Tag Archives: workmans comp

7 Safety Trends for Today’s Workplace

Monumental changes in how and where work is performed create new risk and safety challenges. This session at the RIMS 2019 Annual Conference & Exhibition examined emerging workplace risks and effective safety strategies to address them.

Speakers included:

  • Larry Pearlman, senior vice Ppesident, workforce strategies practice, Marsh
  • Timothy Martin, global health and safety manager, Steelcase

1. Wearables

Ergonomics are a problem across many industries, especially with an aging workforce. Wearable devices measure body stress so that, with injuries, we can determine what happened, how it happened, when it happened and if it will happen again. Different technology like exoskeleton suits are available to help with strenuous activities, which can help retain your aging employees longer than otherwise expected.

2. Robotics

Industries have evolved from using barrier robots (kept away from employees), to collaborative robots (good for repetitive tasks but extremely complicated to program) to now using autonomous robots. Autonomous robots are simple to program in an extremely short time, so virtually any employee can control them with little effort.

See also: Top OSHA Trends Facing Employers  

3. Workplace Violence

Employers are still not being proactive enough on workplace violence, despite the increasing frequency. Training does not extend to drills, and mental health problems are going unaddressed. Employers need to shift from reactive policies to predictive and prescriptive policies. Technology has evolved to provide electronic robots that can patrol your workplace, supported by a control center that can interact with employees in real time.

4. Workplace Wellbeing

Studies show that employees are stressed and in poor health. Employee wellbeing is a major problem, and employers need to implement support for total wellbeing – physical, emotional, financial, social. There is a certain way to inspire wellbeing that does not seem like you are telling employees what they should be doing, which is ineffective. There are more-effective programs available that will tailor programs to employee preferences.

5. Temporary Workers

Temp workers often do not know proper safety basics and company policies related to safety. Employers can reduce the risks related to temporary workers through hiring practices, screening exercises, onboarding and continuous training. If you use a staffing agency, you can partner with it so that it aligns with your safety philosophy. Be transparent and try to match the type of work to the worker based on physical job requirements.

6. Changing Demographics

Training methods must adapt to address the changing nature of the workplace. A blended learning approach is now necessary for different generations. Technology is addressing safety learning preferences for the younger, tech-savvy generations. Micro-learning is available to address bite-size info in real time. Geofencing can monitor and message employees at decision points to ensure rules, compliance and hazard awareness. Also, virtual reality is available to simulate situations to manage the rare, impossible, expensive and risky.

See also: Connected Buildings and Workplace Safety  

7. Marijuana

Marijuana use continues to increase as legalization spreads across the U.S. There is no accurate impairment measurement available, so it is very difficult to create employment policies and testing. It may not make sense to test any more but, rather, enhance your fitness-for-duty policies. There is a new technology that will scan an employee’s eye and tell you if he or she is fit for duty. This is a measure that you can put at the time clock to help measure impairment before the employee begins his or her shift.

The WC Mistakes That States Make

As 2017 gets rolling, state legislatures are convening all over the country. Several of them are about to make mistakes in the area of medication management in workers’ compensation.

My colleague, Mark Pew, and I have written and spoken extensively on the topic of drug formularies. And we’re currently working, formally and informally, with regulators and other stakeholders in jurisdictions across the country on approaches that make sense for employers, doctors, pharmacists and, most importantly, injured workers. While there’s not a lot to be gained for any of us in calling out individual states, there’s a great deal at stake for all of us in the successes and failures of drug formulary implementations. A failure (perceived or real) in one jurisdiction can lead another jurisdiction to delay its own attempt at a formulary — or to scrap it altogether.

So how can we tell if a law or rule set is headed in the right direction? Or, alternatively, if a state’s efforts are more likely to lead to sub-optimal results? Here’s a quick litmus test that you can apply to make your own determination:

1. Will the formulary rely on independent, third-party medical treatment guidelines?

There’s a great deal of industry discussion surrounding this topic, mostly focused on the definition of “evidence-based medicine.” While that conversation is interesting, it’s not the critical factor in overall formulary success. The crucial questions are twofold: First, will there be room for political influence in the formation of the guidelines? Second, will the guidelines be updated with sufficient frequency?

See also: How Should Workers’ Compensation Evolve?  

