The possibility of studying the beneficiaries of an entire health system (such as in the military) has the advantages of obtaining larger samples, and thus more robust data. In this case, it became clear that early rehabilitation decreases recurrence risk and medical costs.
While the benefits of decreasing recurrence risk, such as increased participation and quality of life, may be more easily understandable, decreasing medical costs may have a more covert but widespread long-term impact. Less spending means that this budget may be directed to patients where costs are unavoidable, whether it is in the military or civilian health system. The $1,400 saved in a single ankle sprain may be directed for the care of someone in need of urgent action.
This is why studies showing decreases in medical care use have implications reaching far beyond the population being studied; decreasing healthcare costs ultimately benefits all of us. The full text of this article is free to access and is thus worth checking out.