Technological Advances in Workers’ Comp
Technology is evolving in the workers' compensation field - Louisiana Comp Blog highlighted three of our experts and the technology we're utilizing to enhance patient experience.
We are a holistic healthcare company providing services for the workers' comp industry and we're constantly working on improving the services we offer through adopting technological advances. LCI Workers' Comp, along with several other insurance companies in the industry, rely on us to provide scheduling of physical therapy, durable medical equipment, scheduling of diagnostics and more for injured workers. Three notable services that we've worked to provide are RelayRIDE℠, telerehab, and telehealth, which allow the injured worker to stay at home or give them rides when they must visit a brick-and-mortar location to receive treatment. A few of our national product leaders - Linda Colsen, Michelle Despres and Sean Sullivan - offered insight into how we use communication technologies to give more assistance to the patients we work with.
Many injured workers are unable to drive themselves to their doctor’s office either because of their injury or because they don’t have reliable transportation. Their options then are asking people they know to take them to appointments or calling a service to provide transportation if they are unable to easily use public transportation. We provide transportation services through our RelayRIDE℠ program. Our National Product Leader of Transport & Translate Linda Colsen explained, “Referrals for transportation are sent in as normal (typically by the claims adjuster or case manager). RelayRIDE℠ then schedules the ride through Lyft if certain conditions are met (e.g., sedan transportation request in an area serviced by Lyft). We push a series of text messages to the injured worker – keeping them informed about their ride. There is no need to download an app to use this service.”
The people who have used this service so far have enjoyed the convenience of it; we have logged approximately half a million successful rides. Linda continued, “With more than 140,000 respondents, RelayRIDE℠ has an average user satisfaction rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.” RelayRIDE℠ is used for ambulatory injured workers who can get in and out of a vehicle on their own. Other forms of transportation are used for those who require more assistance.
More and more people communicate through video calls. It’s often marketed to families as a way to keep in touch and to businesses as a way to make communication with workers who aren’t in the office more efficient. We are relying on telerehab to get injured workers to do physical therapy without having to leave the comfort of their homes, reducing costs and saving time. Michelle Despres, our National Product Leader of Physical Therapy said, “Our telerehab solution partners with VirtualPT to provide physical therapists with specialized advanced training in mechanical diagnosis and treatment. These therapists evaluate based on function and movement patterns – what used to be done by touch and feel can now be done by cueing movements for the injured worker and watching how their bodies respond.”
An injured workers needs only to have a WiFi-enabled smart device with a camera and the ability to receive live video. “When patients utilize telerehab, they meet with the physical therapist ‘live’ and face-to-face via a secure web-based encounter. Preliminary results are showing excellent patient satisfaction, rapid return to work, decreased duration, expanded hours and patient empowerment that includes better compliance with treatment plans,” Michelle expanded.
While some may feel that telerehab may not be the best solution to getting proper physical therapy, many people are finding it to be highly effective. She continued, “Two of the key benefits to telerehab are patient empowerment and active engagement. Consider this, if a patient needs joint mobilization and they go into a brick and mortar clinic – in that setting, the patient will receive manual joint mobilization treatment from a physical therapist on an average of three times per week. When flipping the script to telerehab – the patient is taught to do this mobilization independently and immediate relief is achieved. The patient has been taught to do this independently and will be able to do it multiple times a day – yielding rapid results.”
We prefer to take into account every aspect of an injured worker’s lifestyle when getting them back to health. Using a telehealth system that can be accessed from anywhere at any time rather than asking the injured worker to constantly come into a medical office can help them get what they really need faster. That is especially important when someone develops or is at risk of developing an opioid dependency. “Health coaching is cost effective healthcare model mostly adopted in the group health space. While adoption is slower in the work comp space, behavioral health coaching is a proven method used to help patients overcome the behavioral aspects connected to opioid addiction,” said Sr. Director of Product Management Sean Sullivan.
Sean continued, “Picture a person walking down a very steep slope – if they start to slip and fall, things can easily snowball to the point of no return. This is similar to those who have drug addiction and dependency. Reaching the point of addiction isn’t caused by one thing – it’s a multitude of combined factors – health literacy, feelings of autonomy, self – motivation and empowerment to navigate the injury journey. A strictly biomedical model does not solve for all these outlying factors that promote or impede recovery. This is where behavioral health coaching become effective. Behavioral health coaching provides a patient-centric approach by helping individuals navigate the slippery slope surrounding their injury. Through our behavioral health program with TrestleTree (a URAC accredited Harvard Pilgrim company), health coaches provide pain management strategies, help patients reclaim their identity post-injury, drive recognition that maximum engagement in medical services like physical therapy will expedite positive outcomes, and help individuals tackle factors that drive pain levels – like unmanaged diabetes.”
We combine tech services with good medicinal practices and holistic care to get all of the injured workers we cover back into the jobs they were doing before the injury occurred. He concluded, “As a company, our mission is to provide better outcomes for our patients. This is only achieved through offering solutions that are inclusive of a diversity of health solutions that put the patient at the center of our business universe. It’s hard to find a colleague, or reader, who would not be able to provide a firsthand testament to the devastation chronic pain and substance abuse leaves in its wake. We can help, so we are.”
Thank you to LCI for featuring us on their Business Blog.