Over the past four months, every facet of society has been challenged to constantly adapt to meet new demands posed by the coronavirus pandemic. This includes workers’ compensation, an industry which often relies on personal interaction and consistent health care services to ensure injured employees return to their jobs in a timely manner.
While telemedicine has helped fill the gaps created by medical office shutdowns designed to help halt the spread of COVID-19, case management has not only made a big difference in the injured employee’s ability to return to function but, in some cases, has proved to be a life-saving necessity.
The importance of field case management to keep claims moving forward has been an invaluable tool during the pandemic. When the world shut down, workers’ comp case managers kept going, never breaking their commitment to restore lives interrupted by workplace injury. They’re using their critical thinking skills to overcome numerous obstacles such as closed provider offices, locked-down facilities and anxious claimants fearing contagion.
Opening Closed Dors
Examples of their determination are everywhere. This includes the field case manager who used her long-term relationships with local facility administrators to gain access and meet with an injured employee recovering from ENT surgery soon after the hospital initiated visitor restrictions due to COVID-19. She then persuaded the man’s ENT surgeon, who was hesitant to return to the hospital after the lockdown, to perform a follow-up visit at the facility so the injured employee could be successfully discharged.
Case managers are also taking extraordinary measures to prevent those in their charge from being the next COVID victim. When a field case manager learned an older claimant recovering from a pelvic fracture had been living in her car, she worked closely with the adjuster to transfer the injured employee to a nice rehab facility and, ultimately, a permanent residence.
We’ve also seen how face-to-face case manager contact, even when it’s 6 feet apart and from behind a mask, allows case managers to better assess their claimants and recognize visual health cues that, in some cases, can save an injured employee’s life.
Personal connections are also being made telephonically, as case managers are remotely managing cancelled appointments and instructing injured workers on how to protect themselves from coronavirus during doctor’s office visits and reducing anxiety through education. While still other nurses in workers’ comp are using their research expertise to develop COVID-19 guidelines to help guide the practice of case managers and providers during the pandemic.
Staying on the Front Lines
With all the anxiety, anger, helplessness and sorrow this pandemic has brought us, it has also delivered a much-needed daily reminder of the crucial role case managers play in our lives, in every aspect of society. As the U.S. begins to experience surges in new cases across the country, case managers are poised to continue to play an important role in ensuring injured employees receive the attention they need in a time when health care systems are overwhelmed.
Learn more about how field case managers are moving claims forward in a coronavirus world by clicking here. Then, put Genex to work for you, request a consultation about our field case management services during COVID-19.
This is a sponsored post from WorkCompWire marketing partner Genex Services.