Outcomes: a patient experience
Mike Schaefer is at his best when he is in motion.
In fact, it’s hard to imagine the 59-year-old Mayville Engineer- ing Co. employee ever sits still. Blessed with high energy and drive, he’s almost always got a project in the works.
As busy as he is, it was not all that long ago that projects were put on hold. A nagging shoulder injury from his 20s had reached the point where Schaefer could no longer lift his arm away from his body.
“I knew it was getting bad, but I didn’t know what the exact injury was,” Schaefer said. “By January of 2019, I couldn’t lift it.”
The origins of Schaefer’ shoulder problems can most likely be traced to his youthful passion for softball, a game he said he played with enthusiasm and perhaps some reckless abandon for more than 30 years. Schaefer played into his early 50s before the post-weekend pain became too much to manage.
“I think I finally stopped at 52,” he says. “My sons had started playing and I wanted to play with them. But there were some Mondays I could hardly get out of bed the pain was so great.”
Schaefer was seeing his regular physician and regularly received cortisone shots to re- lieve the pain and regain functionality. The problem was they didn’t last.
Eventually, the pain and lack of arm mobility became so great it affected his job as well. As a shipping and receiving coordinator at MEC, Schaefer is in constant motion on a standup lift moving incoming and outgoing shipments, materials and inventory into position. By January of 2019, the pain and immobility Schaefer was enduring required a solution.
Schaefer recalled a recent benefits meeting at MEC where he learned about NOVO Health. His physician hadn’t found a solution yet; perhaps he could give NOVO Health a try.
MEC had signed onto the NOVO Health Bundled Payment Program for Health Services in 2018 as part of a comprehensive program to control and reduce the company’s medical spending. The program empowers employers and employees to select high-quality independent providers to purchase health services that are bundled together to cover an episode of care.
The company pays the entire cost of the bundle for employees who choose NOVO Health and has saved more than $500,000 since 2018.
Schaefer was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff. Surgery was scheduled for March 1 and by May 1, Schaefer was back at work.
Now, he almost never thinks about his shoulder. Schaefer has also become an advocate for NOVO Health at MEC.
“The experience was amazing. Everything about it was great. The results. The doctor. The staff,” Schaefer said.
His shoulder feels so good, Schaefer is thinking about playing ball again.