4 More Keys To A Healthier Workforce Through Wellness

As reported in yesterday’s blog “4 Keys to a Healthier Workforce”, comorbidities in your workforce add significant costs in workers’ compensation claims.  While our New Year’s resolutions are still alive, take action today to consider these 4 more keys to a healthier workforce:

 

Lifestyle Management Programs

 

Employers can do a variety of things to get people moving. In addition to such things as workshops on various wellness issues, companies can allow breaks for workers to engage in physical activities. Or set up walking or other exercise programs. Smoking cessation programs can be done either onsite, or at a local hospital or other community facility.

 

Convenience

 

Getting employees to participate in wellness programs is nearly impossible if it’s not easy for them to be involved. Third shift workers, for example, might feel left out of group activities that take place during the day. Using technology such as internal websites and mobile apps, can help these workers feel more involved. Encouraging workers to eat better can be made easier by providing healthy snacks onsite, such as in vending machines and during meetings.

 

Fun

 

Employees are much more inclined to participate in wellness activities if they enjoy them. Competitive teams can be established to challenge one another to walk X number of miles, or to lose the most weight in a given time period.

 

Confidentiality / Privacy

 

Many employees are concerned their health information may get into the wrong hands, causing them embarrassment or even to lose their jobs. Any health related information provided to the employer needs to be in the aggregate, with no indication a health issue is related to a specific individual.

 

Research shows for every $1 spent on wellness programs, the cost of medical care is reduced overall by $3 to $4 – an excellent return on investment an employer cannot ignore. Ref. Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings

 

 

For additional information on workers’ compensation cost containment best practices, register as a guest for our next live stream training.

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices.

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

Live Stream WC Training: http://workerscompclub.com/livestreamtraining.com

 

©2017 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

4 Keys To A Healthier Workforce Through Wellness

Comorbidities may be costing you a bundle. There’s overwhelming research that shows employees with certain health conditions are more likely to get injured on the job, and then take longer to heal and return to work. Consider the following effect on workers’ compensation:

 

  • Diabetes average workers’ comp medical costs 5x higher
  • Smokers are 40% more likely to have a work injury
  • Obesity is associated with 2x likelihood of a workplace injury, 7x higher workers’ comp medical costs, and 13x more days away from work

 

Employers can take a multitude of actions to help workers become healthier. And now’s a good time, as many people put ‘a healthier lifestyle’ atop their New Year’s resolution lists.

 

 

Wellness Programs

 

An effective wellness program can not only save money, but it can expand the bottom line through increased productivity from healthier workers. However, employers need to understand it is a long-term investment and the return might not be seen for several years.

 

Companies of any size can implement some type of wellness program. In fact, a recent survey showed more than half of employers with at least 50 employees have adopted a program. Most important is to make sure the program is specific to the company’s culture and needs. That said, there are several elements that can help result in a successful wellness program.

 

 

4 Keys To A Healthier Workforce Through Wellness

 

Executive Buy-In

 

Getting employees to participate in a wellness program has to start at the top. C-suite executives need to be engaged or the effort will have little chance of success.

 

Senior managers need to understand the business case that prevention can reduce injuries and mean more money for the organization. Larger companies may have the advantage of being able to use claims data and health plan utilization showing healthier workers have fewer claims and shorter recoveries. For smaller companies, information from organizations such as NCCI or WCRI can help make the case. There is also publicly available evidence from OSHA and NIOSH.

 

 

Goals

 

A look at various company records and reports — absenteeism, productivity, health insurance costs and biometric screening, for example, can help determine what types of things are needed for a company. Goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic and relevant, and time based. Goals can be set by a group of workers representing many or all departments and at all levels to help ensure employee buy-in to the program. The group can be a formalized wellness team, in which each participant has various roles and responsibilities.

 

 

Integration With Safety

 

Reducing workplace injuries and improving overall employee health should go hand-in-hand with safety programs. Breaking down silos can expedite the effectiveness of both programs. Departments should be instructed to share information and resources. In larger companies, that means departments involved in any aspect of health benefits and health protection should communicate.

