From the Heart
Breaking Down Barriers
Mariana Diaz, BA, CPDM
Mariana Diaz, BA, CPDM, is a bilingual Integrated Disability Case Manager (IDCM) assigned to a major manufacturer of building and remodeling supplies. She employs her cultural expertise in managing her cases and often assists other case managers with communication with Spanish-only speaking employees and families.
Four plant employees attempting to free up a plug in a line were sprayed with 25 gallons of asphalt after the tank opened up. The men were rushed to the hospital where they were diagnosed with multiple third-degree burns, which eventually led to skin grafting and laser scar treatment.
Case management impact
As the point of contact, Diaz served as the liaison for the employees, employer and TPA, communicating all data including treatment, costs, time away from work, and restricted duty. Diaz quickly put her vast knowledge of state workers’ comp rules, coupled with her familiarity of the plant processes, to ensure the men received the care they needed in a timely manner. She leveraged her understanding of cultural differences which helped ensure there were no delays or barriers to treatment progression. She worked with a Genex field case manager assigned to the case to make certain each injured employee was evaluated for return-to-work capabilities at an occupational clinic and managed accommodations for follow-up appointments and treatment. Diaz also assisted employer representatives (safety, HR and payroll) in understanding return-to-work processes and inpatient hospitalization care protocol.
Diaz’s efforts helped and continuous communication with all parties helped ensure all four injured employees returned to their jobs in a safe and efficient manner, within a time frame of just 26 to 67 lost days per case.