2. Does the formulary process build off of existing dispute resolution processes?

States that have successfully implemented drug formularies thus far have done so by relying on existing rules regarding resolution of medical treatment disputes. States that try to simultaneously create a formulary and new dispute resolution processes to support it are, in reality, trying to do two things at once. Not impossible, but certainly creates execution risk.

3. Does the formulary allow for a remediation period for legacy claims? 

On the one hand, a single effective date creates chaos as employers and physicians try to figure out how to address legacy claims, which tend to be more complicated. On the other hand, applying new rules to new injuries creates two standards of care within a workers’ compensation system, where an injured worker’s treatment plan is driven entirely by the date on which he was injured (which makes no clinical sense). I look for regulatory language that takes a balanced approach — an initial implementation date for new injuries, followed by a remediation period for legacy claims, followed by a fully effective date for new rules and all claims.

4. Is the formulary process scalable?  

I always look to see if the dispute resolution process can stand up to a significant volume of cases. While the goal of any formulary adoption should be to streamline access to medically necessary medications for injured workers, states should take a “hope for the best, plan for the worst” approach. Dispute resolution processes that rely on one individual or one office for ultimate resolution may lead to bottlenecks and, in a worst-case scenario, undue influence. I always ask myself, what will this look like if there are more disputes than the state expects?

See also: Five Workers’ Compensation Myths

One bad apple can spoil the bunch. Let’s get this right.

The article was originally published here.

2017 Issues to Watch in Workers’ Comp

The first Out Front Ideas with Kimberly and Mark webinar of 2017 provided our thoughts on the 20 Workers’ Compensation Issues to Watch in 2017. What follows is a summary of the issues discussed:

1. Election Impact

The Department of Labor under President Obama had made it clear that they felt state workers’ compensation systems needed reform and they were prepared to recommend minimum benefit standards to the states. Trump’s recommendation for Secretary of Labor has been a vocal opponent of many federal labor regulations. For now, any talk of the Federal Government getting involved in state workers’ compensation issues seems to be on hold.

However, one issue that could involve the federal government is related to potential costs being shifted from workers’ compensation to social security disability. Efforts to preserve the solvency of social security could result in action intended to limit this cost shifting.

2. Healthcare Reform

Regardless of which side of the aisle we find ourselves, surveys have shown that most Americans believe the Affordable Care Act is not working as it was originally intended or as well as they would like.

A few things are clear, access to health insurance does not dictate better health. If care remains unaffordable, people will not access care for themselves or their family. Healthcare is increasingly complex and accessing the right care at the right time remains a struggle for the general public. We are challenged to advance the approach of well care when, in fact, we remain largely a sick-care system.

While we wait to see how the GOP evolves health reform, we are hopeful that efforts underway to shift from fee-for-service to value-based and outcomes-focused care will continue to advance. We hope healthcare suppliers will continue to advance population health wellness as much as they focus on chronic disease. Kimberly George views this as the single most important issue to watch in 2017.

3. OSHA

Another potential impact of the election results is the direction OSHA may take in 2017 and beyond. In recent years, employers have complained that OSHA was more focused on enforcement than education and training. In fact, OSHA did shift resources out of education into enforcement. Recent OSHA policies such as the publicly-accessible online database and restrictions on post-injury drug testing were met with significant resistance from the employer community. OSHA falls under the Department of Labor and, as mentioned before, the expectation is that the Department of Labor will have a new direction under the Trump administration.

4. ADA/FMLA

During the Obama administration, we saw an increase in enforcement actions and also broadening of regulations that placed more burdens on the employer. Leave-of-absence regulations have become increasingly more complex over the past eight years.

ADA accommodation requests were initially related to ergonomics and transitional work accommodations following an illness or injury. Today, they have become more complex, including everything from bringing service animals into the workplace, allergies and noise accommodations to establishing work-from-home accommodations. The list goes on and on. What constitutes a “covered” disability has evolved and employers are tasked with ensuring compliance. Under the Trump administration, the Feds are less likely to pursue actions that would expand existing boundaries of the law.

5. Rates and Premiums

One of the interesting things about workers’ compensation market cycles is that they are generally driven by changes in competition more than changes in exposures. If you look at claims costs over the last 20 years, they have steadily increased, yet premiums during this same period have gone up and down.

During the January 1 renewal cycle, rates trended flat or slightly down compared to expiring premiums. There are some problem states that saw higher rates, including California, New York, Illinois and Florida. The declining rates compared to increasing claims costs have caused A.M. Best, Fitch and others to issue a negative outlook on workers’ compensation. It is expected that this hyper-competitive market cycle is going to end soon as the new entrants into the marketplace start to see the long-tail losses from their business hitting the books.