 

 

Communication and Education

 

Newsletters, emails, and posters are among the ways employers can let employees know about all the various components of the wellness program. They can also be used to help instruct workers on healthy lifestyle changes they can make. For example, low-calorie does not necessarily equal healthier foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grain products. People who understand how to read food labels are more inclined to buy food that offers good nutrition. Various health recipes can also be included, along with information on the importance of, and how to get a good night’s sleep.

 

When effective, wellness programs can reap significant financial benefits for companies, such as reduced injury rates and the number of lost work days. The key is to get buy-in by working with employees throughout the organization.

 

 

For additional information on workers’ compensation cost containment best practices, register as a guest for our next live stream training.

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices.

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

Live Stream WC Training: http://workerscompclub.com/livestreamtraining.com

 

©2017 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

Quit Gaining…Weight, That is. Diet and Health Go Hand-In-Hand

Weight Gain Weight gain can put your health at risk. A couple pounds a year can add up to an increased BMI over time. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute reports that excessive weight and obesity can put you at risk for all of the following:

 

  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Abnormal Blood Fats
  • Metabolic Syndrome (the name for a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke)
  • Cancer
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome
  • Reproductive Problems
  • Gallstones

 

Read on for three simple tricks that don’t include a gym membership or a diet plan, but these tips do promote weight loss.

 

  • Size does matter when it comes to weight loss. Stop supersizing your meals. Order smaller sizes. Serve and eat your food on small plates. People automatically eat fewer calories when they reach for the tiny plate. Leave a bit of each meal behind, or grab a plate that is a contrasting color to your food; this can serve as a stop signal. Studies show that these quick tricks may reduce calories, which can lead to weight loss over time.

 

  • Skip the midnight snack. No more late night eating. Give yourself an “eating curfew.” Food is fuel, and there’s no need to load up on carbohydrates before you hit the hay. There is research that suggests nighttime eating may lead to weight gain.

 

  • Swap out grain breakfast selections with a protein rich option. Find ways to swap out a refined carb breakfast with a protein rich option. Protein rich options include eggs, nuts, seeds, beans or fish. Limit processed protein (e.g. deli meat, protein shakes) and red meat choices. Abandon beliefs that you can only eat certain foods at certain times. It’s acceptable to eat a salad in the morning for breakfast, or an omelet for dinner. Research demonstrates beefing up your healthy protein intake may increase satiety and promote maintenance of your current body weight.

 

References:

British Heart Foundation – Portion Distortion report

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/88/4/900.full

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/5/1558S.long

 

Author: Heather Klaus, Medcor, Wellness Program Manager. Heather oversees Medcor’s internal wellness program for nearly 900 associates nationwide.  She also develops and supports wellness programs for Medcor clients.  Heather is a regular author and contributor to health and wellness blogs, videos and newsletters.  Heather holds a Bachelor’s in Science from Northern Illinois University in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a certified trainer, fitness instructor and Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant.  http://www.medcor.com.  Contact: heather.klaus@medcor.com

Overweight and Underpaid: Weight Discrimination at Work

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently found that over 50% of the variation in people’s health was related to social factors – such as income and race – a revelation which has shocked many as some commonly assumed that health behaviors had the largest impact. This finding shows that health diseases like obesity are not solely caused by eating habits, but also factors such as low-incomes. Despite these low-incomes, this infographic shows that obese individuals spend 42% more on health care costs than healthy weight people, putting them in a tremendously vicious cycle.

 

The following infographic, created by Eastern Kentucky University’s, takes a closer look at the issues and prejudices overweight individuals face in the workplace.

 

We’ve Got Your Back… Exercise: Some Motivation Required

Back pain is a common complaint and can happen for various reasons.  Science is not certain of the exact recipe to heal back pain. Research on different modes of rehab and training designed to help back- pain sufferers is on-going.

 

Building a strong and balanced back may be protective. Surprisingly, your consistent attendance in Pilates class along with your chiseled abs and back may not shield you from back pain.

 

Overall conditioning of your core muscles may safeguard you from future injury. Core muscles refer to a person’s trunk, back, glutes, hips, abductors and abdominal muscles.

