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Ensuring Care for Injured Workers Through COVID-19 Impacts

March 23, 2020 • Missouri Employers Mutual

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 expected disruptions in services.

Here are some of the ways we expect COVID-19 to impact the care of injured workers who are currently being treated, how we plan to respond, 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.

Upcoming procedures

Some medical facilities are postponing procedures that are recommended but considered elective, such as orthopedic surgeries. In addition to postponing recommended procedures, new procedures may be recommended but not immediately scheduled. We will continue to work with providers on authorization and any postponements requested.

Physical therapy appointments

Many physical therapy providers remain open, and we are keeping in close touch with them to respond to new developments in the situation. We encourage physical therapy patients to speak with their providers about home exercise options in case facilities do close in the coming weeks.

Paradigm return to work program

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 placed on hold at this time, and we are partnering with Paradigm to manage how these changes affect those currently enrolled.

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.

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 Frequently Asked Questions.

Date
March 23, 2020
Author
Missouri Employers Mutual
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