See also: 25 Axioms Of Medical Care In The Workers Compensation System  

6. Long-Tail Exposures

One of the things that make workers’ compensation such a challenge for employers and carriers is the long-tail nature of the claims. “Long tail” means that premiums collected today must cover losses for years to come. The claims tail is an issue to watch because of the impact it has on both carriers and employers in terms of cost of insurance today and future reserves.

The biggest driver of increasing claims-tail costs are advances in medical science. Better medicine means life expectancies are getting longer. This increases the exposures for lifetime indemnity and medical benefits. In addition, new drugs and treatments almost always cost more than what they are replacing, especially when you consider the cost difference between brand name drugs and generic medication. Prosthetics are so much more advanced today than they were 10 years ago, but they also cost significantly more.

7. State Legislative Agendas

We expect to see new workers’ compensation legislation established in at least four states during 2017:

Florida
Last year, the Florida Supreme Court tossed out multiple elements of their workers’ compensation statutes as unconstitutional, which caused a significant increase in claims costs and premium rates. There will be bills introduced to address these issues.

Illinois
Last year, and again this year, Illinois Governor Rauner has made workers’ compensation reform a key element in his job-growth agenda. He is calling for medical fee schedule reductions, higher causation standards for conditions to be found compensable, and legislation to reverse court decisions that have expanded benefits.

New York
New York is another state where reform efforts stalled last year. Employers are pushing for limits on the time for an employee to reach maximum medical improvement, which triggers the 10-year cap on indemnity benefits.

California
Every year the legislature passes bills to reverse recent reforms, and with few exceptions the Governor has vetoed those bills. There will inevitably be more reform bills introduced in 2017, so we will see what those bills address and whether the Governor will approve any of them.

Options to Workers’ Compensation
In 2016, we saw efforts to push for options to workers’ compensation stall. Legislation in Tennessee and South Carolina did not move forward, and the Oklahoma Option was found unconstitutional by the State Supreme Court.

There is talk of a Texas-style opt-out bill being introduced in Florida in 2017. This bill would make workers’ compensation optional. There are also rumors about an option bill being reintroduced in Tennessee. It remains to be seen if there is enough momentum in either state to move this legislation forward.

8. Treatment Guidelines

Workers’ compensation stakeholders have become very familiar with medical treatment and return-to-work guidelines, along with evidence-based medicine. Payers and managed-care suppliers work diligently to embed guidelines in their systems for nurses and claims adjusters to improve efficiency with access to the guides and workflow for their colleagues. States have implemented a variety of guideline solutions, which include creating unique formularies and treatment guides, and also adopting industry-available workers’ compensation guidelines. The lack of guideline consensus across stakeholders including physicians, regulators, payers, and suppliers is an ongoing challenge to the system.

9. Constitutional Challenges

In 2016, elements of the workers’ compensation statutes in five states were found to be unconstitutional by such states’ respective Supreme Court. Among the issues found unconstitutional in 2016 were:

  • Caps on temporary total disability benefits
  • Exclusion of coverage for certain farm workers
  • Caps on attorney fees
  • Time limits for filing cumulative trauma clams
  • Use of current edition of AMA guidelines for impairment ratings

When an aspect of the law is found unconstitutional, that change goes back to when the law was enacted. In Florida, the rulings changed the laws governing years of existing claims, significantly increasing the exposure on such claims retroactively. This created unanticipated liabilities for carriers and self-insured employers.

The success of attorneys in challenging these statutes provides a road map for attorneys in other states to pursue similar challenges.

10. Mental Health

The notion that workers are not impacted by mental illness when a work injury occurs or that mental health is always separate from workers’ compensation is an increasing challenge for the industry. Mental health is among the top 3-5 reasons for short term disability absences across white and blue collar workers, mental health crosses industry verticals. More than ever employers understand that lack of mental health care impacts productivity, regardless of how an injury or illness occurred. Ways in which employers are addressing mental health and workers’ compensation include promoting EAP and behavioral health programs for employees regardless of how an injury or illness develops.

One challenging aspect of this issue is the fact that many states significantly limit or completely prohibit workers’ compensation benefits for mental injuries without any physical cause. There will be more discussions in the future about the need to revisit laws around the country dealing with mental injuries.

