Dear Injured Worker . . . Someone Cares About You!
That’s right. Someone really cares about you and your work injury. So much so that a new pilot program has been developed to avoid delays in treatment and help you get back to work as soon as possible.
This is a win/win for everyone!
According to a recent news release from the Ohio BWC, the Enhanced Care Program began on July 1.Under the program, “participating physicians will be expected to serve as the primary point of care for injured workers. They’ll establish a comprehensive care plan and coordinate with specialists and primary care physicians to manage the claim holistically with the goal of facilitating a faster, safer return to work.”
If you’ve ever experienced the agony and frustration of your doctor submitting a C-9 for injury treatment and having it denied, then having to take the appeal process to the hearing level (which takes a lot of time that you could have spent getting treatment and rehab to return to work), this program is good news.
But . . . and there is always a “but” . . . this is a pilot program to determine if and how this strategy will work for the injured worker, the employer and the treating physician. It is being rolled out to 16 pilot counties in northeast Ohio because of the number of high quality healthcare providers and systems in our area. (Yeah, you read that right!) It’s being limited to “injured workers who sustain a knee injury at work and live in one of the pilot counties.”
The pilot phase of the program will run between 6 to 12 months. If it’s successful in improving return-to-work outcomes and lowering claim costs, BWC will expand it to other portions of the state.
I’m optimistic that this program will allow injured workers to receive their necessary medical care and compensation benefits in a very timely manner.