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Conference Highlights Workers’ Compensation Win-Wins

BLOGPOSTS –

Having just returned from our annual conference I can’t tell you how excited I am. For the last few years we’ve been hearing about the successes our client companies are having, but to see the latest data and hear their enthusiasm was truly gratifying.

We heard client after client discuss the astonishing outcomes they are having since implementing our EFA testing program. What was really wonderful about this year’s presentations was that the data was more mature and showed the results are continuing to improve with time.

We heard over and over that the EFA program is truly a win-win for everyone; injured workers recover more quickly and have improved quality of life, employers get their workers back on the job sooner, and payers see substantial savings.

The Evidence

Several companies shared their most recent success stories:

  • JB Hunt Transportation presented three cases that incurred savings of $37,500, $47,500 and $15,000, respectively.
  • Hub International was able to protect an injured worker from undergoing a third back surgery after EFA testing revealed the procedure would be of no benefit to him.
  • Marten Transport reported a significant decrease in its claim count after expanding its EFA testing to address the all too familiar issues of high driver turnover and an aging  applicant pool with pre-existing conditions and no way to objectively identify them.

The key to these and other successes is the objective, accurate diagnoses enabled through the EFA testing. This allows injured workers to get to the right physician for the right treatment much sooner than through the trial-and-error approach to treatment we see all too often.

Dr. Adam Seidner, chief Medical Officer at The Hartford, related the findings from a study he had discussed in a published report several years ago on the effect of using objective diagnostic tools. Twenty-two injured workers in California and Nevada had unresolved soft tissue injuries despite undergoing 8 weeks of physical therapy. They were evaluated using the EFA and their results were compared to a control group of 151 injured workers. Because of the accuracy of the EFA in pinpointing the exact nature, location and severity of the injuries, the 22 workers received more effective medical treatment. The results were impressive:

  • They returned to work an average of 213 days post injury vs. 275 for the control group —62 days sooner.
  • Direct costs including medical and lost wage payments were 25 percent lower.
  • The average savings was $10,000 per claim.

Telemedicine

One of the hottest topics at the conference was telemedicine, and how that plays into the effectiveness of the EFA program. Attendees were very enthused about this, since it allows their injured workers to be seen anywhere, whether it is the Okefenokee Swamp, the middle of a desert or a rural area in the mountains. We refer to this capability as getting them the best care anywhere.

The injured worker and a technician are on one end of the phone, while a physician is on the other. The physician ascertains the injury and if an EFA test is required, it is done on the spot.

Emerge’s Medical Director and Advisor Dr. Frank Tomecek told the group this process tells him more about the injured worker’s injury then an in-person visit because he gets the additional information from the test itself.

Many attendees were also excited about the award we received recently for the telemedicine program. Business Insurance magazine presented Emerge with its Business Innovation award, in the Products and Services category.

Conclusion

It was fantastic to hear in the clients’ own words how the program has added value, saved money, and helped injured workers get the care they truly need. The energy around our solutions cannot be denied.

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by Robert D. Thompson