The top predictors of workers’ comp outcomes

The top predictors of workers’ comp outcomes

The top predictors of workers’ comp outcomes Every producer worth his or her salt knows that an employer’s return-to-work program is crucial in lowering workers’ compensation costs. However, any number of factors can influence the effectiveness of those return-to-work programs.
 
New research from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) reveals just what factors influence the outcomes of a return-to-work program, and will allow all concerned with workplace safety to benefit.
 
“Better information about the predictors of poorer worker outcomes may allow payors and doctors to better target health care and return-to-work interventions to those most at risk,” said Dr. Richard Victor, WCRI’s executive director.
 
WCRI researchers who worked on the studies, titled “Predictors of Worker Outcomes,” found trust to be the key predictor in whether or not a return-to-work program is successful. One major aspect of trust was the level at which a worker feared being fired as a result of an injury.
 
Other significant findings include:
 
•    Workers who were strongly concerned about being fired after the injury experienced poorer return-to-work outcomes than workers without those concerns.
•    One in five workers who were concerned about being fired reported that they were not working at the time of the interview. This was double the rate that was observed for workers without such concerns. Among workers who were not concerned about being fired, one in ten workers was not working at the time of the interview.
•    Concerns about being fired were associated with a four-week increase in the average duration of disability.
 
Certain medical conditions experienced by workers at the time of the injury also influenced the length of time the employee spent outside of the workplace. Here, researchers found that:
 
•    Workers with hypertension (when compared with workers without hypertension) had a 3 percentage point higher rate of not working at the time of the interview predominantly due to injury.
•    Workers with heart problems reported an 8 percentage point higher rate of not working at the time of interview predominantly due to injury and had disability duration that was four weeks longer.
•    Workers with diabetes had a 4 percentage point higher rate of not working at the time of the interview predominantly due to injury than workers without diabetes.
 
Researchers based their findings on telephone interviews conducted with 3,200 injured workers in eight states. On average, the workers had sustained their injuries three years previously.
 
The reports are available for purchase through the WCRI at http://www.wcrinet.org/recent_pub.html.
Every producer worth his or her salt knows that an employer’s return-to-work program is crucial in lowering workers’ compensation costs. However, any number of factors can influence the effectiveness of those return-to-work programs.
 
New research from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) reveals just what factors influence the outcomes of a return-to-work program, and will allow all concerned with workplace safety to benefit.
 
“Better information about the predictors of poorer worker outcomes may allow payors and doctors to better target health care and return-to-work interventions to those most at risk,” said Dr. Richard Victor, WCRI’s executive director.
 
WCRI researchers who worked on the studies, titled “Predictors of Worker Outcomes,” found trust to be the key predictor in whether or not a return-to-work program is successful. One major aspect of trust was the level at which a worker feared being fired as a result of an injury.
 
Other significant findings include:
 
•    Workers who were strongly concerned about being fired after the injury experienced poorer return-to-work outcomes than workers without those concerns.
•    One in five workers who were concerned about being fired reported that they were not working at the time of the interview. This was double the rate that was observed for workers without such concerns. Among workers who were not concerned about being fired, one in ten workers was not working at the time of the interview.
•    Concerns about being fired were associated with a four-week increase in the average duration of disability.
 
Certain medical conditions experienced by workers at the time of the injury also influenced the length of time the employee spent outside of the workplace. Here, researchers found that:
 
•    Workers with hypertension (when compared with workers without hypertension) had a 3 percentage point higher rate of not working at the time of the interview predominantly due to injury.
•    Workers with heart problems reported an 8 percentage point higher rate of not working at the time of interview predominantly due to injury and had disability duration that was four weeks longer.
•    Workers with diabetes had a 4 percentage point higher rate of not working at the time of the interview predominantly due to injury than workers without diabetes.
 
Researchers based their findings on telephone interviews conducted with 3,200 injured workers in eight states. On average, the workers had sustained their injuries three years previously.
 
The reports are available for purchase through the WCRI at http://www.wcrinet.org/recent_pub.html.

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