Published: March 23, 2020
Last updated: Dec. 16, 2020
To provide our policyholders and agent partners with the most current information, we’ve updated this post.
This post is related to COVID-19. For more, visit our COVID-19 Resource Center for Employers.
The spread of the coronavirus has already affected the U.S. healthcare system and will have a lasting impact for months to come. One of our top priorities is the wellbeing of our policyholders’ employees, including injured workers receiving medical care. At MEM, our medical experts are monitoring the current landscape and prepared to respond to any disruptions in services.
Here are some of the ways COVID-19 has impacted the care of injured workers who are currently being treated, how we’re responding, and our recommendations for employers and patients.
Patients recovering from surgical procedures
Patients recovering from recent procedures are a priority to us. If a patient has not completed their first post-operative visit and the office is open to see patients, we encourage them to attend these crucial visits. If the patient wishes to reduce in-office visits after the first post-op, they should stay in communication with their provider and discuss options as their rehabilitation progresses.
Patients with upcoming surgical procedures
Some medical facilities are postponing procedures that are recommended but considered elective, such as orthopedic surgeries. In addition to postponing scheduled procedures, new procedures may be recommended but not immediately scheduled. We are keeping in close touch with providers to respond to new developments and move procedures from hospitals to outpatient facilities when possible.
Patients with upcoming provider appointments
We are working closely with our medical partners to ensure all visits are conducted safely without putting anyone at risk. In some cases, providers are offering telemedicine options to complete appointments remotely. Physical therapy patients can speak with their providers about home exercise options in case facilities close. If a physician cannot safely evaluate the patient and the appointment is postponed, the worker’s benefits – temporary total disability or TTD – will be extended.
Patients with prescription medications
We are monitoring all opportunities for mail order delivery, and there are also local pharmacy drive-through or delivery options that are free of charge. To request one of these options, the patient should reach out to their Claims Representative or Nurse Case Manager.
Other patients receiving medical care
We are in close contact with all of our partner medical providers, including complex care and home health, to proactively respond to developing conditions. Policyholders with employees enrolled in Paradigm’s transitional return to work program should communicate with their MEM case manager or claim representative. The program is back open but placement options are limited.
Communication and planning are key
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide information about groups who are at higher risk for severe illness with COVID-19. We encourage individuals to stay informed and follow public health officials’ recommendations to reduce their risk of getting sick.
To achieve the best medical outcomes, policyholders and injured workers should stay in contact with our case managers and claims team. We are committed to helping you navigate this unprecedented healthcare landscape while making socially responsible decisions for our community. Each case is different, and we are ready to work with patients, employers and medical providers to ensure each person receives the best possible care.
With questions or concerns, please reach out to your claims representative. Not sure who to contact? Use our Contact form. For more information about COVID-19 and your work comp policy, see our COVID-19 Resources for Employers.