Aviva is adding a network of spinal specialists to its physiotherapy network for private medical insurance (PMI) clients.
The move will allow patients accessing its BacktoBetter service to consult spine specialists when relevant for treatment of their conditions.
The insurer noted that its early intervention approach had resulted in more members being effectively managed before their condition progressed, so fewer people needed to be referred to a specialist.
Aviva UK Health rehabilitation clinical lead Mark Sharpe said customers with straightforward MSK conditions were being managed through advice and physiotherapy, rather than being routed through clinical pathways with unnecessary scans and surgery.
"While members are recovering and returning to work quicker, their employers are also now seeing a sizeable reduction in real term claims spend, despite the number of claims for MSK increasing."
Over the five year period of using the approach, Aviva said it had seen the volume of members needing onward referral to specialists significantly reduce from 65% to 25%.
"As a result, and after offsetting increased claim volumes with spend reduction, Aviva's corporate clients are seeing a reduction in spend on MSK conditions of an average 5%, with some clients adopting the approach effectively seeing in excess of 10% reduction in overall MSK spend," it noted.