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Case Management Focus: It’s Conference Season

20 Jun, 2023 Anne Llewellyn

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Nashville, TN (WorkersCompensation.com) -- I love to go to conferences, and now that COVID has leveled off, more and more conferences are coming back live and in person. Conferences allow us to reconnect with colleagues and friends, learn, and meet new vendors who can help us meet the needs of our patients.

Last week I attended the Tennessee Workers Compensation Conference in Nashville, TN. It was a gathering of all the stakeholders who work in the industry—employers, occupational health physicians, nurses, case managers, attorneys, and adjustors. The sessions were outstanding, and the exhibit hall was full of organizations that work in the industry and provide various resources to improve the care an injured worker receives.

This year's theme was COMPlete: Collaboration, Support, Partnership, Recovery. Sessions were focused on this theme and provided information, tips, and creative ideas attendees could use to improve their work in workers' compensation.

Here are a few of the things I walked away with:

--> Tennessee employers are putting efforts into creative positions an employer can use to bring an injured worker back to work within their restrictions as soon as possible.
--> Most employers who spoke up in the various sessions said they take time to explain to employees on day one that there will be a job for them if they are injured. This promise shows the employee they are valued, and the employer will go out of their way to bring the injured worker back to work in a position that meets their restrictions.

One employer I spoke to said they have a culture of zero tolerance for lost time. This type of culture takes a commitment from both the employer and the employee.

Another employer whose company was a long-term transportation company shared that they have no light duty because of their work, so they partner with non-profit organizations to have their injured workers work in various positions as part of their return to work program. This partnership allows the non-profit to have help at no cost to them and the employer to ensure their injured workers return to work in a position that fits employees' work restrictions. Most employees are grateful for the opportunity to return to work as they get full pay vs. the 662/3 when they are out of work, so it is a win/win.

Another interesting point I learned is that most employers give their injured workers a packet explaining what will happen to them, who all the players are, and their roles. This information helps to empower the injured worker to know who they can call if there are issues. Studies show that injured workers with this information are more engaged in the process, recover faster, and do not usually obtain an attorney.

As a side note, I was a speaker at the conference in two sessions. One of my sessions was titled; Empowering the Injured Worker to Improve Case Management Outcomes. The session was well received, and we had a good discussion on what case managers and others were doing to engage their patients in their plan of care.

Let me know if you would like a copy of the slides, and I will send them to you.

Next week, I head to the Case Management Society of America's Annual Conference on June 27-30th in Las Vegas. If you are attending, let me know so we can connect.

What conferences are you going to this summer? Let me know so I can check them out!

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    About The Author

    • Anne Llewellyn

      Anne Llewellyn is a registered nurse with over forty years of experience in critical care, risk management, case management, patient advocacy, healthcare publications and training and development. Anne has been a leader in the area of Patient Advocacy since 2010. She was a Founding member of the Patient Advocate Certification Board and is currently serving on the National Association of Health Care Advocacy. Anne writes a weekly Blog, Nurse Advocate to share stories and events that will educate and empower people be better prepared when they enter the healthcare system.

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