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Transitional Work Programs. Lowering Workers Compensation Costs & Improving Return to Work Rates. Marilyn Neuhausel MS, OTR/L, TWD Occupational Therapy Solutions, LLC May 15, 2012. The Presentation Objective.

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transitional work programs

Transitional Work Programs

Lowering Workers Compensation Costs


Improving Return to Work Rates

Marilyn Neuhausel MS, OTR/L, TWD

Occupational Therapy Solutions, LLC

May 15, 2012

the presentation objective
The Presentation Objective

For you to leave with 2-3 concrete ideas that will improve your return to work rates after an injury has occurred.

2012 lost time injuries

2012 Lost Time injuries

BWC sets $45,000 in reserves for each case

carpel tunnel syndrome
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

1st Year 3rd Year 5th Year

Based on Private & Public Employer Claims in Open MIRA II Status

rotator cuff tear
Rotator Cuff Tear

1st Year 3rd Year 5th Year

Based on Private & Public Employer Claims in Open MIRA II Status

degenerative thoracic or lumbar intervertebral disc disorder
Degenerative Thoracic or Lumbar Intervertebral Disc Disorder

1st Year 3rd Year 5th Year

Based on Private & Public Employer Claims in Open MIRA II Status


The Old School Approach to

Managing Lost Time Claims

The injured worker must be 100% recovered before returning to work

the old school approach role of the physician
The Old School Approach: Role of the Physician

The POR controls the length of time off work and the duration & the types of treatment

the old school approach impact on the injured worker
The Old School Approach : Impact on the Injured Worker

Their isolation from work affects the injured worker’s attitude, their physical condition, and their motivation for return to work

destination excellence what employers will see from bwc
Destination Excellence: What Employers Will See From BWC
  • Less red tape
  • More consultative assistance
  • The injured worker is back to work sooner
  • Increased accountability
bwc s destination excellence focus on injured workers
BWC’s Destination ExcellenceFocus on Injured Workers
  • Decrease in lost workdays
  • Decrease in average claim costs
  • Shorten the claim tails
  • Reduce Permanent Total Disability frequency
transitional work bonus program
Transitional Work Bonus Program
  • Rewards companies that use their TWP (developed between 2001 and 2006) or plan to implement one in 2012. Previous grant recipients must show proof of the transitional work program use/updates
  • Back end bonus up to 10% off premiums
  • Must be current on premiums and no lapse >45 days
  • Private employers must have submitted the bonus application by May 25, 2012
  • Public employers must submit the bonus application by October 31, 2012
transitional work program definition
Transitional Work Program Definition

A workplace program that provides an individualized interim step in the recovery of an injured worker with job restrictions.

advantages of a transitional work program
Advantagesof aTransitional Work Program
  • The employer: Direct involvement in work return
  • The injured worker: At work while performing real job tasks
what if your current transitional work program is not effective

What if your Current Transitional Work Program is not Effective?

Submit the application and have the BWC representative determine what needs to change to improve the program

Confer with your MCO to ensure that all cases are managed well

the written policy
The Written Policy
  • Entry, Exit and Extension Guidelines
  • The Timeframe: 45, 60, 90 days
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • The Essential Forms
  • Methods of evaluation
the job analyses

The Job Analyses

  • Material handling
    • Non-material handling
    • Positional requirements
    • Frequencies
    • Environmental Exposures
list of modified duty tasks
List of Modified Duty Tasks
  • Involve the Supervisors
  • Refer to the job analyses
  • Sort the tasks according to physical demands
  • Get the union’s buy-in
build your rtw team
Build your RTW Team

The Union Rep

Initial Treating Provider

Field Case Manager

Clinic Based Therapist

Managed Care Case Specialist

Physician of Record

The Supervisors

Onsite TW Therapist

Surgeons & Physiatrists


Return to Work Services:

Enhancing your T W Program

modified duty off site program
Modified Duty Off-Site Program
  • Have your MCO arrange to use a non-profit organization for an injured worker who is medically stable, but has restrictions that cannot be accommodated
  • Usually lasts 90 days or less.
  • The injured worker is productive, maintains their “worker mentality”, and they heal more quickly.
combining modified duty off site transitional work
Combining Modified Duty Off-Site & Transitional Work
  • Progress from MDOS to TW as restrictions are lifted
  • Divide the shift between TW & MDOS when you don’t have enough work for a full day or when POR has set a GRTW program
  • Move the IW from TW to MDOS if there is a set back or there is not enough work
onsite transitional work therapy
Onsite Transitional Work Therapy

Use the job tasks to improve function

Address the Barriers

Must Show Progress

6-8 weeks in Duration

Teach body mechanics and safe work methods

ergonomic assessments
Ergonomic Assessments

Reasonable Accommodations

Reduce Hazards

Increase Productivity

fitness for duty functional capacity evaluations
Fitness for Duty Functional Capacity Evaluations

Assesses the injured worker’s ability to perform the job tasks

Onsite at the Company or Offsite

internet resources
Internet Resources

Job Accommodation Network

BWC Safety and Hygiene Department

what if return to the same job at the same company is not feasible
What if Return to the Same Job at the Same Company is Not Feasible?

Vocational Rehabilitation Options

Same Company/Different Job

Different Company/Same Type of Work

Different Company/Different Type of Work

in conclusion

In Conclusion

By using your transitional work program and RTW rehab services, you will decrease costs and significantly improve return to work rates

your questions

Your Questions

Difficult Cases??


thank you
Thank You

Marilyn Neuhausel, MS, OTR/L, TWD

Occupational Therapy Solutions, LLC

Cell Phone : 419-366-6391