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About StepwisePain.com

The Origin

Stepwisepain.com is an initiative founded in 2021 by Arete Networks. Arete Networks is a value-based musculoskeletal Clinically Integrated Network. Between 2018-2020, Arete Networks conducted several large-scale studies that aimed to uncover why costs associated with musculoskeletal complaints had grown so rapidly, and whether or not this growth was associated with better quality care.

The studies determined that 27-34% of costs for musculoskeletal care are unnecessary and "avoidable". The studies tracked costs on over 100,000 patients. It was determined that between 78-94% of these unnecessary costs can be avoided by steering patients to the "right care, right time, right provider". 

And thus, StepwisePain.com was born out of a collaboration between Arete Networks and value-based primary care providers.

The Current

StepwisePain.com uses big data to project outcomes and total cost of care based on patient presentation. As the data becomes more robust we expect greater accuracy in predicting outcomes and cost. Currently, predicted outcomes and cost are accurate in over 85% of cases.

An important component of the site is directing patients to the most efficient and appropriate care. This reduces rates of unnecessary surgery, medications, injections, and costly diagnostics such as MRI's. The algorithms direct patients to one of the following care pathways based on responses to the assessment questions;

  1. Home care with virtual symptom monitoring managed by a multidisciplinary team;

  2. in-office conservative care, such as physical therapy or chiropractic;

  3. primary care/family medicine; or

  4. specialist consultation, such as a physiatrist, pain management specialist, or surgeon.

Providers qualify for inclusion into the Preferred Provider Network by achieving outcomes and total cost of care averages that place them within the top 25% in their market. Although many of the qualifying providers are in the Arete Clinically Integrated Network, our preferred provider lists are not exclusive to Arete Networks. It is our position to stay true to serving consumers by remaining unbiased on this site. 

The Future

StepwisePain.com is the sort of market initiative that can reduce health care costs dramatically, and even reduce the health insurance premiums consumers pay. It is our goal to make StepwisePain.com the preferred shared decision-making platform in Colorado and beyond. What do you say? Will you help us spread the word?

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