Obese Worker Injuries Often Require More Care

A new report from Florida-based NCCI Holdings Inc. notes that injuries sustained by obese workers often lead to substantially more medical care and are more apt to become permanent disabilities than similar injuries suffered by employees who are not obese.
“How Obesity Increasesthe Risk of Disabling Workplace Injuries,” reports on differences in treatment patterns between a sample of more than 7,000 claims with obesity as a secondary diagnosis and an additional 20,000 claims with nearly identical demographic characteristics but lacking an obesity diagnosis. (WCxKit)
The incidence of obesity is expanding globally. In the United States, the incidence of obesity is the largest of all reporting countries and the trend continues unabated. Intuitively, the implications of this trend for workers compensation are not good.
The variety of medical treatments, expenses and duration are generally, but not always, higher for obese claimants, researchers found.
In looking at shoulder and arm sprains, the study discovered that “the obese claim is significantly more costly due to an entire range of treatments including physical therapy and complex surgery that the non-obese claim did not incur.” (WCxKit)
Essentially, the non-obese claim had only an office visit, X-ray and drug treatment the day of the injury and a follow-up office visit the next day,” the study reports. “In total, the non-obese claim had four treatments, while the obese claim had more than 75. A major cost driver for the obese claim was complex surgery.”
The study is available at www.ncci.com.

Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact:  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
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