Workplace accidents and injuries are not uncommon in the U.S. In fact they happen every single day. In 2019, the amount of money lost due to work injuries was $171.0 billion.
Most employees may be involved in similar workplace accidents but for sure each of them will have a unique set of circumstances and recovery timelines. To ensure full recovery of injured workers, medical service providers like the workers comp provider network employers typically recommend physical therapy, occupational therapy or respiratory therapy to treat employees who are injured in the workplace.
If one of your employees suffers from a work injury or work-related illness, his treatment and possible rehabilitation should be covered by workers’ compensation as the law provides.
Here are the most common types of rehabilitation your workers’ compensation medical provider will probably recommend to employees who suffer from a workplace accident:
Physical therapy refers to the process of evaluation and treatment of abnormal physical functions due a disease or condition, disability, or injury. It is performed by a physical therapist, a medical professional who is trained and licensed to diagnose and treat abnormal functions of specific parts of the body.
In workers’ compensation, a physical therapist works to restore an injured worker’s physical functions with the ultimate goal of getting that person back to work asap. Additionally, a PT is expected to develop a treatment plan for specific work injuries including back/neck pain, broken arm or leg, or carpal tunnel syndrome.
When an employee sustains a severe work injury such as head trauma and becomes disabled, paralyzed or disoriented as a result, all areas of his life will be affected and he will certainly need occupational therapy to be able to do the things he used to do.
Occupational therapy is more than a process. It is a profession that aims to provide care to an injured person’s health and well-being to enable him to perform activities of everyday life. It can treat a good number of work-related injuries, make patients feel better, and get them back to work.
Under workers’ compensation, occupational therapy is composed of four phases. These are:
Job analysis – to identify and define the minimal and important requirements of the injured employee’s job, its physical requirements, and the frequency of physical tasks to be performed. These tasks include lifting, carrying, pushing/pulling, and reaching.
Ergonomic Analysis – to assess how an injured worker’s workstation or work methods may contribute to the risk of musculoskeletal injury especially when the injured worker performs essential and marginal jobs.
Return-to-Work Consultation – it is intended especially for injured workers who sustain traumatic injury or underwent amputation spent a long time off work have doubts how they can perform difficult tasks return to the task or type of job that caused the injury.
Job coaching – it is commonly done once the return-to-work consultation is completed. The main objectives of job coaching are :
- Teach the injured worker a work method that he can do
- Help the injured worker to gradually develop the capability to perform full-time work
- Get the injured worker back to productive status
It is important to note that occupational therapy does involve costs. As such, you should minimize it by working with a medical management provider that offers occupational therapy cost containment service.
Respiratory therapy is typically intended for employees who work with toxic chemicals, as their job exposes them to risks of respiratory illnesses including breathing difficulties. Through respiratory therapy, Hazmat-exposed employees are able to recover from respiratory distress and related ailments. Respiratory therapy also gives injured workers a means to learn to use medical devices like inhalers and portable oxygen concentrators where these are safe to use upon their return to work.
Even with the enforcement of strict safety precautions, accidents can happen and sometimes cause devastating injuries. All these will lead to the filing of workers’ compensation claims.
Under the workers’ compensation law, as an employer, you are responsible for the medical treatment and possible rehabilitation of your injured employees.
Doing tasks in connection with your employee’s medical care could be too complex and time-consuming even for your staff. Make it easier for you by working with someone well versed with the intricacies of the medical and insurance industries. If your worker needs occupational therapy, we could also do occupational therapy cost containment as part of our service.
For efficient delivery of medical management and scheduling services, call Direct Pay Provider Network at (866) 214-5920. We’re part of a workers comp provider network that Georgia companies and employees trust.