 

Conditioning includes walking with correct posture and balance exercises, along with range of motion and strengthening activities. These components, collectively, factor into protecting your back.

 

Best Back Practice:

 

  • Walk or regularly engage in some other physical activity.

 

  • Proper postural alignment influences moving with ease.

 

  • Sensory-motor control training may be as important as strengthening or endurance of the trunk muscles when building a strong base.

 

  • Yoga is good practice for strengthening, flexibility and pain management.

 

  • Strengthening the pelvic and trunk muscles plays a role in core stability.

 

You should consult your primary care provider before starting a new exercise routine, to be sure you are healthy enough to pursue a workout regimen. Once you are cleared for exercise, consider adding the following to your daily routine to build a solid foundation. And remember, if you feel pain– STOP!

 

Walking:

Walking (with proper form) at a moderate-intense level for as little as six minutes daily may benefit your back. Read on for details on proper posture.

 

Postural  Alignment:

The  National Osteoporosis  Foundation  describes proper standing posture as keeping your head high, chin in and shoulder blades slightly pinched together. Maintain the natural arch of your lower back as you gently contract your abdomen inward, feet are pointed straight ahead with knees facing forward.

 

Sensory-Motor Control Training (SMC):

SMC is an approach to balance training. Stages of SMC include static, dynamic and functional. Perform your balance exercises at home in a doorway for safety.

 

Static: Stand on one foot and look straight ahead, progress by closing your eyes or adding head movements.

Dynamic: Add arm and leg movement while standing on one foot. Try to main- tain a steady posture.

Functional: Try balancing on an un- stable surface such as a wobble board, furniture cushion, or sitting on a stability ball.

 

Be sure to perform the above exercises on each foot, up to 30 seconds, two times throughout the day.

 

Yoga, Stretching and Strengthening:

Try a beginner yoga class or basic strengthening group session, watch a video or download an app. Experiment with different activities to see what feels good.

 

References:

http://www.bjjprocs.boneandjoint.org.uk/content/88-B/SUPP_III/449.1

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24731894

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22850802

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24211698

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25529265

 

 

Author: Heather Klaus, Medcor, Wellness Program Manager. Heather oversees Medcor’s internal wellness program for nearly 900 associates nationwide.  She also develops and supports wellness programs for Medcor clients.  Heather is a regular author and contributor to health and wellness blogs, videos and newsletters.  Heather holds a Bachelor’s in Science from Northern Illinois University in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a certified trainer, fitness instructor and Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant.  http://www.medcor.com.  Contact: heather.klaus@medcor.com

Surviving Employee Wellness Initiatives

Healthcare reform in the United States has made employers and stakeholders in workers’ compensation program focus on the wellness of their employees.  While these are important objectives and improve employee satisfaction, it is important to take note that injuries occurring during these events can be compensable.

 

Before implementing any program, it is important to understand your state’s workers’ compensation program and supporting case law.  Rules and regulations may also play a role.  Always consult an attorney before implementing wellness related programs within the workplace.

 

 

Parties and Employer Sponsored Events

 

Injuries that occur at these types of events can be compensable under a workers’ compensation law.  In most jurisdictions, the statute itself speaks to these issues, with some limits placed on the employee’s ability to seek compensation for injuries.  Courts have also scrutinized and interpreted these incidents, which include discussion on the following areas:

 

  • Whether the employer-sponsored event was truly “voluntary” in nature;
  • Information concerning how the event was communicated to employees; and
  • If the injury occurring at the event was “incidental” or “remote” to one’s employment.

 

Injuries occurring while setting up for and the clean up afterward have also held to be compensable.

 

 

Fitness and Recreational Events

 

These programs come in all forms: golf outings, walking programs and the company softball game.  Most state workers’ compensation acts address when injuries sustained in these events are compensable.  When reviewing these matters, courts typically scrutinize the following items:

 

  • The nature of the event and the “control” the employer had regarding the activity;
  • Application of ingress/egress principles, which cover the employee while on company property, or those of a “traveling employee” when events are hosted at off-site conference and retreat centers; and
  • The role of the employer in setting up a recreational event.  This can include providing equipment for employees to use, installing fixtures on company premises such as a basketball hoop and how the employer viewed these activities in the past.

