|[August 06, 2014]
GENEX Services Outlines Top Barriers to Effective Return-to-Work Programs
WAYNE, Pa. --(Business Wire)--
GENEX Services, LLC (GENEX),
one of the nation's largest providers of managed care services, reports
that more than three million American employees experienced a
work-related injury last year at a direct cost to employers of some $1
billion per week.i As a result, finding ways to get those
injured workers back on the job quickly, safely, and sustainably has
become a top concern for U.S. employers.
"Returning injured workers back to work is often very challenging," says
Delphia Frisch, COO/EVP at GENEX Services. "Even simple injuries can
lead to slower recovery and extended work absence if not treated
promptly and consistently with clinical guidelines. Unfortunately,
employers often face barriers to getting their injured workers prompt
and effective care."
However, Frisch reports it's an effort that must be made, as: a) most
employees want to return to their jobs; and b) finding better ways to
return employees to work saves employers thousands of dollars in medical
expenses and lost productivity. Data shows that when employers have
strong return-to-work (RTW) programs, they can reduce, by weeks and even
monthsii, total lost time injury duration.
GENEX Services has conducted in-depth analysis of recent claims and
outlined the top five barriers and solutions for more effective RTW
Injured workers often aren't directed to top performing providers.
It's estimated that less than 20 percent of work comp injuriesiii
are treated by the best-performing doctors in the network (by
outcomes, RTW, medical efficiency, and other criteria). That's the
difference between several days delay in RTW and several thousand
dollars in unnecessary costs. Look for programs that use analytics to
identify and direct workers to the best providers in the network.
There's little recognition or accommodations made for
comorbidities, such as obesity or depression. It's estimated that
more than 50 percent of American workers are obese, have diabetes,
heart disease, or other illnesses.iv Injured employees are
45 percent more likely to be treated for depression than their
non-injured counterparts.v RTW programs should address all
comorbidities or there may be unnecessary complications with a
Poor utilization of case management programs. Good case
management requires a range f skills and attributes, ranging from
clinical and vocational credentials and experience, to a strong
knowledge of state and federal regulations. Medical case managers must
be engaged in every step of the care process to facilitate a more
robust exchange of information between the employer and the treating
provider. Look for programs that provide optimal and proven case
management strategies and outcomes.
There's often a lack of a formalized written return-to-work policy.
When it comes to getting workers back on the job, it's important that
everyone is on the same page. Yet many companies haven't fully thought
out - let alone communicated, what they want and expect when it comes
to returning to work. It is important to have clear written RTW
polices to ensure that the employer and vendors are clear on the
process that needs to happen to bring injured workers back to
Some employers are hesitant to embrace modified duty. Temporary
modified duty is a crucial step for returning to productive
employment. Modified duty involves starting with a limited set of
tasks that reflect the medically necessary restrictions established by
the treating physician. Temporary job modifications may include
modifying a workstation or equipment or rescheduling working, and
assignment to another department where light-duty tasks are available.
It helps injured workers to re-engage with their colleagues and return
to the routine of the workplace. Modified and/or transitional duty can
reduce disability duration by 40 percent.vi
For more information about effective RTW strategies, please download our
free "Essentials of Return to Work" series at info.genexservices.com/returntowork.
About GENEX Services, LLC
GENEX Services is the most experienced workers' compensation managed
care provider in the industry. GENEX provides insurers, employers, and
third party administrators with a broad array of managed care solutions
to support the claims management lifecycle. GENEX helps firms manage and
control the medical, wage-loss, and productivity costs associated with
claims in the workers' compensation, disability, automobile, and health
care systems. With more than 2,500 employees and 55 service locations
throughout North America, the company delivers case management,
utilization management, medical bill review, preferred provider
organizations, Social Security representation, information management,
Medicare Set-Aside, and related cost-containment solutions.
Resources used in this news release are available at the following links
or upon request. All links accessed 8/5/2014.
GENEX Network Analysis - available upon request
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