When an employee at your company is injured, your number one priority is ensuring that they’re able to get the care they need to recover quickly and return to work faster. Selecting a managed care organization (MCO) partner that offers a comprehensive therapy program can help you limit lost productivity, reduce the risk of future injuries, and return injured employees to work as quickly and safely as possible. Here are just a few of the benefits of working with an MCO that offers an aggressive on-site transitional work therapy program to help your employees return to work.
What is Transitional Work Therapy?
Employees know their jobs better than anyone, so why not leverage that skill and knowledge to help them recover after an injury? Transitional work therapy (TWT) uses actual work tasks within the current functional capability of the injured employee, in addition to recommended therapy services, to aid their recovery. These therapy services are offered in the workplace as part of a task-oriented alternative or modified duty return-to-work program.
TWT programs are suitable for injured workers who are medically stable, have a job to return to, and can safely tolerate job-specific work progression. Additionally, the employer must be able to accommodate the specific restrictions of the injured worker through either modified or alternative duties and be willing to accept medically-approved progression through job tasks.
Physical or occupational therapists evaluate each injured worker at their job site and make recommendations to their treating physician for appropriate return-to-work therapy services. Working with the treating physician, the therapist will develop a progressive time- and task-oriented therapy plan in combination with other standard therapeutic interventions.
Treating therapists provide all TWT services at the worksite, reviewing all job duties, providing instruction on proper body mechanics, and addressing any additional therapeutic issues. The treating therapist provides regular updates on the injured worker’s progress to human resources, supervisors, and safety personnel. The more willing an employer is to work within the restrictions of the physician and therapist, the earlier the injured worker can return to work.
Benefits for the employer
Lost time claims costs can pile up quickly – increasing your overall workers’ comp costs exponentially. On-site transitional work therapy programs allow employers to help their injured workers return to work faster, reduce lost time claims costs and overall workers’ comp spending.
In addition to reducing the non-medical costs of a claim, TWT programs allow employers to participate in the return-to-work process, taking a greater hands-on approach to helping their employees heal and return to productive work. Employers who work with an MCO that offers a TWT program also receive firsthand knowledge from the treating therapist, allowing the employer to communicate their concerns and issues regarding workplace safety and potential risks. TWT programs also offer employers the opportunity to retain skilled employees by demonstrating their commitment to the recovery of the injured worker.
Benefits for the employee
Injured workers who participate in a TWT program are able to avoid many of the pitfalls that other injured workers fall prey to and are more likely to remain engaged and productive during their recovery period.
Lost productivity and loss of income can lead to a decline in the self-esteem of injured workers, and the onset of financial problems from lost wages can lead to emotional and physical stress that can delay the healing process. TWT programs allow injured workers to avoid these common issues. Finally, a TWT program can help employees maintain their confidence in the return-to-work system and avoid developing negative feelings towards their employer.
Know your partner
Your MCO serves the best interests of both your company and your employees. Selecting a trusted MCO partner that offers on-site transitional work therapy program allows you to proactively help return your injured worker to full duty as soon as possible. An MCO partner like Sheakley UniComp can guide you and your workers through the confusing world of workers’ compensation, helping your employees return to work quickly and safely.
Stay up-to-date on all things Sheakley by subscribing to our blog and following us on social media. Join the discussion by commenting below.