59% of Large Employers Expected to Offer Telemedicine in 2015

By Safety National










At the 2015 Workers’Compensation Educational Conference in
Orlando, a panel discussed telemedicine and its potential application in the workers’ compensation space.

The panel consisted of: Bill Lewis, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Concentra Medical Centers, Steve Shaya, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Health Net Connect, Sri Mummaneni, M.D., Chief Health Officer, Opus Telehealth

Telemedicine is being utilized more and more in healthcare models throughout the United States:

  • 59% of large employers are expected to offer telemedicine in 2015
  • Many national health plans offer telemedicine to employers
  • The VA and Department of Defense have adopted telemedicine.
  • 43 Medicaid programs currently reimburse some forms of telemedicine services

In spite of this, workers’ compensation has been a slow adopter of telemedicine.

Are we addressing patient needs?

  • 37% of rural patients do not have easy access to medical care, which is something telemedicine helps to resolve.
  • Telemedicine would also allow a primary physician to immediately consult with an specialist during the appointment. This would significantly speed up treatment delivery to the patient.
  • Consumers are gaining awareness with telehealth and mHealth options and have interest in using them for individual health and as a means for their health providers to have up-to-the-minute updates on their health status.
  • Chronic disease management is increasingly reliant on telehealth tools to engage the patient and provider.

How can we enhance relationship with key stakeholders?


Return-to-Work Programs


The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary” –
Vince Lombardi

At the 2015 WCI Conference this session addressed the issues faced from employees returning to work and to create a successful return-to-work program. .
benefits of return to work programs graphic
The speakers included Margaret Spence, President/CEO, Douglas Claims & Risk Consultants, Inc, and Rose Royo, Supervisor, Workers Compensation, Miami Dade County Public Schools.

Key idea to remember, work smarter not harder. Main focus when creating a return to work program is the employee. The injured worker is an employee not a claimant. Imperative to make sure the employee knows they are vital to you and that you are not just treating them as a claim. The employment situation creates the workers’ compensation situation. It is essential to have a happy medium when working with an employee and the return to work program. The goal is to keep the employee working you do not want to get wrapped up in everything else.

When you create a return to work program, it is helpful follow these guidelines:

• Create an injury management team-this starts with the highest employee in your organization

• Understand the organization’s why- injured employee should be at the center of the focus

• Define the process-make sure there are steps the employee needs to take in order to get back to work

• Embrace your purpose and value-Remember your employee is most important

• Make the business care-costs money to bring new employees into the company, focus on getting the injured worker back to work

• Find ways to engage-this program should be a collaborative effort between several departments

• Create an integrated disability team- build proactive policies

As an employer you cannot be afraid to ask the employees what can we do for you in order to get you back to your job and work at 100%. The saying goes a “happy worker is a happy worker!”

Return to work programs are not something you create in a year and never look at the program again.


Cal/OSHA Online Resources Now Option for Workers, Employers

August 21, 2015 by Kori Shafer-Stack

Cal/OSHA checklistCal/OSHA recently released two new fact sheets that expand upon resources available to the public.

Health & Safety Rights: Facts for California Workers details ways for employees to work with employers and Cal/OSHA to keep their jobs safe. Protecting Temporary Agency Employees provides information on the requirements in California for temp agencies, professional employer organizations (PEOs), and host employers to protect workers from safety and health hazards in the host employer’s workplace.

“These new online educational tools are part of Cal/OSHA’s ongoing efforts to help employers and employees access critical information on workplace safety,” said Christine Baker, director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Cal/OSHA is a division within DIR.

The workers’ rights fact sheet is the first Cal/OSHA publication to focus primarily on workers’ basic rights to a safe and healthful workplace and how to work with Cal/OSHA before, during, and after an inspection. Cal/OSHA will distribute printed versions at community events, training sessions and during onsite visits.


Top 10 Apps Physicians Recommend to Their Patients

From: Modern Medicine Network

screen shot of iTriage app1.  iTriage – Health, Doctor, Symptoms, and Healthcare Search: Patients now have access to an endless amount of health information right in their pockets. This app allows them to check their symptoms and easily locate a physician or hospital in the event of an emergency.

2.  Diabetes App – Blood Sugar Control, Glucose Tracker, and Carb Counter: Outside of the physician’s office, patients with diabetes often struggle to monitor their condition. This app provides a food database for patients to track their consumption. It also allows physicians to monitor any fluctuations. The price is $6.99, but a lite version is available for free.  

3.  iCookbook Diabetic – Recipes and nutritional information plus health articles for people with diabetes: When it comes to cooking healthy, patients may need some inspiration. Developed by dietitians, this app provides diabetic-friendly recipes, as well as tools for meal planning and grocery shopping.

