Every Workers’ Comp Recovery Plan Requires This Key Element

3 weeks ago

Every Workers’ Comp Recovery Plan Requires This Key Element

Picture this – a well-laid-out recovery plan, a first-class physical therapy (PT) clinic, experienced therapists, and state-of-the-art equipment. The perfect start to an injured worker’s recovery journey, right? Yes, but only if the most important element – the injured worker himself – is present.  

Missed or cancelled medical appointments cost the healthcare industry $10 billion1 annually. Take a closer look and you will discover that 3.6 million Americans every year miss their much-needed medical appointments due to lack of transportation2. For many, this is a recurring theme – if you do not have access to a reliable car to get to your appointment today, you may not possess one to get to your appointment next week either. This is especially true in predominantly rural communities, where more than one million households do not have access to a vehicle3.

If an injured worker’s presence is the key element of any successful recovery plan, then transportation is its tagalong sibling. Take traditional PT services, diagnostics tests, dental appointments, and physician follow-up appointments – these services and appointments require an injured worker be present, and that means reliable transportation is critical.

In the absence of a car, many people will book their own ride-sharing services. While these services greatly increase an injured worker’s ability to get to their appointments, they are never going to be as reliable as when transportation is coordinated, scheduled, monitored, and managed for them within the workers’ compensation system.

Let’s consider a ride arranged by an injured worker outside of the workers’ compensation system vs. the innovative ride-sharing capabilities available within it. A ride arranged outside of the system won’t send an injured worker a text reminder on the day of their appointment. It won’t flex automatically to account for weather or traffic. It won’t let the clinic know if an injured worker has been delayed. And it certainly won’t reduce paperwork by billing the payor directly.

Workers’ compensation ride-sharing transportation services, like RelayRIDE, are convenient, easy-to-use services that can be used to arrange transportation to, and from, medical appointments. These types of services help injured workers make it to their appointments, thus cutting no-shows in half. In 2021, One Call tapped into ridesharing services to get injured workers to appointments – logging a total of more than 2.4 million miles4. Recovery for any of these injured workers could have been derailed if just the medical appointment, but not the transportation, had been scheduled. While getting an injured worker’s medical appointments scheduled is important, reliable transportation to those appointments is equally important.  

Coordinating transportation for your injured workers through the workers’ comp system is reliable. It is also cost-effective. Workers’ comp ride-sharing services often include no minimum mileage, rush or wait-time fees, saving as much as 40 percent in transportation costs4.

Reliable – check. Cost-effective – check. Less stress for injured workers? Check! When you take the time to coordinate both medical appointments and transportation to and from those appointments, you are giving injured workers one less thing to worry about during an incredibly stressful time in their life. And less stress means better health and quicker recovery.  

Why put together a well-laid-out recovery plan, but leave the most important element – the injured worker’s presence at appointments – to chance? By coordinating transportation services for your injured workers, you shorten the distance between a workplace injury and return to work, and that is an investment worth getting right.

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This article originally appeared in WorkCompWire.

References:

1. Association, A. H. (2017, November). Social Determinants of Health Series: Transportaion and the Role of Hospitals. Retrieved from American Hospital Association: https://www.aha.org/ahahret-guides/2017-11-15-social-determinants-health-series-transportation-and-role-hospitals

2. SourceFuse. (n.d.). Retrieved from Major Impact of a Missed Non Emergency Medical Appointment: https://www.sourcefuse.com/blog/major-impact-of-a-missed-non-emergency-medical-appointment/

3. Bellis, R. (2020, May 14). SmartGrowth. Retrieved from More than one million households without a car in rural America need better transit: https://smartgrowthamerica.org/more-than-one-million-households-without-a-car-in-rural-america-need-better-transit/

4. One Call National Data. Jacksonville, Florida

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