February 2, 2016
Triage, Telemedicine Change Work Comp
Nurse triage is spreading from big firms to boutique, regional firms as a way to control costs. And telemedicine changes the whole game for workers' comp.
On average, 4% of the workforce experiences a non-fatal work injury each year. Considering the current number of employed workers in the U.S. is 144 million, the workers’ compensation industry is a huge sector that often flies under the radar – at least until recent years.
With the establishment of the Affordable Care Act, combined with medical advancements and the way consumers interact with evolving technology, the industry is taking a new shape.
Workers’ compensation triage did not exist two decades ago. I recall starting in the business and having to convince companies of the need for telephonic nurse triage. Today, virtually every large company is seeking solutions to better manage work injuries to both reduce costs and to have employees return to work more quickly.
Substantial evidence shows that better outcomes are produced when an injured worker seeks care sooner rather than later.
Because of that, a trend has emerged in which more entities are offering nurse triage as part of their workers’ compensation package to clients. Whereas big insurance brokers used to offer it, the service is now being offered at regional boutique firms as a way to control costs for clients.
Another trend that is rapidly changing the workers’ compensation industry is telemedicine. How medical care is delivered to the injured worker is shifting and, with it, so must we. Digital health-at-large is among the biggest developments that workers’ compensation has been facing in recent years.
What remains the same in treating work injury cases is fundamental human nature: care and empathy. Initiating positive early intervention is the cornerstone of a successful claims management program. Offering empathy to injured workers has been our guiding principle as our business model has been adapted over the years. Technology used to service a work injury claim must be seamless, efficient and robust to ensure the injured employee feels appropriately cared for in their very personal situation.
In 2016, we will be releasing details on how we will be spearheading a new direction for the workers’ compensation industry using this new technology. Stay tuned.