Comprehensive Return-to-Work/RTW programs can reduce STD & LTD costs by upwards of 30% and most importantly, significantly reduce the risk of re-injury through functional mismatching of the worker with the critical job demands of a current or proposed position.
Most RTW programs fail because they focus exclusively on one of the two variables associated with successful RTW: the worker or the worksite. Relatively few programs address both variables especially through validated assessments and sound clinical decision making. Additionally, a RTW program that exclusively focuses on vocational elements such as the patient’s age, education, and aptitudes, but avoids physical functioning assessments is virtually doomed to failure. D+WC does not provide traditional vocational rehab elements. Our focus is on function!
Fifty-five percent of all “medical” claims are disability and absence related. Some of these represent fresh injury while others aggravation of pre=existing conditions. One in three Americans possesses at least one chronic disease or condition. Eighty percent of those over the age of 65yrs have two or more chronic conditions such as diabetes, low back injury or carpal tunnel syndrome. There are over two million people in the U.S. with carpal tunnel syndrome. These data will surely climb as people work longer on jobs and more women enter the workforce (e.g. increased prevalence of CTS). Absence management consumes roughly thirty-five percent of employer payroll costs.
D+WC provides guidance to employers, insurers and case managers in how to effectively integrate health care specifically, rehabilitation with proven absence management strategies.
Time is everything when it comes to successful RTW. Studies over the past forty plus years beginning with Northwestern Life Insurance of Minneapolis demonstrate that to delay effective rehabilitation is to diminish the likelihood of a RTW and to entrench an injured worker in the “sick role.” When this occurs a constellation of psychosocial and economic barriers supplant the original medical barriers. The literature cites ad nausea the doom n’ gloom statistics regarding protracted work absence. To delay effective rehab is to compromise rehab and compromised rehab extinguishes the likelihood of success.
D+WC ‘s staff applies functional expertise, which is a significant differentiator from many disability and absence management approaches. We have been in the clinical rehab trenches, have conducted thousands of FCEs, functional job analyses, ergonomic analyses, and as peer reviewers; have seen the devastation that results when the right patient/injured worker receives delayed and/or wrong treatment instead, of the evidence-based management strategies.
Sources of data:
Hartford Insurance (2013), Mercer Health & Benefits (2010),
National Business Group on Health (2013), Aetna (2012)