Treatments, Telemedicine for Injured Workers During COVID-19

Topics: Small Business

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread throughout the United States, many medical providers are asking patients to use telemedicine and other remote options instead of face-to-face appointments. AmTrust is working with our partners to make sure injured employees have access to their providers, medications and treatments while following safe social distancing guidelines.

Telemedicine: Adjusting Medical Care for Employees Injured on the Job

Employees who are injured on the job, especially during the time of the coronavirus when visiting a physician in-person could put them at risk, now have more options regarding their care and treatment for their work-related injuries. AmTrust is working with our partners to ensure ongoing assistance for injured employees, including continuing medical treatment via telemedicine. Below are the telemedicine options for our insureds and employees from injury to follow-up treatments:

Telemedicine Capabilities Increase Due to Coronavirus COVID-19

Initial Telemedicine Evaluations for Treatment of an Injured Employee

In the event of a medical emergency, contact 9-1-1. For non-emergency treatment for an injured employee, telemedicine options through our network providers are available. Injured employees can search for telemedicine options when looking for approved providers. Telemedicine services are listed as a specialty, and national providers such as Concentra offer telemedicine services in the following states: AK, AZ, CA CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA and WI.

To sign-up for Concentra telemedicine, injured employees need to have access to a device with a webcam and microphone. Injured employees can register for an account by entering their name, email and choose a password. This information can also be entered on a smartphone or tablet via the Concentra app.

Once the employee is registered, he or she is connected to a coordinator to process the intake; then, the call is transferred to a clinician. The clinician examines, diagnoses and treats the worker, and then transfers the patient back to the care coordinator for checkout. At checkout, the care coordinator will review any work restrictions and set up any necessary follow-up care, including rechecks. The injured employee will receive paperwork for the visit via a secure email.


Routine or Follow-up Evaluations Telemedicine Appointments

If an injured employee is involved in ongoing treatment, the first step for the injured employee should be to contact their provider to see how they are currently seeing patients. Injured employees should contact the provider’s office if they are open to confirm the rescheduling process and updates to their treatment. Providers may conduct telephone screening before confirming appointments and then offer telemedicine solutions to help address treatment needs. The provider offices should have physicians and contact information available to triage the worker’s questions and concerns. Currently, elective surgeries are being rescheduled to allow focus on critical care at this time.


Physical Therapy Telerehab Appointments and Open Claims

Our physical therapy partner, Medrisk is triaging all newly injured employees for Telerehab or virtual physical therapy (PT). If this service is appropriate for PT for an injured employee, they will be enrolled to allow their treatment to take place. There will be a review of all open claims assigned for approved PT being conducted by our medical resources to identify if patients can be recommended to Telerehab or a home exercise program (HEP).

Availability of Essential Treatment Services

We are also working with our partners to ensure all other essential treatment services, including pharmacy, durable medical equipment, home health, diagnostics, transportation and translation are available during this time.


Pharmacy Services

Our pharmacy benefit manager partner, Optum, remains fully operational and has confirmed network pharmacy providers are not interrupted at this time. Early refill restrictions are being waived in all states until 4/30. Optum will re-evaluate after 4/30. . Injured employees should be transitioned, if they haven't been already, to larger pharmacies that provide delivery services, such as Walgreens and CVS. Smaller pharmacies may not have capabilities for the delivery of medications.

If an injured employee is being treated for COVID-19, the carrier will make Optum aware, so the COVID-19 formulary added to their profile. This formulary will address all cough/cold, non-opioid analgesia needs to COVID-19.


Diagnostics, Home Health and Transportation Providers

Our team will continue to actively manage the provider networks to understand potential impacts on provider capacity and needs to modify or defer potential routine diagnostic, durable home equipment and transportation needs. All approved home health care visits and treatments will continue for our injured employees. All home healthcare providers must follow universal precautions by using personal protective equipment (PPE), including gowns, gloves, and masks, when treating our injured employees. All staff will be equipped with technology to access pertinent information in real-time.

Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus

Telemedicine appointments are playing an important role when employees could have symptoms of the coronavirus. As a reminder, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) describes reported coronavirus cases as ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

Symptoms of a coronavirus resemble those of a respiratory infection, including:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Shortness of breath and breathing difficulties
  • Lower respiratory illnesses like bronchitis and pneumonia
To prevent the spread of this coronavirus, the CDC recommends the following preventive actions:
  • Washing hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water or use an antibacterial hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  •  If you feel ill, stay home and avoid going to the workplace or other public places
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue
  • Keep surfaces and objects touched regularly clean and disinfected
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes with unwashed hands
  • Stay away from people showing symptoms of upper respiratory illnesses as much as possible


Additional Resources

As always, the health, safety, and well-being of our insureds are top of mind. AmTrust has developed a library of coronavirus resources to help you and your employees stay safe in this challenging time. We encourage you to utilize these guides and share them with others.

AmTrust is Trusted for Workers’ Compensation Insurance

AmTrust has recently hired nurses and pharmacists to interact with injured employees telephonically while working closely with our adjusters to resolve claims in strategic ways. The medical case managers will enhance our commitment to our insureds and their employees. Please contact our claims team or your claims adjuster for further information about medical treatment options during the coronavirus pandemic.

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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