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How to Improve Outcomes in Injured Workers
How to Improve Outcomes in Injured Workers
Injuries can sometimes occur even in the safest of workplaces, despite an employer’s best efforts to prevent them. When an accident happens, it’s important for employers to ensure that the wellbeing of the injured worker is front and center from the time the incident occurs, through the recovery period and the back to work process. And, focusing on better health and workers’ compensation outcomes is a win for both patients and policyholders alike.
However, many employers struggle with these challenging situations. When an employee is injured on the job, the way the employer reacts can have a major impact not only on the worker’s recovery, but on company morale and culture, too.
Understanding the Workplace Injury Procedure
Navigating through the process after an employee gets injured on the job can be overwhelming for all parties involved. Workplace injury procedures include understanding all the
rules and requirements, as well as the specific steps the organization outlined for the process. Additionally, state workers’ comp regulations vary widely. In some states, employers are required to make a first report within a certain timeframe in order for claim consideration. In other states, this is not the case.
This is why it’s vital that employers understand what to do and who to call when an injury occurs. Employees are an organization’s most valuable asset, and the days of focusing on quickly resolving claims as economically as possible are gone. Instead, ensuring the worker receives high-quality care that focuses on whole-person wellness is key in providing the best health outcome for the employee – and the company.
When it comes to supporting injured workers, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Don’t hesitate to report workers’ compensation injuries
The earlier the claim is reported, the sooner the employee can be directed to the best doctors and specialists. Plus, employers should be sure to evaluate the situation that led to the injury so safety measures can be implemented to help prevent a future incident.
Be empathetic and compassionate
Take care of injured employees by reaching out immediately, taking the time to listen to any worries and concerns they may have. Throughout their recovery, stay in close touch through ongoing communications with the details of their return-to-work plan.
Provide the right resources
It’s recommended to use an injured worker advocacy approach. What this means is providing care specialists who can evaluate, monitor and advise throughout the recovery process, helping patients find access to the right doctors and the right treatment plans. Additionally, focusing on whole-person wellness through behavioral health support, creating solid return-to-work programs and strategies, access to physician advisors, nurses and pharmacists can all help expedite the injured employee’s recovery.
Improving Employee Health Outcomes in the Wake of the Opioid Epidemic
Treating and managing the chronic pain that can result from a workplace injury is another factor in improving employee health outcomes, especially due to the fact that more than 130 people in the United States die every day from an opioid overdose.
In the past, it was common for employees suffering from pain following an injury or surgery to be prescribed opioid medications to manage their pain. Initially, opioids were not thought to be addictive, a misconception that led to almost 218,000 overdose deaths between the years 1999 and 2017. Additionally, the cycle of abuse and addiction can make it difficult for an employee to return to work successfully, and the use of opioids in the workplace can lead to more injuries on the job.
For this reason, many employers look for
safer alternatives to opioids
to treat chronic pain. In fact, the CDC recommends non-pharmacologic therapy and non-opioid medications should be considered first to manage pain before providers write an opioid prescription. Options like physical therapy, yoga, NSAIDs and cognitive behavioral therapy can all play a role in not only returning injured employees to work sooner, but also in improving their overall quality of life.
AmTrust’s Approach to Improving Workers’ Compensation Outcomes
AmTrust leverages the power of more than 40 Preferred Provider Networks (PPO) and state-specific Medical Provider Networks (MPN), whose sole job is credentialing the best doctors available—a process called physician scorecarding. Physician scorecarding technology has been evolving for more than a decade. In that time, a body of data has emerged showing that when the best doctors are utilized, health outcomes are improved with shorter recoveries, lower claim costs and faster return to work.
Additionally, through our partnership with Optum Workers' Comp and Auto No-Fault, a pharmacy care management company, AmTrust helps to reduce the amount of unsafe, non-medically necessary prescriptions given to injured employees. Since the inception of the program, we have seen a drastic reduction in prescription claims with opioids. This initiative has already
prevented nearly 13,000 prescriptions
that could have been deemed unsafe.
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This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors. Coverages may vary by location. Contact your local RSM for more information.
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