In our previous posts, we talked about building your Return-to-Work Toolkit. Now, we’re going to wrap up what is needed to complete your Return-to-Work options regarding your Ohio Workers’ Compensation program.
There are many different strategies for employers to use in an attempt to return an injured employee to work in a safe and timely manner. As a quick review, here are the following Return-to-Work Strategies we have addressed:
- Collaborating with your Managed Care Organization (MCO)
- Creative Thinking
- Utilizing the programs available
- Creating a modified duty job position
- Effectiveness of your job descriptions
- Transitional Work
Vocational Rehabilitation is another tool to assist with getting injured employees back to work. This is a program designed for lost time claims only. There are many different services available through the vocational rehabilitation program, but before an injured worker can enter the program, they must be referred. The employer can make the referral, or the physician of record, third party administration, MCO or others can also make the referral. If referred to vocational rehabilitation and accepted, the injured employee must agree to participate.
Here are some key factors to look for when determining if vocational rehabilitation is a good option:
- Claim must be a lost time claim
- The injured worker must be off work at the time of the referral
- The Injured worker is experiencing a significant impediment to maintaining employment due to the allowed condition
- The injured worker has restrictions
The vocational rehabilitation program offers many different services, including, but not limited to:
- Job development
- Job retention
- Job placement
- Job search
- Work hardening
- On the job training
- Transferable skills analysis
Remain at Work
In additional to return to work strategies, employers also have a Remain at Work program available to them for their Ohio Workers’ Compensation claims. The Remain-at-Work program is for injured workers who have medical only claims but are experiencing difficulties that could lead to lost time. If this is the case, contact your MCO right away to discuss the difficulties and collectively determine if the injured worker needs any specialized services.
Any injured worker with a medical only claim that is experiencing difficulties at work due to the allowed conditions, and the difficulties have been identified by either the injured worker, employer or physician, is eligible for the Remain-at-Work services.
Your MCO will document the difficulties the injured employee is having and then develop a Remain-at-Work plan. Services covered under the Remain-at-Work plan include but are not limited to:
- Ergonomic study
- Job analysis
- Transitional work
- Physical or occupational therapy offered on-site
- Job modification
- Tool and equipment
- Remain-at-Work field case management
- Gradual return to work
- On the job training
It is important to remember that if your organization experiences a workplace accident, it is imperative to communication with your MCO early and often, discuss the different return to work options available to determine the best strategy.