11. Impaired Workforce

After the November elections, eight states and DC allow for recreational use of marijuana. This means around one in five people live in a state where recreational marijuana is now legal.

For employers, this means the reality that a percentage of your workforce is likely impaired. Years ago many employers stopped doing pre-employment drug testing because they could not get enough applicants to pass to fill their jobs. New OSHA regulations from 2016 seek to significantly limit the use of post-injury drug testing, which further inhibits employers looking to maintain a drug-free workplace policy.

The answers to this issue is very challenging. Drug testing for marijuana always focused on whether the drug was present in the system because it was illegal. It can be detected in the system 30 days after use, but showing presence of the drug does not show impairment. This is an area where the science needs to catch up with social reality. We need an established standard for what constitutes impairment when it comes to marijuana.

See also: How Should Workers’ Compensation Evolve?  

12. Alternatives to Opioids for Chronic Pain

For a number of years, there has been significant focus on reducing prescription opioid use in workers’ compensation. With President Obama supporting awareness of the opioid epidemic in 2016, the management of opioids and opioid-related deaths became a household topic across America. In 2017, we believe there will be greater emphasis on the options outside of opioids for both acute and chronic pain. Admitting patients into functional restoration programs and multi-disciplinary integrated pain management programs have proven successful ways to eliminate opioid use. Meditation, exercise, mindfulness, yoga, and cognitive behavioral therapy have also shown success.

In the quest to offer non-opioid treatment options in workers’ compensation, one of the challenges is coverage. Insurers have been quick to pay for opioids and hesitant to pay for alternative treatments. One-size-fits-all approaches to care will not work for these patients. Treatment is outside of guidelines and requires coordination and care, rather than simply approving or denying treatment. 2017 should be our year to improve functionality for patients currently on opioids and alternative treatments must be considered.

13. Occupational Disease

We know that exposure to certain substances in the workplace can lead to diseases such as cancer. It can take years after the exposure for these diseases to manifest themselves. Yet most statutes only cover certain defined diseases and, in many states, the statute of limitations for reporting a claim is less than the manifestation period for the disease. This creates a hole in the coverage for these diseases.

This is an issue we are going to see in more courts around the nation, as these diseases continue to manifest themselves over time. Medical science is becoming more precise in identifying the sources of these diseases, and, as this happens, workers’ compensation statutes will need to be amended to provide better coverage for those workers who contract such diseases.

The opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to occupational disease coverage are the presumption laws that impact police, firefighters and other first responders. There are currently 34 states with various presumption laws covering a variety of cancers, diseases of the heart and lungs, and certain blood-borne diseases. Opponents of these bills argue that the science does not support an increased risk for disease due to the occupation alone and that these claims should be subject to the same causation standards as other occupational disease claims.

14. Transparency with Workers

How many times have you heard an injured worker say they didn’t understand the information that was provided to them? Often times injured workers retain attorneys simply because they are confused and do not feel like anyone is there to help them. Many of us in the industry believe the pendulum has swung too far towards the process of workers’ compensation instead of taking care of the injured worker.

There was great industry momentum in 2016 with advocacy-based claims models. In 2017, look for ways in which the advocacy discussion evolves into transparency discussions. Transparency is helping the injured worker be a good consumer within the workers’ compensation arena, helping them understand the process, and providing them the best available information to make proper decisions.

15. Insurance Talent Gap

We know that a significant percentage of the workforce in the insurance industry is expected to retire in the next 10 years. The pipeline of workers to replace these retiring employees is insufficient. To address this, we need a multi-faceted approach that includes working with colleges in developing risk management education and a focus on talent attraction and recruitment. Training programs need to continue to be refined so that the knowledge of retiring employees can be passed on. Finally, employee retention is also a concern. Employers need to be more flexible with working arrangements to compete with other occupations that allow for flexible hours and work-from-home options.

16. Workers’ Compensation’s Public Image

There is growing effort underway to promote the good in our industry. Everyday our companies and our colleagues are making the right decisions and helping people in their time of need. Yet, we also have such a long way to go in the area of public relations. We need to talk more about the good we do in helping injured workers regain their quality of life. This will not only help with the stakeholders in the system, but will go a long way with recruiting the next generation into our field. Workers’ compensation is about taking care of people and it is very meaningful work. Let’s all focus on improving workers’ compensation’s reputation this year.

