In this episode, Michael introduces Jason Hellickson, the CEO of Regenexx, a global provider specializing in interventional orthopedics. Regenexx partners with self-funded employers to significantly reduce their orthopedic spending while providing employees a choice in care. Regenexx orthopedic procedures leverage the body’s natural healing ability to repair damage to bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments non-surgically and with great outcomes.
Jason is a long-time athlete who underwent shoulder surgery in 2008. Although the surgery was deemed “successful”, the fact that it took him 12 months to recover, 12 months to swim again, and lasting pain caused him to question whether there were better alternatives. Years later, when he received the same prognosis on his other shoulder, he insisted on an alternative. With Regenexx he was able to swim again just 6-8 weeks after the procedure. He learned that Regenexx could be offered through a self-funded health plan, so he partnered with them as an affiliate and then later became the CEO.
Jason believes that our orthopedic care continuum needs a reinvention because surgery is no longer the only option. With almost 6% of GDP spent on elective orthopedic surgeries a year and about 50% deemed ineffective, the reinvention includes new and advanced “interventional orthopedics” that cut costs, are less invasive, and frequently allow patients to avoid surgery altogether.
Regenexx is backed by clinical research, saves employers up to 70% on elective surgeries, and saves patients the pain, recovery time, and uncertainty of surgery. And with a research-based and outcomes-monitored model, they are transparent, ensure a high standard of care and have a comprehensive accreditation process to be part of their provider network. They work with employers as a direct contractor and help educate members on the benefits of interventional orthopedics so members are informed and know it’s an option to consider in lieu of invasive surgery.
With a Net Promoter Score of 74, their education and service are clearly working. In addition to high member satisfaction, Regenexx has also recently been awarded the Traction Award at the Employer Health Innovation Roundtable. Just from the event, 12 large employers agreed to move forward with Regenexx – a big win that seems to be just the beginning of an exciting road ahead.
Here’s a glance at what we discuss in this episode:
- 01:00 – Introducing Jason, Regenexx, his background, and his unique journey.
- 03:00 – He got one surgery and began looking into alternatives for his other injuries.
- 04:00 – He found Regenexx, entered into an affiliate partnership, and became the CEO.
- 06:30 – Issues from a care and cost standpoint in orthopedics: almost 6% of GDP is spent on elective orthopedic surgeries a year, yet 50% are deemed ineffective procedures.
- 08:20 – Many people put off surgery for an average of 5 years; this “gap in care” leaves them in pain which is where “interventional orthopedics” comes in.
- 09:30 – Interventional orthopedics is a less invasive and needle-based procedure using orthobiologics (your natural healing cells).
- 12:30 – The healing happens at a cellular level and allows the body to unleash its natural healing powers.
- 13:30 – Efficacy rates: Orthopedics used to be the only option, so efficacy was not considered; Regenexx clinical research and studies prove its efficacy.
- 16:15 – Regenexx is research-based and outcomes-monitored; proper diagnosis, a well-executed procedure by a skilled physician, and orthobiologics.
- 18:00 – They vet and constantly educate their physicians and lab techs to ensure a standard of care that is monitored within a transparent outcomes database.
- 19:20 – They have 75 locations and over 100 physicians across the country, and growing.
- 19:50 – The average cost of orthopedic surgery is around $25,000-30,000; the average cost of Regenexx is $4,500, saving employers up to 70% on elective surgeries.
- 21:10 – Regenexx directly contracts with the employer and has a centralized billing system and transparent fee schedule.
- 23:00 – Engagement and awareness: Employers add Regenexx to their care package and help educate and steer members towards Regenexx so they know it’s an option.
- 24:30 – They offer a newsletter, a benefits card, targeted outreach, and now some employers are implementing a clinical care pathway that requires Regenexx to be evaluated prior to surgery.
- 26:00 – If someone is a possible candidate for knee replacement, they have to have a Regenexx evaluation first; an example is 49 out of 50 electing Regenexx through a clinical care pathway
- 27:30 – The necessary orthopedic continuum: Educate, incentivize, and proper clinical care pathway.
- 28:00 – The Net Promoter Score and testimonials: Many people spoke about the elevation in their quality of life.
- 29:30 – The Employer Health Innovation Roundtable (EHIR): Regenexx was awarded the Traction Award and 12 employers agreed to move forward with Regenexx.
- 32:30 – Anyone that has their own SPD can add Regenexx to their plan; they also have a telehealth and transportation model to consider.
- 33:30 – He’s excited to partner with innovative broker partners in the future.