Publish Date: June 25, 2024
Author: Michael Logut
Tags: Blog - SeubertU

Regenerative Medicine & Workforce Impacts: Revolutionizing Healthcare

By Michael Logut | Seubert Sales Consultant & Agency Principal 

Each year, roughly 30-40% of employer healthcare costs are attributed to musculoskeletalrelated conditions.

Musculoskeletal conditions affect bones, joints, muscles, and connective tissue. Symptoms can include pain, limited mobility, dexterity, and a decrease in overall function. Some commonly known musculoskeletal conditions include arthritis, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel, as well as back, neck, and shoulder pain, along with other sprains, strains, and tears. These issues often arise from overexertion, repetitive motion, or physical reactions such as bending or twisting. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders can occur due to routine lifting of heavy objects, routine overhead work, repetitive forceful tasks, and more. 
Given the prevalence and impact of these conditions, particularly in labor-intensive industries such as oil and gas, trucking, and manufacturing; providing a benefit that improves return-to-work time, reduces the financial burden of healthcare expenses, and lowers pharmaceutical usage is extremely important for both employee well-being and organizational success. 
Traditional medical practice and insurance approvals for musculoskeletal treatment have included procedures that either mask symptoms with injections or promote invasive surgery.  All of which can be disruptive to one’s lifestyle, provide short-term relief, commonly require pharmaceutical intervention, and create risk for infection or other complications. 
As a means to enhance benefit offerings, as well as provide less invasive treatment options, many employers have begun providing coverage for regenerative medical treatments like stem cell therapy and plateletrich plasma (PRP) to manage musculoskeletal conditions. 
Stem cell therapy and PRP are both regenerative treatments used in medical fields, but they differ in several key aspects: 

  • Difference in cell types: Stem cell therapy involves the use of stem cells, which have the potential to differentiate into various cell types. Stem cells can be sourced from various places in the body, such as bone marrow, adipose tissue (fat), or umbilical cord blood. On the other hand, PRP utilizes platelets, a component of blood primarily known for their role in blood clotting.
  • Regenerative Mechanism: Stem cells have the ability to regenerate and repair damaged tissues by differentiating into specific cell types required for tissue repair. They can also release growth factors that stimulate tissue regeneration. PRP works by releasing growth factors and other proteins that aid in tissue repair and regeneration, however, PRP does not involve the introduction of stem cells.  
  • Sources and Preparation: Stem cells used in therapy can be obtained from the patient’s own body (autologous) or from donors (allogeneic). PRP is derived from the patient’s own blood through a process of centrifugation, where the platelet-rich portion of the blood is separated from other components.
  • Applications: Stem cell therapy has a wide range of applications, including treating orthopedic injuries, neurological disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and more. PRP is commonly used in orthopedics, sports medicine, dermatology, and wound healing. 

Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy

  • Regenerative Potential: Stem cells have the unique ability to develop into different types of cells in the body. This regenerative potential makes them promising for repairing damaged tissues and organs.
  • Treatment of Various Conditions: Stem cell therapy is being researched and used in the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions, including orthopedic injuries, autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Reduced Risk of Rejection: Since stem cells can be derived from a patient’s own body, there is a reduced risk of rejection, or adverse immune reactions compared to other types of transplants.
  • Minimal Invasive Procedures: Stem cell therapy procedures are often minimally invasive, involving injections rather than major surgery, which can lead to quicker recovery times, and reduced risk of complications. 

Benefits of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

  • Accelerated Healing: PRP contains a concentrated amount of platelets, which release growth factors that promote tissue repair and regeneration. This can accelerate the healing process for various injuries and conditions.
  • Non-Surgical Treatment Option: PRP therapy is typically administered through injections, making it a non-surgical alternative for conditions such as tendon injuries, osteoarthritis, and soft tissue injuries.
  • Safety: Since PRP is derived from a patient’s own blood, there is minimal risk of allergic reactions or transmission of infectious diseases.
  • Versatility: PRP therapy can be used across different medical specialties, including orthopedics, dermatology, dentistry, and sports medicine, for a wide range of conditions.

The high prevalence of musculoskeletal conditions in labor-intensive industries calls for effective and innovative treatment solutions. Traditional methods often involve invasive procedures or symptom-masking treatments that create significant risks like infection or dependenceBy incorporating regenerative treatments like stem cell therapy and PRP, employers can offer less invasive, effective options for employees to manage these conditions. 
These alternative therapies promote faster recovery, reduce pharmaceutical use, and provide long-term relief, leading to a healthier workforce and lower healthcare costs. Embracing regenerative medicine aligns employee health with business success.

Michael Logut is an agency Principal and Sales Consultant in Seubert’s Employee Benefits Division. He joined Seubert in 2011 and has 14+ years of industry experience. In his current role, Michael is responsible for the overall strategy and coordination of a client’s risk management plan in connection with their organization’s individual and unique business goals.

Contact Michael to see how you could minimize risk.
412.508.6500  |  [email protected]  |  LinkedIn

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