17. The Evolution of Workers’ Compensation

In the last year, several industry groups have had discussions on how workers’ compensation should evolve to better meet the needs of today’s workforce. The threat of federal intervention was the driving force behind much of these discussions. With that threat on hold for now, it is important that the industry take this opportunity to continue these discussions while we can control the agenda. If change is needed, then we want to be the ones working with legislators and regulators to draft those changes.

18. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

Predictive analytics have been around for over 10 years. Claims professionals began using predictive analytics to identify the claims that had a propensity for adverse development. Other models evolved to address litigation, sports medicine care opportunities and return-to-work goals. It is safe to say that nearly all payers have predictive models today and probably just as likely that there is little published data on the outcomes associated with these models.

In 2017, we believe the conversation will shift to machine learning. What payers have evolved or are building new claims systems to address artificial intelligence and machine learning? Should all claims be handled by a claims adjuster? Do interventions on every claims impact the ultimate exposure or are we at a point in the industry where processing a claim should be as easy as a warranty or auto claim? There is tremendous untapped potential in this area.

See also: Healthcare Reform’s Effects on Workers’ Compensation  

19. External Disruptors

Looking to the future, there are many areas where external disruptors could have a significant impact on workers’ compensation. Mark Walls feels this is the biggest issue for the industry to watch in 2017.

Many large employers have been looking at the merits of a 24-hour healthcare model. With medical making up close to 60% of workers’ compensation costs, what happens if that element is removed from the system?

Changing retail buying habits are also having an impact on workers’ compensation. Retailers are closing stores and going out of business. With more Americans doing their shopping online, what is the future for the retail industry?

Finally, automation is a reality that has potential to be a significant disruptor. The manufacturing and distribution industry has seen significant job loss due to automation. Think of all the jobs in the trucking, shipping and transportation industry that could be lost to self-driving vehicles. Automation could be the ultimate disruptor for the workers’ compensation industry.

20. Innovation in Action

While the insurance industry is traditionally not known for innovation, we are certainly hearing more about innovative solutions. Digital health, insurtech, med tech, machine learning, and automation are all terms we are becoming familiar with and each brings its own value to workers’ compensation. As the innovations come to fruition in the marketplace, we will be focused on understanding the value of the innovation. Is the innovation going to improve the experience of the user or is it designed for internal processes and workflow? Will the solution drive efficiency and speed to decision or process improvements? How will quality, compliance and outcomes be impacted and measured?

To listen to the complete webinar, click on this link.

Are Workers’ Comp Systems Broken?

As national conversations occur about the direction of workers’ compensation (WC) systems, I sometimes hear comments that “WC systems are broken.” Rarely are public programs either all black or all white. The material below summarizes relevant information from a variety of published Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) studies about how most workers fare in WC systems. How workers fare is critical to assessing the performance of WC systems, and the effectiveness of these systems affects the competitiveness of American business.

See also: States of Confusion: Workers Comp Extraterritorial Issues

The data from WCRI illustrates that the majority of workers in the workers’ compensation system:

  • Return to work within a few weeks of the injury, typically to their pre-injury employers at the same jobs and pay as before the injury
  • Receive their first income benefit payment in 30 days or less from the time that the payer is notified of the claim
  • Report that they were satisfied with the overall medical care received, including the time it took to have the first non-emergency visit with a provider and access to the desired medical services

See also: Return to Work Decisions on a Worker’s Comp Claim

Here is more detail:

Return to work and recovery of earnings capacity

The overwhelming majority of injured workers return to work and do so to their pre-injury employer at the same or higher pay:

  • 75% to 85% of workers had less than one week of lost time[1]
  • 80% to 90% of workers had four weeks of lost time or less[2]
  • 85% to 95% of workers had six weeks or less of lost time[3]
  • Only 5% to 10% said they earned a lot less when they first returned to work (for those who returned to work)[4]
  • 87% to 95% said they returned to their pre-injury employer[5]
  • Half of those changing employers reported that the change was not due to the injury[6]

Timely payment

Most workers receive their first indemnity payment without dispute or substantial delay:[7]

  • 40% to 50% in 14 days or less from the time payer was notified of injury
  • 60% to 75% in 30 days or less

Satisfaction and access to medical care

By an overwhelming majority, most workers were satisfied with medical care received (workers with more than seven days of lost time):

  • 75% to 85% reported somewhat or very satisfied[8]
  • 85% to 90% reported no problems or small problems getting desired care[9]
  • 80% to 90% reported being somewhat or very satisfied with the time it took to have the first nonemergency care[10]

While the systems may serve most workers reasonably well, the data also shows that there are injured workers with certain attributes that make them less likely to receive these good outcomes. Discussions that focus on system changes that improve outcomes for these injured workers have high-impact potential. A subsequent post will highlight the evidence on who these workers are.

