Workers' compensation - WorkStrategies®
Customized programs to manage work injury risks
Through our WorkStrategies® Program, we partner with employers, case managers, payers and insurers. Our proven, comprehensive approach focuses on three key areas of work injuries and workers' compensation:
- Reducing the number of injuries that occur on your job site
- Providing effective treatments for employees who are injured, including physical and occupational therapy
- Returning employees to work faster
Our vast experience translates to solutions for employers of all sizes, from local and regional operations to large national organizations. Find your nearest SSM Health Physical Therapy location.
Our continuum of care
Our continuum of care allows us to provide the services you need and expect, protecting employers and employees during every step of the process:
Our work for you starts before an employee is hired. Together, we will work with you to identify whether candidates who have received a conditional job offer are capable of the physical demands of the job. We develop a reliable test, specific to each unique position, which can be used to assess your candidates’ abilities within state and federal regulations, including those enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Of course, we prefer to help employees and employers avoid injuries before they happen, but some injuries are unavoidable. We have trained experts available to visit to your job site and address employee complaints about minor injuries and discomfort — often preventing these minor problems from developing into larger ones.
In cases when an employee needs medical attention for serious musculoskeletal injuries, we can refer them to the appropriate source of care. We can also assist in that care with physical and occupational therapy treatments and individualized plans to help them return to work safely and quickly.
In cases of severe injury, an employee’s return to work may be prolonged and that individual risks deconditioning, losing strength, flexibility or other key physical abilities needed to perform duties. We offer specialized full-body programs focused on the unique requirements of an employee’s job. Our programs are designed to successfully recondition the individual if he or she has been off the job for an extended time. Learn more about our work hardening and conditioning programs.
Unfortunately, some injuries are severe, prompting the question of whether the employee can return to the job. We work with doctors and insurance companies that request functional capacity evaluations (FCEs) for these employees. These detailed exams help determine the physical abilities of an employee and allow doctors to decide whether the employee is able to return to work.
Once your employees are on the job, you want to keep them safe. We can help by identifying risks and hazards associated with particular jobs. We then design prevention strategies to lessen the chances of an injury. These strategies may include:
- Behavior modification - help changing the way employees carry out their responsibilities
- Educational programs - help assisting employees in recognizing and avoiding potential risks
- Ergonomic programs - modifying employees’ workstations to reduce injury risk factors
- Exercises - activities employees engage in to reduce strains, sprains, etc.
Our goal for treating any employee from our partner employers is to get that person back to work as quickly and safely as possible. We hold ourselves accountable through our industry-leading Utilization Management System (UMS), which provides real-time, peer-to-peer reviews of the workers’ compensation process. If an employee still needs our care beyond the benchmark established in the Occupational Disability Guidelines (ODG), it automatically triggers review by highly experienced physical therapists. They can suggest alternative treatments based on the latest research to help speed that employee’s successful recovery and return to work.
Industry specific services
Some industries require solutions designed for their unique injury risks and concerns. In addition to our general injury prevention and treatment programs, we offer customized services for two key types of employees:
- Firefighters, first responders and emergency medical services (EMS) workers
- Skilled nursing and residential care workers
Safe and quick return to work is critical. Through center-based or onsite physical therapy, injured workers progress through therapeutic interventions that include job-related and injury-specific activities. This ensures the worker returns to work capable of performing required or similar tasks.
- Partnership approach for injured workers, health care team members and employers
- Job simulation models for clinical advancement and early return to work
- Acute/sub-acute physical and occupational therapy
- Work conditioning/work hardening
- Comprehensive testing: functional capacity evaluations and functional baseline testing
- Job site analysis
- Ongoing utilization management through electronic, peer-to-peer, real time review
Functional capacity evaluations (FCE) provide a comprehensive evaluation that measures an individual’s strength, endurance, physical demand work level and positional tolerance. The data gathered objectively defines the injured employee's physical capabilities.
The FCE is an important tool used to assist employers, physicians, insurance companies, attorneys, case managers and vocational consultants to determine safe, functional levels for an individual to either return to work or establish functional ability.
The WorkStrategies FCE features:
- Standardized functional testing protocols
- Peer review research
- National network
- Certified FCE evaluators
- Quality assurance monitoring
OnSite™ programs are designed to provide employers with the following benefits:
The goal is to reduce injuries, claims and costs for the employer with the end result being increased performance, productivity and profits.
- A comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach that is customized to the employer’s specific needs and goals
- Proactive injury prevention and management identification of high-risk activities
- Education of management and employees
- A constant focus on ongoing communication and successful case resolution
- Testing of new hire physical capacities of essential functions
- Progressive management of musculoskeletal injuries
The least costly injury is the one that never occurs. Post-offer employment testing (POET) determines whether an individual is physically capable of performing a specific job to proactively minimize the risk of injury. POETs are based on valid job descriptions and customized to the job being tested.
- Complies with all federal legislations
- Ensures workers are placed in jobs they are capable of performing
- Reduces injuries and associated costs
Preventing an injury or reducing the severity of an injury are key components to workplace safety. Designed to be integrated into the safety culture of a company, we work closely with safety professionals to identify potential risks for injury that may occur and tailor educational programs to promote a safe working environment.
Prevention programs include:
- Early intervention services to reduce severity of injuries before they become OSHA recordable
- Ergonomic evaluations to ensure office workspace safety
- Employee education for on-the-job stretching and wellness strategies
- Onsite services to capture all injury prevention services on location with the employers
We partner with a wide variety of industries to ensure worker safety, minimize the risk of injury and reduce workers’ compensation costs. Industries include:
- Fire department and first responder services
- Health care facilities
- Airline providers
- Warehouse management
- Grocery and food distribution
- Casino and gaming
- School, college and universities
When injured workers meet established physical therapy goals but are unable to return to work due to remaining functional deficits or deconditioning, a work hardening or work conditioning program may help. These full body intensive conditioning programs focus on work simulation activities to get injured employees back to work.
Work Hardening: A highly structured, goal-oriented, individualized intervention program. Addresses the issues of productivity, safety, physical tolerances and worker behaviors.
Work Conditioning: Intensive, goal-oriented conditioning program designed to restore strength, power, endurance, joint mobility, range of motion, motor control, cardiovascular endurance and functional abilities. The goal is to restore physical capacity and function to enable the injured worker to return to his or her pre-injury job.