Return-to-Work: Psychosocial Issues Are the Biggest Barrier

The psychosocial impact of injuries can slow down recovery and even delay return-to-work after a workers’ comp injury. In fact, psychosocial factors, not medical costs or other treatment factors, are the greatest impediment to injured workers regaining their former productivity. In a recent white paper, experts say obesity, problems at home, poor English proficiency, problems with co-workers, and concern about employer accommodations can slow the return-to-work process.

To combat these problems, try an empathy-based communication approach. The first question a claims adjuster should ask: How long will it take you to get back to work? If it’s longer than 10-days, that’s a red flag for intervention. This approach allows staffing companies and other employers to determine which claims need more intensive and specialized treatment. Faster and more effective intervention can keep costs down. Click here to find out what employers and insurers are doing.

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David Schek