Treating Work Injuries
Do you want quicker approval for requested procedures from
workers’ compensation insurers?
We can help.
What you need to know about workers' compensation
When someone is injured at work, their employer and workers' compensation insurer aim to:
- Get them the appropriate care promptly
- Confirm whether the injury was work-related
- Learn of any medical restrictions
- Facilitate healing at work by offering light-duty work
Your role when treating work injuries
Determine the cause of injury
- What was the mechanism of injury? (Ex: Was lifting 50 pound box and felt pain in low back at workplace)
- Does the worker have any pre-existing conditions related to the injury or any condition that will delay healing?
Help the employee return to work as soon as possible
"Research shows that workers who are injured on the job, particularly those with soft-tissue injuries, recover faster and more successfully when they return to work as soon as safely possible."
– Don Graham, MD, British Columbia Medical Journal website
- Identify any physical restrictions, giving clear, concise and specific restrictions, using functional terms. (Ex: Employee can lift up to 20 pounds, or can stand a maximum of 30 minutes/hour.)
- Review physical restrictions at each patient visit.
- Complete a Report of Work Ability at each visit that provides a date for return to work and describes work abilities, even if the injured worker says the employer does not have light-duty work available. Provide a copy to the injured employee and keep one in the medical record.
- Ensure the employee understands the benefits of healing at work and the benefits of staying active.
Determine maximum medical improvement (MMI) and permanent disability
- Has the worker reached MMI?
Maximum medical improvement is reached when no further significant or lasting improvement from the injury is reasonably anticipated, regardless of subjective complaints.
- Is there any permanent disability?
Communicate with the claims representative
- Promptly fax any requests for procedures with supporting documentation to the insurer.
SFM's fax number is (800) 944-1169.