What to do when things don’t seem to be going as they should?
Difficult claim and no apparent outcomes?
Employers find it frustrating when an injury claim seems to be dragging on forever with no progress, except an increase in claims costs. Often too, it can be quite daunting to know where to start when there is little to no communication from the injured worker, or their treating medical team, so you have no idea where medical recovery is at, let alone what the future holds for their return to work. You may have experienced a never-ending stream of medical certificates for the injured employee to stay off work. Your staff may be finding it difficult as well, hanging in limbo, asking you when the injured person is coming back to work?
Not sure what you should do next?
At this point there needs to be action. The solution is a case conference between the Injured Worker, their treating Medical Practitioner, a skilled Rehabilitation & Return to Work Coordinator and an Allied Health Provider (like the treating Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist or Rehabilitation Counsellor).
A Case Conference is an appointment booked with the treating Doctor, and all the participants are invited to attend. All parties are briefed about the agenda and goal beforehand – which is to encourage the treating doctor to complete a suitable duties medical certificate for the injured worker to be able to return to work. This can be achieved most effectively if there is a recent medical report from a treating specialist which recommends the injured worker can return to work on a suitable duties plan. This specialist opinion together with an Allied Health Provider’s opinion of the worker’s level of function really gives the treating doctor no excuse to not try a return to work program.
The RRTWC – The key to good workplace outcomes
A well trained Rehabilitation & Return to Work Coordinator is the key element here as they are the communications expert who pulls the whole thing together. The RRTWC will have had the training to understand when a case conference is appropriate, swing into action, prompting the Insurer along the way to reduce costs and aim for outcomes. The RRTWC ensures everyone is on the same page and all parties are working towards the same rehabilitation and return to work goals in the case conference meeting.
Developing case management skills as a Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinator to pro-actively manage claims will mean better return to work outcomes and minimal conflict between the injured employees and the workplace. The result – faster and more successful return to work outcomes.