When a claimant doesn’t have the right technology for a telemedicine appointment, claim and treatment delays ensue. But, in a pandemic world, what can be done to prevent it?
This was the dilemma a Genex field case manager faced when assigned to a claimant whose older flip phone was incapable of streaming video. When the case manager explained the technological issue to the physician’s staff and that the injured employee would need an in-person visit, he was told the claimant’s appointment would need to be rescheduled. Aware of the risks in delaying the appointment, the field case manager suggested he could meet with the claimant outdoors to ensure social distancing, and allow the injured employee to use his cell phone so the appointment could be conducted virtually. The provider’s staff thought this was a great idea and the appointment proceeded in the claimant’s front yard.
After the appointment, the doctor requested a six-week follow-up visit, after which he would request a qualified medical evaluation appointment. However, emphasizing the claimant’s progress, the field case manager proactively asked the doctor if the claimant was ready to be deemed permanent and stationary. The doctor agreed, resulting in six weeks savings of temporary total disability payments.
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