Telehealth and Workers' Compensation
As COVID-19 pandemic continues, people are employing telehealth services more than ever. Telehealth is defined as the delivery of health care and related services via telecommunication technologies.
There is a growing belief that digital health care can offer an ideal platform for companies looking to keep their workforce healthy. A synthesis of digital technology, data and medicine, telehealth has the potential to transform the workers’ compensation industry by providing:
Instant assessment of a workplace injury, allowing for immediate triage
Efficient, personalized treatment
Anytime access to clinical data
Remote patient monitoring
Time savings by eliminating trips to the emergency room, treatment clinic or doctor’s office
Claims specialists with the ability to collaborate with various specialists
Better recovery outcomes for injured employees
Optimizing Injured Employee Outcomes
During the National Council on Compensation Insurance’s 2019 Annual Issues Symposium, the nation’s largest workers’ compensation conference, telehealth and telemedicine have the chance to be a “game changer” in the workers compensation industry. Here are a few statistics to consider:
Currently, 76 percent of U.S. hospitals connect with patients and consulting practitioners via video and other technology, according to the American Hospital Association (AHA).
Whether through Medicaid or a private insurance provider, every state in the U.S. offers coverage for telemedicine.
Currently, 35 states and the District of Columbia have enacted “parity” laws, which generally require health insurers to cover services provided via telehealth the same way they would reimburse for services provided in person, per the AHA.
80% of larger employers currently use telemedicine, and experts expect the number to exceed 90 percent before the end of 2019, according to highlights of the 2019 RIMS Conference and Exhibition.
The top healthcare initiative for about half of employers in 2019 will be increasing their virtual care solutions.
Helping Injured Workers Recover Faster
Thanks to advancements in telehealth technology, physicians can zero in on a worker’s injury to determine its extent and ultimately the best treatment option. While telemedicine isn’t a viable option for severe or life-threatening injuries, it makes sense for many common workplace injuries, including sprains, strains, and joint injuries. Fast injury assessment is just one of telehealth’s industry-changing benefits. According to a 2017 article published by URAC, “telehealth pro
grams customized for occupational health can reduce utilization, lower costs, improve the accuracy of claim compensability determinations and enhance the injured workers’ overall care experience.”
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, the attorneys at Kimmel, Carter, Roman, Peltz & O’Neill can help you navigate your workers compensation claim.