Workers’ comp continues to grow more complex as the scope of care expands to a greater, more holistic view of patient wellness. Health concerns outside of a claim can significantly impact a patient’s recovery from a workplace injury, and addressing these concerns has the potential to lead to greater claims outcomes and cost savings.
Among many insights pulled from a 2020 workers’ comp industry survey conducted by Healthesystems, claims professionals ranked comorbidities and poor worker health the number one program challenge facing the industry, and the third biggest challenge overall. Specific to health risks, comorbidities ranked second, while mental health ranked third.1
These findings are consistent with industry research; PricewaterhouseCoopers claims 80% of a person’s health is attributable to health behaviors related to physical environment and socioeconomic conditions,2 and the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEM) posits that mental health, physical health, job characteristics, and support from work organizations were the most significant determinants of an employee’s productivity.
This article explores how comorbidities, fatigue, and mental health impact claims management.