 

Some of these issues are also common when it comes to company sponsored sporting teams.  Injuries sustained while participating in these events are generally compensable unless the state specific workers’ compensation act explicitly limits the liability of the employer.

 

 

Health and Wellness Promotions

 

These events can include employer-sponsored vaccinations and wellness programs for those seeking to lose weight, lower their cholesterol, or otherwise maintain a healthy lifestyle.  This area of workers’ compensation law is full of gray areas employers must consider when organizing programs to avoid unnecessary costs to their programs:

 

  • Events where the primary purpose is to focus on the employees’ physical, emotional or psychological well-being will typically not be compensable if the state has a “health program exception;” and
  • An inquiry as to whether the program or event is “incidental” to the employee’s employment.  If it is not, injuries will usually be compensable.

 

These issues are questions of fact for a compensation or administrative law judge to decide.  When defending these claims, it is important to conduct a complete investigation.  Laws concerning healthcare professionals and vaccinations are not covered under these laws given the nature of their work and contact with sick individuals.

 

 

Conclusions

 

In the modern workplace, it is important for employers to offer a variety of events that promote job satisfaction and workplace camaraderie.  When implementing wellness-oriented programs, it is important to understand how that event might influence your workers’ compensation exposure.

 

 

Author Michael B. Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx Work Comp Solutions. He is an expert in employer communication systems and helps employers reduce their workers comp costs by 20% to 50%. He resides in the Boston area and works as a Qualified Loss Management Program provider working with high experience modification factor companies in the Massachusetts State Risk Pool.  He is co-author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com, and Founder of the interactive Workers’ Comp Training platform COMPClub. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

©2015 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

SALES TO PAY FOR ACCIDENTS CALCULATOR:  http://reduceyourworkerscomp.com/sales-to-pay-for-accidents-calculator/

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:   http://reduceyourworkerscomp.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculators/

WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/

SUBSCRIBE: Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

WORKERS’ COMP TRAINING: https://workerscompclub.com

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

 

CDC Wants Public To Understand And Avoid Misuse Of Antibiotics

Antibiotics are designed for the treatment of bacterial infections. If used in an attempt to combat viral infections, like colds or the flu, the medications do nothing to treat these conditions. In fact, it may harm your body’s own immune system by killing off so-called “good” or protective bacteria. (Photo courtesy of cdc.gov.)

Antibiotics are designed for the treatment of bacterial infections. If used in an attempt to combat viral infections, like colds or the flu, the medications do nothing to treat these conditions. In fact, it may harm your body’s own immune system by killing off so-called “good” or protective bacteria. (Photo courtesy of cdc.gov.)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wants everyone to know that taking antibiotics when they are unwarranted can be harmful.

 

Antibiotics are drugs that treat only bacterial infections. Viral illnesses and their symptoms cannot and should not be treated with antibiotics.

 

 

Why should you care? 

 

Improper use of antibiotics promotes the spread of antibiotic resistant strains of germs. Resistant germs are stronger, and much more difficult to destroy.

 

This means that when antibiotics are ultimately needed, it may require more of them, or far more expensive varieties of antibiotics, injections or even hospital-ization in order to combat these resistant strains. These resistant strains are collections of super germs that, formerly, could have readily been handled through conventional antibiotic treatments.

 

In some cases, antibiotic resistant infections can cause severe illnesses that can no longer be treated with antibiotics.

 

Antibiotics can also upset the body’s natural balance by killing off the protective (good) bacteria. This results in complications like diarrhea, yeast infections and other dangerous infections.

 

 

Question…

 

Can antibiotics be used in an attempt to knock out a runny nose (yellow and/or green mucus)?

 

 

Answer…

 

No.  Here’s why—when colds infect the nose and sinuses, the body produces clear mucus to help to get rid of the germs. When your body sends out an army of biological germ fighters called immune cells to attack the germs in the affected area, the mucus changes to a white or yellow color.

 

So, if that is the case, then where does the green-colored mucus come from?

