2024 Workers Comp Telemedicine – Going Strong But Limited

15 May, 2024 James Moore

                               

2024 Workers Comp Telemedicine – Still A Market?

Long before analyzing the 2024 Workers Comp telemedicine markets and years before COVID-19 caused an instant explosion of telehealth appointments.  Looking for technology among the NWCDC vendors each year, I discovered a teledoc vendor. I authored an article in 2015 on workers comp telemedicine.

The process made sense for minor injuries even in 2015.  I wrote an associated article in 2015 that was met with skepticism concerning telehealth appointments for Workers Comp.

pic of 2024 workers comp telemedicine appointment
Creative Commons License – Wikimedia Commons – Ceibos

Two more recent articles or webpages on 2024 workers comp telemedicine came from Concentra’s website and Carrier Chronicles – Linkedin on the future of WC telehealth.  Carrier Chronicles published the article in 2023 – close enough.

Combining info from the two links –

Useful for These Injuries and Rechecks – Still Valid

Initial Injuries

  • Minor strains (i.e., pulled muscles)
  • Minor sprains
  • Bruises/contusions
  • Tendonitis/repetitive-use injuries
  • Minor burns
  • Contusions
  • Minor cuts and scrapes
  • Work-related rashes
  • Bloodborne pathogen (BBP) exposures

Injury Rechecks

  • Some wound and laceration checks
  • Second-degree burns
  • Moderate cervical and low back injuries
  • Significant sprains, strains, and contusions
  • Routine postoperative checks

Negative Aspects for 2024 Workers Comp Telemedicine

  • Lack of in-person experience. Severe injuries and diagnoses require physical hands-on assessment with the patient.
  • Potential for inaccurate diagnosis based on video. Some diagnoses require a hands-on visual component.
  • Initial PT evaluation and final PT evaluation/FCE need to be in person for a thorough assessment.
  • Limitations for assessing body image, gait, and overall well-being can tell a lot about a patient’s status.
  • Poor patient perception. Some patients feel that they are not getting the proper care with telehealth.

Bottom Line for 2024 Workers Comp Telemedicine

Telemedicine may start to fade as the medical provider appointments switch more to in-person.  The savings opportunity remains in place as it has since 2015 or earlier.

The best example that I have seen with telemedicine in Workers Comp comes from minor injuries at the employer.  Keeping minor injuries minor avoids medical -only claim festering.

By James Moore
Courtesy of J&L Risk Managment Consultants


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