inaccessible for patients living with pain due to barriers of time, cost, and travel. Unlike traditional physical therapy, Sword Health’s digital solution offers on-demand physical therapy using advanced technology, such as motion sensors, guided by a certified physical therapist. They are the only digital musculoskeletal solution to have partnered with the American Physical Therapy Association.

With Sword Health, patients can access clinical-grade physical therapy from anywhere using a tablet or mobile device, leading to higher program completion rates for better clinical outcomes.

Most importantly, more than 70% of patients using Sword Health reported a minimum of 30% improvement in their pain scores, a well-established threshold for clinically meaningful improvements, according to Sword Health.

“The partnership between Sword Health and WPS allows WPS to offer proven, evidence-based solutions to relieve musculoskeletal pain. Adding this option to our portfolio gives customers flexibility for how, when, and where they receive care,” said Michele Newberry, WPS Vice President of Health Insurance Operations. “We know musculoskeletal conditions are a leading contributor to disability worldwide. By offering this solution, we can help customers reduce pain and medication dependence and improve any associated depression and anxiety.”

Dr. Vijay Yanamadala, Sword Health Chief Medical Officer said, “While musculoskeletal conditions continue to burden patients, their families, and the U.S. healthcare system, there is hope in the form of digital solutions like the one we offer at Sword. We have designed our solution to be a convenient, accessible solution that meets patients where they are, while maintaining high clinical quality, for meaningful outcomes that relieve pain. Thanks to forward-looking partners like WPS Health Insurance, we can make our solution available to more people, and continue to achieve our ambition of relieving the world from pain.”

About WPS Health Insurance

As one of the largest health benefits providers in the state, Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corporation (WPS Health Insurance) remains not-for-profit and offers high-quality health plans to the public and private sectors. Headquartered in Madison, Wis., WPS Health Insurance offers Preferred Provider Organization health plans for individuals and groups, third-party administrator services, plus Medicare supplement plans and Medicare prescription drug plans. Visit their website for more information.

About Auxiant

Auxiant is an independent third-party administrator with more than 175 full-time employees and offices in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Madison, Wis., and Milwaukee, Wis. Auxiant has been in business since 1982 and is dedicated to providing its clients with the best possible service. Auxiant specializes in customization, cost control, health management, and technological tools for self-funded clients and members. Auxiant is known for its innovation and technology, constantly evolving to meet the needs of its clients.

About Sword Health

Sword Health, the world’s fastest growing digital musculoskeletal company, believes in the power of people to recover at home, without resorting to imaging, surgeries or opioids. As the first digital solution to pair its members with a licensed physical therapist and the Digital Therapist, Sword delivers a clinically-proven, personalized treatment plan that is easier, more effective and less expensive than the traditional gold standard of care. Now, Sword has expanded into new categories, as part of its mission to free two billion people from pain. Earlier this year it launched Bloom, the first digital pelvic health therapy solution designed to treat the 1 in 4 women who suffer from a pelvic health condition. As of November 2022, Sword is now pioneering a new category of movement health, which combines the focused approach of physical therapy with the whole body appeal of fitness. Every Sword solution leverages technology and human expertise to deliver better engagement and outcomes than traditional healthcare methods. Since entering the market in 2020, Sword Health has worked with insurers, health systems, and employers in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia to make high quality musculoskeletal care, and beyond, accessible to everyone.

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