4.  Diabetes in Check

5.  Glucose Companion

6.  Blood Pressure Monitor – Family Lite

7.  HeartWise Blood Pressure Tracker

8.  Mayo Clinic Health Community

9.  Tummy Trends – Constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Tracker

10.  iCalcRisk


Review of Merck Home Symptom Guide App

A simple & understandable patient resource

Merck Home Symptom Guide appClinical Scenario
A mother is concerned that her 10 month old son might have a fever and is wondering what is the best way to take his temperature and what symptoms would require a doctors visit.

Evidence and literature used to support the app
Part of the Merck series of books, this app has similar strong references to the Merck Manual and the editors and authors are clearly listed in the app.

$4.99 on iTunes ($7.99 if bought as a bundle with the Family drug guide app); $4.99 on Google Play store

Very easy to navigate
Excellent search function
Evidence based and backed by a reputable institution



Easy to use, concise and to the point and backed by strong references. I feel the price might be a little high, especially as there are free resources on the internet but on the other hand all the information in the app is pretty reliable so that might justify the price. Overall a very good patient information app.
Overall Score

[ORIGINAL STORY & VIDEO REVIEW (requires registration)]

We’ve Got Your Back… Exercise: Some Motivation Required

By ReduceYourWorkersComp

Back painbest back stretches illustration is a common complaint and can happen for various reasons.  Science is not certain of the exact recipe to heal back pain. Research on different modes of rehab and training designed to help back- pain sufferers is on-going.

Building a strong and balanced back may be protective. Surprisingly, your consistent attendance in Pilates class along with your chiseled abs and back may not shield you from back pain.

Overall conditioning of your core muscles may safeguard you from future injury. Core muscles refer to a person’s trunk, back, glutes, hips, abductors and abdominal muscles.

Conditioning includes walking with correct posture and balance exercises, along with range of motion and strengthening activities. These components, collectively, factor into protecting your back.

Best Back Practice:

• Walk or regularly engage in some other physical activity.

• Proper postural alignment influences moving with ease.

• Sensory-motor control training may be as important as strengthening or endurance of the trunk muscles when building a strong base.

• Yoga is good practice for strengthening, flexibility and pain management.

• Strengthening the pelvic and trunk muscles plays a role in core stability.

You should consult your primary care provider before starting a new exercise routine, to be sure you are healthy enough to pursue a workout regimen. Once you are cleared for exercise, consider adding the following to your daily routine to build a solid foundation. And remember, if you feel pain– STOP!


Workers Compensations and the Most Dangerous Jobs in the U.S.

Workers Compensations and the Most Dangerous Jobs in the U.S.
Getting injured or sick in the workplace is a more significant problem than most people might realize. While

it is true that the number of reported non-fatal illnesses or injuries dropped from 4.2 million in 2005 to a little over 3 million in 2013, workplace incidents are still pose serious issues.

The consequences of these accidents are vast, including missed days of work, legal fees, lost productivity, decreased morale among employees, equipment repair or replacement and the training of new employees or even loss of life.

Monetarily, an employer can face hefty medical bills and compensation fees for an injured worker. In 2014, over 250,000 claims were submitted, ranging from mental stress to fractures and sprains. In total, over 11 billion dollars was paid out for these incidents.

To learn more, checkout the infographic below created by Eastern Kentucky University’s Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety program.

Your Word of the Week; “Malingering”

Up to 39% of Work Comp Claims Involve MalingeringCartoon about malingering

By ReduceYourWorkersComp

Most workers compensation employees would not think or stoop to actual fraud for a workers compensation claim. Most studies have found actual fraud is 1 or 2 percent of all claims presented.

However, other studies show that malingering might be as high as 39 percent in some area of claims presented.  Sadly both fraud and malingering cases are on the rise.  The basic cause for perpetration is financial gain.

Periodically a workers compensation fraud case may appear in the daily news media.  This usually brings a momentary flurry of concern.   Occasionally, a legislature may be moved to legislative remedy if the cause is really unique or new.


Indications of Malingering:

Malingering is generally difficult to prove.  Workers Compensation courts generally favor employee testimony over employers if there is even the slightest of evidence to the employees.  This is in keeping with the general unwritten directives that the judges shall interpret most liberally in favor of the employee.

Substantial proof by video surveillance, activity checks, medical examinations, witnesses, and unavailability of the claimant are basics that will help employers prove a malingering case.

Adjusters and Employers need to be alert to the few following points that may suggest malingering:

  1. The employee is hard to contact.
  2. There are great gaps in treatment
  3. The claimant often misses treatments, physio therapy, and doctor appointments
  4. The employee resists Independent Medical Examinations or fails to show for one.
  5. The injury co-insides with reductions in force, vacations, holidays,
  6. Symptomology complaints are: vague, don’t connect with normally expected physical conditions, seem exaggerated, or do not co-inside with physical facts of the injury.
  7. Reports from doctors, nurse case managers, physio therapists that the employee appears in better physical condition than claimed.
  8. The claim was not reported until after termination.
  9. The injury occurred shortly after employment.
  10. Disability extends longer than normally expected recovery periods.