The Big Returns from Occupational Medicine

Michael Galvan

Employees are your greatest asset. Healthy workers are often the difference between a successful business and a struggling one. That’s why it makes sense to invest in the health and wellness of the people who support your company. The outcomes from a comprehensive occupational safety and health program can be significant and make a major impact on the financial success of a business.  

When thinking about the implementation of an occupational medicine program, you want to make sure you will receive timely reports that keep you updated on the status of your employees, any costs associated with the care, and the progression of activity as your employees return to productivity.  

In order to help you manage your business, as well as the costs and processes of caring for injured employees, employers need certain information from their medical provider about the progression of the case. This includes timely reports that track the life of a workers’ comp claim, treatment adherence by employees, employee screening results, physical therapy utilization information, and overall measurements of how your business is performing compared to industry standards.

As you begin to evaluate the chosen medical provider during your implementation of your occupational medicine program, look for partners that can provide these types of reports and other customizable information to assist you in managing these elements. Since your employees are your most important asset, you need to know if they are getting the kind of employee health care that will help them to return to normal function and health.

Typically, patient status reports are updated the same day and communicated to stakeholders via email or electronic reports. This flow of information allows you as an employer to effectively manage workers’ compensation injuries and run an effective team.

Part of the reporting should show you what your dollars are doing. As part of occupational medicine reporting, you should ask your provider for information on how they help to reduce claims costs, affect employee downtime, and reduce cost per visit for both medical care and physical therapy. These elements have a direct impact on your total cost of care, and ultimately the bottom line of your business. By receiving regular reports and actively tracking of these elements, you can better manage your costs and monitor the effectiveness of your occupational medicine provider. 

 The worker’s compensation system creates many opportunities for patients, employers, and payors to become disconnected. With proper reporting, an employer can reduce the risk of a routine injury becoming a costly and prolonged condition. Even worse, when an injury turns into a disability, both the worker and the employer lose.

A great occupational health provider works with employers to handle injuries in the most direct and effective way possible. That’s why the best occupational medicine providers create a return-to-work program. This plan sets specific goals for employee progress and gets them back on their feet.

Other key stakeholders stay informed about an injured employees’ status to the extent allowed by the law. This makes it much simpler to manage claims and facilitate an efficient process. As an employer, you should have direct electronic access to the treating clinician, and be able to communicate with him or her about your employee’s progress and treatment plans.

Protecting and managing the health of your employees has a direct impact on the success of your business, no matter what size. By efficiently managing the health, safety, and treatment of workers, you can reduce costs and improve the productivity of your workforce.

If you are interested in implementing an occupational health program or want to see if there are gaps in your current plan, talk to one of our work health experts