 

When bacteria that typically live in the nose grow back, their arrival is marked by the greenish colored mucus.

 

Antibiotics will NOT…

 

  • Cure viral illness. Viral illness causes colds, flu, some ear infections and most coughs, bronchitis, sore throats and sinus infections.
  • Help you feel better.
  • Help you get back to work faster.
  • Stop the spread of viral illness.

 

 

Author Gregg Cognac, PA-C, Clinical Affairs Director, Medcor is a certified Physician Assistant, and works with Medcor’s medical directors to provide oversight and support for on-site clinic staff in more than 170 locations nationwide.  Gregg earned his degree in PA studies from Midwest University in 1999, then completed post-graduate training in Emergency Medicine culminating in a Master’s degree.  Gregg’s clinical experienced has been in Emergency Medicine, Occupational Medicine and Cardiology.  Gregg contributes to policy and service development, QA, training, and other clinical support for clinic staff operating in a wide range of industries. http://medcor.com.  Contact: gregg.cognac@medcor.com

Negative Attitude And Outlook May Impact Brain Function As Well As Overall Health

Consistently viewing the world through a cynical eye may contribute to dementia, Alzheimer’s and coronary artery disease.

Consistently viewing the world through a cynical eye may contribute to dementia, Alzheimer’s and coronary artery disease.

“Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don’t have to sit on it.”
– Joyce Meyer, Author and Evangelist

 

Is Being A Grinch Bad For Your Health? Research finds an association between cynicism and dementia. Cynicism is the belief that only selfishness motivates human actions, and that there are no selfless acts. Sounds like Grinch-like thinking, doesn’t it?

 

This way of thinking has been linked to poor health. Previous studies have reported that cynicism may be a predictor of adverse health outcomes, such as coronary artery disease.

 

 

Cynicism Is Associated With Additional Health Problems

 

Now, along comes evidence that cynicism is associated with additional health problems. The Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia Study looked at the association between cynicism, dementia and death. This study measured cynical distrust based on the Cook-Medley Hostility Scale.

 

Dementia was diagnosed by objective criteria. Many other factors that could lead to dementia were also considered, including age, sex, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, body mass index, smoking, alcohol use, socioeconomic class, and a test that, when positive, is sometimes associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Those with high levels of cynicism died at a younger age, but this finding was explainable by other factors, including lifestyle choices, socioeconomic class and other health issues.

 

On the other hand, those with the highest levels of cynicism had a higher risk of dementia, even after considering all confounding factors. At present, the relationship between dementia and cynicism is just an association, not necessarily cause and effect. In other words, we cannot really say that being cynical is likely to lead to dementia, or that adopting a more positive outlook on life will prevent dementia. But, we do know that people who believe they are living a happy life, find life more enjoyable and live longer. So, don’t be a Grinch!

 

 

Are You At Risk?

 

Are you at risk? Are you wondering if you are cynical?  Consider these statements.  Do you think they are mostly true or false?

 

  1. No one cares much what happens to you.
  2. It is safer to trust no one.
  3. I think most people would lie to get ahead.
  4. Most people do not like helping others.

 

The more you think these statements are true (agree with them) the more cynical is your personality. The more cynical you are, the less healthy you may be.

 

Tips for good spirits: Seeking more balance in your life can bring happiness. Balance is a state of symmetry of all things in your life.  Spend time with people who make you smile, find a funny quote and post it as a reminder, watch a comedy, focus on the positive in your life, get moving, partake in activities that bring you joy, get outdoors for fresh air, listen to music, take a nap if you need rest, meditate, or simply jot down a list of items that make you happy.

 

 

Author: Heather Klaus, Medcor, Wellness Program Manager. Heather oversees Medcor’s internal wellness program for nearly 900 associates nationwide.  She also develops and supports wellness programs for Medcor clients.  Heather is a regular author and contributor to health and wellness blogs, videos and newsletters.  Heather holds a Bachelor’s in Science from Northern Illinois University in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a certified trainer, fitness instructor and Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant.  http://www.medcor.com.  Contact: heather.klaus@medcor.com

Workplace Wellness and On-site Chiropractic Services: Is There a Chiropractor in the House?

