The Return To Work Blog

Where Did My Purpose Go?

Posted by Gary Lavoie on Mar 24, 2016 1:20:02 PM

...said every Claims Adjuster.

The past few months we’ve been talking about Return To Work, and specifically a changing industry working hard to overcome the musculoskeletal shift that is the root cost driver in the workers’ compensation insurance segment.  What we know is that the moment a negative psychosocial component is introduced at the onset of a claim, that “6-figure eye roll,"  naturally causes the injured worker to go into benefit preservation mode. 

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Topics: Life of an Adjuster

55 and Beyond: Staying In The Game with A Little Help

Posted by Mike Pringle on Mar 16, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Aging Workforce Statistics

In 2012 20.9% of the United States workforce was aged 55 or older, and estimates project this percentage to increase to 25.6% by 2022 (U.S. Department of Labor, 2014). Older employees continue to be active members in the workforce so they may postpone retirement, maintain income for financial reasons, or simply preserve a productive and social presence. As workers age, a reciprocal relationship develops between experience and knowledge, and physical functioning and cognitive abilities. These life resources typically need to be managed and supported in order to maintain an effective occupational role as employees age.

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Topics: Aging Workforce

Return To Work Success : A Housekeeper

Posted by Lara Cole on Mar 11, 2016 11:03:28 AM

Our Return To Work Spotlight of the Month is focused on the hospitality industry. Housekeeping positions are incredibly physically demanding, requiring you to be on your feet for an entire 8.5 hour workday. Not only are they pushing the heavy supply cart from floor to floor, they are frequently bending, squatting and reaching.    

We were referred direct by the Employer, who in this case had an injured worker who had work restrictions, was not back to work and was represented. Without question, the Employer wanted this Employee back.  The Employer hoped that by getting us onsite to document the work environment and find a creative way to bring this person back, that the Employee would be supportive of the Return To Work process. 

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Topics: Spotlight of the Month

I Never Really Liked That Car Anyway...

Posted by Sebastian Grasso on Mar 3, 2016 12:39:40 PM

Imagine getting into a fender bender and going through the process of working with your insurance adjuster to get your car repaired. After a period of time you get a call from your adjuster letting you know that the body shop has finished the repair and your car is ready for pick up. Instead of saying, “Ok, I’ll go get it”, you say, “I’ve decided I don’t want my car back….it was a bad purchase”. Now imagine your adjuster saying, “Oh, ok” and just like that, you have relieved yourself from all the debt and liability associated with your vehicle. You’re free to go find a newer and presumably, better vehicle. That definitely requires a good imagination because it has never, and will never, happen.

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Topics: Return To Work

Reducing Rx Spend By 495% - Yep, You Read That Right

Posted by Brittany Soos on Feb 24, 2016 12:15:00 PM

Back Story

Sometimes we aren't always treating the work environment to impact Return To Work.  There are many pieces of the puzzle that affect RTW, but it's the sum of all parts pushing towards the same common goal that creates success.  In this case our outcome was getting someone to a healthier state, the by-product of that was some cost savings.

This case was talked about internally, and I thought it would be interesting to share the "behind the scenes" analysis that went into not only reducing Rx spend by 495%, but more importantly getting a yes from the provider and IW, (injured worker) to begin the process of being weaned from oxycodone.  

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Topics: Reducing Rx Spend

Return To Work Success : A Landscaper And A Janitor

Posted by Lara Cole on Feb 4, 2016 8:00:00 PM

Landscaper with right hip, neck and lower back injuries

Landscaping is a rough job that uses hand and power tools or equipment. Workers perform a myriad of tasks including laying sod, mowing, trimming, planting, digging, and even snow removal in the off season. The work can be arduous. A valuable landscape employee that had sustained hip, neck and lower back injuries was able to recover enough to be cleared to return to modified duty work. The work release had restrictions that included not lifting more than 10 pounds, and no more than 50 minutes of sitting or standing. For many these work restrictions would be an insurmountable obstacle to a successful return to work. To make things harder, the employer had laid the injured employee off and replaced them with a new worker. Our Return To Work team took the modified duty work restrictions and collaborated with the employer to identify an alternate position for the employee that was immediately available, and within the injured workers' abilities with the implementation of simple job task rotation and regular breaks.

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Topics: Return To Work, Spotlight of the Month

Who Is In Charge of Return To Work Spend?

Posted by Gary Lavoie on Jan 27, 2016 9:30:00 AM

More Band-Aids

We participated in some interesting dialogue just recently, about Workers’ Comp costs.  Workers’ Compensation has a cost problem that we’re all trying to patch up or put a band-aid on.  Our efforts include implementing a pharmacy program, engaging with a bill review provider, aligning with a physical therapy network, discounting both DME (Durable Medical Equipment), diagnostics and maybe even psych treatment, all with the intent of creating SAVINGS.   But there is a problem.  Costs are still going up!   We can all recognize that while a healthy managed care program SHOULD be leveraging all of the above, we’re not actually saving anything. 

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Topics: Return To Work, Rising Indemnity and Medical Costs

I'm Working, But Still In Pain...What Do I Do?

Posted by Lara Cole on Jan 20, 2016 9:30:00 AM

Early Intervention - be prepared to act

In this monthly spotlight we dive into how it is imperative to recognize the importance of early intervention prior to a claim being filed, as well as early intervention when an injured worker first returns to work yet is still in pain.


Employees experiencing pain and discomfort during the course of their work need immediate attention, they need to know that their employer wants to hear about these situations and will work tirelessly to make sure the work environment is productive and safe.  We worked with three employees recently who may not have stayed on the job without a concerned employer responding appropriately and keeping things in check.

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Topics: Return To Work, Spotlight of the Month

Do You Trust That Your Case Manager's Will Get People Back To Work?

Posted by Harry Anderson on Dec 30, 2015 4:00:00 PM

Run of the mill

We’ve all seen it.  Initially, after the injury, the injured worker (IW) goes to their PCP or occ. health provider and is sent to PT for their back, ankle, knee/shoulder complaints.   The Provider completes the examination:  PT is ordered 1 month to 6 weeks followed by a recheck.  With no improvement in 4-6 weeks, the provider recommends an MRI and lo and behold, there is a tear in the meniscus or rotator cuff or whatever site, which needs surgery.  Pretty commonplace stuff.

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Topics: Early Intervention Case Management

The Callaway Big Bertha of Rising Indemnity and Medical Costs

Posted by Gary Lavoie on Dec 23, 2015 1:30:48 PM


Weeks ago, we discussed the necessity of looking through the lens of the injured worker to truly understand the root cause of psychosocial factors that are impacting workers’ compensation claims.   The industry has changed, claim volumes are now comprised of “job description induced pain” more so than acute accidents.  

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Topics: Rising Indemnity and Medical Costs

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"To work is to be needed, and to be needed is essential for life"   - Bertram J. Black

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