Research Reveals Workers' Compensation Hidden Cost Drivers


Parsippany, NJ (CompNewsNetwork) – Up to 40 percent of Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS) performed on injured workers may be inaccurate, according to research by One Call Medical, the nation's premiere leader in diagnostic testing for workers' compensation. This extensive research was based on information gathered from studies performed by providers outside of the One Call Medical network.

When EMG and NCS are performed incorrectly injured workers may undergo unnecessary surgeries, or may not undergo surgery when they should. Without high quality standards and qualified test administrators, care is substandard, return to work is delayed, and payors are exposed to hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional claims costs.

Research has shown that carpal tunnel syndrome is the leading diagnosis for lost time at work; a misdiagnosis or incorrect treatment plan dramatically impacts the length of time an injured worker may be out of work. In fact, according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance, on average a well managed CTS claim typically costs about $8,000, while a poorly managed claim costs nearly $37,000. And these figures are based on medical costs only; they do not include indemnity or legal charges.

"The good news is, we know that by carefully selecting a highly qualified physician provider network and implementing a continuous quality improvement program, accuracy can be improved which leads to better patient return to work outcomes," said Dr. John Robinton, One Call Medical's medical director and chairperson of the Neurodiagnistic Medical Advisory Board." For example, monitoring limb temperature is essential to obtain an accurate reading. Through extensive quality improvement initiatives, we've been able to improve compliance with this basic guideline from 14% in 1999 to 83% in 2008."

One Call Medical's solution to the problem of inaccurate EMG and NCS is threefold:

  1. Creation of the only network consisting of neurologists and physiatrists who are credentialed on the quality of their reports.
  2. Development of quality standards through its Medical Advisory Board. Four of the Board's members are past national presidents of the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) and five of the board members are authors of the AANEM's Practice Topic report on "Reporting the Results of Needle EMG and Nerve Conduction Studies: An Educational Report."

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  1. Implementation of a quality improvement program of ongoing monitoring so that quality issues can be identified and education implemented to improve results.

For more information on the problem with poor quality EMG tests and the solutions, download the complimentary white paper on this subject on One Call Medical's website (link).

About One Call Medical, Inc.

One Call Medical, Inc. (OCM), the leading specialized Preferred Provider Organization, offers a nationwide network of fully credentialed high quality facilities and reduced cost for radiology and neurodiagnostic services. One Call Medical's network includes coverage in all major metropolitan areas across all 50 states. OCM customers realize significant cost savings, receive exceptional scheduling and medical report turnaround services and are confident in knowing that their patients obtain the best quality diagnostic testing in credentialed facilities. OCM's customers include the nation's leading Workers' Compensation and Group Health insurers, third-party administrators, as well as self-insured employers.

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