Robin Kobayashi 65x57By Robin E. Kobayashi, J.D., LexisNexis Legal & Professional Operations

 

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), including most commonly sprains and strains, accounted for a whopping 33 percent of all workplace injury and illness cases as well as one-third of all the days-away-from-work cases in 2013 according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. What’s more, workers who sustained an MSD injury needed an average of 11 days to recuperate before they could return to work compared to 8 days for all other types of injury cases. Nursing assistants, laborers, and freight, stock, and material movers had the highest rates of MSD injuries.

 

Given the high rate of MSD injuries in the workplace and the associated high costs of treatment, studies from 2011 and 2012 examined the use of on-site chiropractic services and found that these services contributed to lowered overall costs. Supporting the value of on-site chiropractic services is a 2014 study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine that compared the impact of on-site and off-site chiropractic care on health care utilization, specifically, radiological procedures and clinical care.

 

 

How the 2014 Study Was Set Up

 

The study focused on Cerner Corporation, a self-insured company in Kansas City, MO, specializing in health information technology and care delivery strategies. Cerner’s on-site health centers provide wellness, prevention, pharmacy services, and primary care, including chiropractic care, to all employees enrolled in Cerner’s health plan.

 

The 36-month retrospective study examined 876 employees who received chiropractic care at their place of employment (the on-site group) and 759 employees who received chiropractic care at an off-site community-based chiropractic office (the off-site group).

 

The study assessed utilization for radiological procedures (i.e., MRI, ultrasound, CT scan, and other radiograph procedures) and clinical utilization (i.e., claims for chiropractic services, physical therapy, or further medical care—inpatient, outpatient, or ER visits).

 

 

Key Findings And Facts

 

Overall the on-site group had much lower health care utilization than the off-site group.

 

For example, 55.5% of the off-site group received radiology services compared to 38.2% of the on-site group. In addition, repeat radiology services were much higher in the off-site group (20.5%) than the on-site group (10.1%). The authors of the study suggest that chiropractors who were unaffiliated with Cerner’s health plan were more likely to refer patients out of the clinic, thereby increasing costs in the system.

 

With respect to utilization of outpatient services, 47.3% of the off-site group had outpatient utilization compared to 30.2% of the on-site group. In addition, repeat outpatient services were much higher in the off-site group (29.5%) compared to the on-site group (18.5%). This pattern repeated with utilization of ER—19.0% for the off-site group compared to 13.1% for the on-site group. However, the authors of the study warned that they did not collect comorbidities or patient histories for their study, so it’s unclear whether these statistics were impacted by underlying characteristics of each group.

 

The study also found that the average number of chiropractic services and physical therapy visits per member were significantly higher with the off-site group. The authors of the study queried whether care packages advertised by community care centers might explain this big gap in utilization between the on-site and off-site groups.

 

 

———————————————————————————————————————————–

CHIROPRACTIC PERSPECTIVE: David C. Radford, D.C., M.S. urges conservative care first, based on nearly 40 years of experience treating spine cases. He worked in the Spine Center at Lutheran Hospital for several years in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, where many patients had successful non-surgical care. In support of his opinion he pointed out a recent prospective population-based cohort study by B.J. Keeny et al. that was published in the journal Spine May 15, 2013. The authors found that patients who saw a chiropractic physician first for acute occupational lower back demonstrated reduced odds of spine surgery. It was reported that those injured workers whose first provider was a chiropractor had a 1.5% chance of surgery versus those who saw a surgeon first, where their odds were 42.7% for spine surgery within three years. Baseline variables associated with surgery (P < 0.05) in the multivariate model included higher Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire scores, and greater injury severity. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of the multivariate model was 0.93 (95% confidence interval, 0.92-0.95), indicating an excellent ability to discriminate between workers who would versus those who would not have surgery. The authors concluded that there was a very strong association between surgery and first provider type seen for the injury even after adjustment for other important variables.

 

According to Denise M. Goodman, MD, MS et al. in the April 24, 2013 Journal of the American Medical Association, “Many treatments are available for low back pain. Often exercises and physical therapy can help. Some people benefit from chiropractic therapy or acupuncture.” She also states that “sometimes medications are needed, including analgesics (painkillers) or medications that reduce inflammation. Surgery is not usually needed but may be considered if other therapies have failed.”

