Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: Wellness Programs and Workers’ CompensationSeptember 13, 2016
It goes without saying that an employee’s productivity is linked to their health. Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers report that this knowledge has resulted in an increase in wellness programs across the country. The thinking is that a healthier workforce will lead to a reduction in workplace injuries, as well as shortened periods of disability. A panel of experts gathered recently at the 2016 SIIA Workers’ Compensation Executive Forum to discuss the connection between wellness programs and Workers’ Compensation.
When it comes to the effectiveness of wellness programs, studies have shown conflicting results. According to some studies, wellness programs have shown a significant return on investment. However, other studies suggest that certain factors, like obesity, poor nutrition, and a workforce that is living longer, can have a negative impact on the effectiveness of these programs.
Unfortunately, group health and Workers’ Compensation often operate separately, and the two are not quick to share information about patients. As a result, a patient may end up being treated for overlapping conditions, or be prescribed medications from a wellness professional that interact with medications they are taking for their work injury under their Workers’ Compensation claim. As patients age, medications must be adjusted due to the fact that liver and kidney functions start to decrease as patients approach their mid-fifties, so information sharing becomes even more important.
In terms of Workers’ Compensation, having a comprehensive understanding of the patient and his or her lifestyle can have a significant impact on a Workers’ Compensation claim. For example, a person who is highly motivated is more likely to have a positive outcome than someone who is not. This will also affect whether an injury or illness is determined to be an impairment versus a disability.
Wellness Program Success Story
An example of a wellness program that has had measurable success is the WorkStrong Program, developed by the University of California. The goal of the program is to reduce repeat work-related injuries by increasing overall employee wellness. The program is customized to each patient based on specific injuries and other factors. Patients will also benefit from the collaborative input from experts in areas like nutrition, sports medicine, and safety.
Since the program began in 2011, there have been positive, measurable results, including the following:
- A total of 68 percent of employees who participated in the program continued to exercise after they were done with program
- Many incorporated nutritional changes into their daily lives
- Nearly 40 percent of the program participants graduated
- Results suggest a 39 percent savings in costs
- The positive results may be influenced by the fact that participants were able to take advantage of the wide range of resources available on campus
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Employees Navigate the Claims Process
If you have been injured at work and need help with a Workers’ Compensation claim, contact the experienced Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton so that we can guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have. Our dedicated team will fight so that you receive the maximum compensation you deserve. For a complimentary consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.