A Biopsychosocial Approach to Recovery

Watching people try to recover from injury can be baffling. Some recover function quickly; others do not. Why is there so much variability with severity and duration of disability, given similar injuries or illnesses? Why do some individuals get stuck in delayed recovery?

Our medical system has tended to focus on the physical: If there is back pain, there must be something going on in the disc, vertebrae or nerve roots. That approach isn’t bad. Medicine has made a lot of progress with that tactic. But sometimes a physical cause isn’t apparent.

If we examine what else may be happening in people’s lives, what they’re thinking and what they’re feeling, we start to uncover circumstances and behaviors that may be delaying their recovery.

The Hartford is focusing on a different and promising approach that looks beyond the physical aspects (such as symptoms, physical findings, test results) and looks at the whole person as a biopsychosocial being who may have non-physical barriers that are delaying recovery. The Hartford has developed a program that offers help to assist people in getting unstuck.

Internal data analytics indicate the presence of psychosocial risk factors can account for a two- to four-fold increase in disability duration of work-related injuries.

Background

The biomedical model has served as the traditional foundation of our understanding of the body and has formed the bedrock of modern Western medicine. In essence, this model reduces illness and injury to their most basic units; the body is seen as a machine that operates on the basis of physical and chemical processes. In other words, find out what’s wrong with the body and fix it.

The biopsychosocial model seeks to amplify the biomedical model by addressing an individual holistically as a physical, psychological and social being.

The 1970s saw pioneering work in the treatment of chronic pain by using psychological — or behavioral – principles. For instance, W.E. Fordyce at the University of Washington found that helping patients with pain behave normally (that is, getting them to stop displaying pain behaviors) led to improvements in function.

In the 1980s, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) began to be used in treating chronic pain patients. CBT tries to change patterns of thinking or behavior that are behind a person’s difficulties all to change how they feel.

In the past 20 years, some have shown the usefulness of interventions based on specific psychosocial risk factors for pain and disability. Much of this work has been carried out in Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

See also: Better Outcomes for Chronic Pain

The medical and research literature points to social and behavioral factors — like fear, expectation of recovery, catastrophic thinking and perceived injustice — as powerful forces that can delay recovery after an injury or illness. As one example, a 2015 WCRI study showed that fear of getting fired could affect a worker’s return to work after an injury.

The Hartford Approach

Armed with an understanding of these drivers of disability, The Hartford is using its advanced data analytics and developing innovative solutions to help workers at risk regain the function they had before an injury or illness.

A patented text mining technique allows us to look for psychosocial, comorbid and other risk factors to identify, early on, individuals who demonstrate a likelihood to have a prolonged disability. By combining this early identification tool with a growing toolkit of interventions, we are finding new ways to help individuals restore their lives after an injury or illness.

One such tool is a proprietary, telephonic coaching intervention. Having identified claimants who show an elevated risk for prolonged disability, we invite them to participate in a program that matches them with a specially trained coach who helps them overcome psychosocial barriers. By equipping individuals with skills and techniques to change the way they think, feel and act, we help them develop confidence to take control of their recovery. This confidence allows them to increase function in all areas of life, including return to work.

The voluntary program, called iRECOVER(SM) uses phone calls with the coach, along with a workbook and homework assignments. It can last several weeks.

Although still in its early days, iRECOVER shows promising results: earlier return to function and return to work.

Participant feedback has been very positive. For instance, we have received emails and letters from injured workers that say:

  • “There’s light at the end of the tunnel.”
  • “I feel confident going back to work. A good part of this is due to my participation in iRECOVER.”
  • “I think what you do is probably as important as medical treatment.”
  • “iRECOVER helped me be courageous and strong.”

See also: Data Science: Methods Matter (Part 1)

Conclusion

By considering the whole patient, applying potent data analytics and developing innovative solutions, we are getting to the root of delayed recovery for many individuals. The results will benefit all concerned, especially the injured worker, who just wants life to get back to normal.