Noisy Jobs Affect More Than Hearing
We’ve all experienced distracting noise at work. Loud talkers, machine noise, construction, etc. While loud noises can certainly be distracting, noisy workplaces can also be costly and detrimental to your health.
According to OSHA, more than 22 million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise each year and it is estimated that $242 million is spent annually on workers’ compensation for hearing loss disability. New information recently released demonstrates that noisy work environments contribute to more than just hearing loss.
A CDC study recently published by the American Journal of Industrial Medicine shows that workers exposed to loud noise at work suffer from increased prevalence of high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The study references self-reported data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey.
- 25% of current workers had a history of occupational noise exposure (14% exposed in the last year),
- 12% had hearing difficulty,
- 24% had hypertension,
- 28% had elevated cholesterol;
- 58%, 14%, and 9% of these cases can be attributed to occupational noise exposure, respectively.
The correlation between cardiovascular co-morbidities and occupational noise exposure presents the opportunity not only for treatment solutions after the fact, but also to preventative offerings to help mitigate serious medical conditions. Employers and payers must implement preventative programs to protect the health of the workforce and avoid costly workers’ compensation claims.
One of the tenets of a successful hearing conservation program is the ability to perform audiometric testing. Audiometric testing monitors an individual’s hearing over time. Regular testing and documentation of results gives employers important data that can be used in a couple of ways:
- Baseline audiometric test results can be helpful in the event of future workers’ compensation claims to determine compensability of the claim. Further evaluation by a qualified Ear, Nose and Throat physician (ENT) can help make the final determination.
- Ongoing testing can alert employers to potential claims and preventative measures can be implemented to stop further hearing loss. Referral to credentialed, high quality audiology providers may be warranted.
Post-hearing loss solutions for injured workers
Sometimes, despite preventative measures, hearing loss occurs, resulting in a viable workers’ compensation claim. These claims present a host of challenges to workers’ compensation professionals, including:
- Finding quality providers
- Providing care management for injured workers
- Understanding compensability
- Pricing and cost containment
- Determining medical necessity
- Hearing aid packages
Finding a partner that truly understands the unique challenges of hearing loss claims can be a game-changer for risk and claims professionals.
One Call’s Audiology Program is designed to help our customers navigate the maze of variables and decisions involved in these complicated and often unfamiliar claims.
Access to a Nationwide Hearing Provider Network – One Call’s broad national coverage features over 5,000 audiology providers and includes all major hearing aid manufacturers.
Contain Costs – One Call leverages our buying power and partnerships with manufacturers to provide an aggressive and tiered pricing structure that is both consistent and transparent.
Alleviate Administrative Burden – There are many complexities within hearing loss claims which can be difficult to understand for those who are unfamiliar with hearing loss. Our turn-key program actively manages the entire claims process from diagnosis, to treatment, to life-long maintenance.
Peer Review Program – Select hearing loss claims are reviewed by credentialed audiologists to determine the medical necessity of each recommendation to ensure the best solution for the injured worker’s hearing loss and lifestyle.
Physician Causality Program– Our extensive network of ENT physicians determine the causality of the hearing loss claim and if it is compensable under workers’ compensation.
Three for Free–
3-year warranty on all hearing aids
3-year loss and damage with waived deductible
LIFETIME supply of batteries with traceable serial numbers
Improving the health of the workforce
The aging workforce and the exposure to potentially damaging noise levels translates to increasingly complex workers’ compensation claims and an increase in co-morbid cardiovascular conditions. Through effective preventative programs and active intervention, the hope is that we can positively impact the health of our nation’s workers. When hearing loss claims do occur, we hope that you will choose One Call to help get your injured workers back to work and back to life faster.
Let One Call help you with your next hearing loss claim.