December 8, 2018

Hero’s Welcome: Growing PTSD Coverage for First Responders

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – a serious mental condition that can occur after a traumatic incident – is creating serious buzz in workers’ compensation.

To be clear, PTSD is not new to the industry; a majority of states already cover PTSD when it occurs as a result of a physical injury. However, mental trauma can still occur even when the body is unharmed.

Should workers’ compensation coverage extend to these scenarios? A growing number of states think it should. In 2018 alone, 16 states considered legislation to address workers’ comp coverage for PTSD in scenarios that do not involve physical injuries.

These “mental-only” injuries are gaining compensable status across the country, primarily for first responder occupations at high risk for experiencing traumatic incidents, such police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs). In 2018, Minnesota, Florida, and Washington began to cover these claims, with Texas, Nebraska, and Colorado doing the same in 2017. Furthermore, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island have been covering mental-only PTSD claims for all workers, not just first responders, for several years.

As legislation covering mental-only cases continues to spread, it raises the question: what should workers’ comp professionals know about PTSD and its management within a claims population?

For more information on PTSD in workers’ comp, such as associated health impacts, its prevalence in first responders, and formulary and nonpharmacological components of treatment, read the full article online at RxInformer.

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