 

Dr. Radford pointed out that today, doctors of chiropractic medicine are very well trained to triage spine patients rapidly and accurately. When a patient has red flags indicating a serious injury or an obvious surgical case, they can help move the patient through what can sometimes be a cumbersome system. He said spine care is often a team effort; injured workers should feel confident starting care with a chiropractic physician.

 

———————————————————————————————————————————–

Study Limitations

The study did not determine whether the care received by the on-site and off-site groups improved their MSD symptoms. The authors of the study wondered whether the higher utilization seen in the off-site group may have been due to a lower quality of care in community care centers. Nor did the study examine cost savings. While the study did not analyze direct and indirect cost savings to Cerner’s health care plan, the authors believed it could be inferred that lower utilization of health care services would result in direct cost savings.

 

© Copyright 2015 LexisNexis. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

 

 

 

Author Robin E. Kobayashi, J.D., Workers’ Compensation Practice Area Lead at LexisNexis. She is the site coordinator for the LexisNexis Legal Newsroom Workers’ Compensation Law. She has been a Sr. Legal Editor at LexisNexis specializing in workers’ compensation law for over 28 years. She also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of theLexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletters and the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Workers’ Compensation Emerging Issues Analysis, a 50 state survey of workers’ comp legislation and trends. Contact: Robin.E.Kobayashi@lexisnexis.com

Five Foods To Forego…Everyday Choices Pose Health Concerns

Experts frequently remind us that fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those that come in rich, vibrant colors, should hold a valued position on our tables at meal time. These foods contain nutrients that are known to stave off serious, debilitating diseases. Unfortunately, many people in our “always on the go” American lifestyles choose convenience over quality.

Experts frequently remind us that fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those that come in rich, vibrant colors, should hold a valued position on our tables at meal time. These foods contain nutrients that are known to stave off serious, debilitating diseases. Unfortunately, many people in our “always on the go” American lifestyles choose convenience over quality.

Eating fruits and veggies is great practice for your good health. Think colorful food selections that grow from the earth.

 

The food you eat should be processed by your body, not a factory. Fill up most of your plate with fruits and veggies and skip the less-than-stellar selections listed below to build your plate for power.

 

The top five foods every consumer should leave off the grocery list:

 

5. Deep Fried Foods:

Cooking at high temperatures can result in the formation of toxic chemical compounds that are not good for your health.

 

4. Processed meats:

The Harvard School of Public Health reports that eating processed meats may increase one’s risk of heart disease and diabetes when a diet consists of regularly eating about 50 grams (1.75 ounces) of processed meat per day. Processed meat includes deli slices, sausage and bacon.

 

3. Soft drinks (diet or regular):

Most sodas contain food dyes and preservatives. It is uncertain how safe these drinks are and they provide very little by way of healthy nutrition and nutrients.

 

2. Condiments in a bag:

Mustard and ketchup in small packets are engineered to remain stable. They contain additives that your body doesn’t need.

 

1. Refined and artificial sweeteners

We don’t know if these substitutes are harmful. Claims are confusing and these substitutes provide no healthy nutrients.

 

Recent  research  has  found  a  possible link between artificial sweeteners and glucose intolerance. The American Heart Association released its recommendations which state that most American women should consume no more than 100 calories in these sweeteners per day (about 6 tea- spoons).

 

The American Heart Association recommends that men consume no more than 150 calories per day (about 9 teaspoons).

29

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23335051

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/processed-meats-unprocessed-heart-disease-diabetes/

http://www..nature.com/nature/journal/v514/n7521/full/nature13793.htmlpubmed/23335051

 

 

Author: Heather Klaus, Medcor, Wellness Program Manager. Heather oversees Medcor’s internal wellness program for nearly 900 associates nationwide.  She also develops and supports wellness programs for Medcor clients.  Heather is a regular author and contributor to health and wellness blogs, videos and newsletters.  Heather holds a Bachelor’s in Science from Northern Illinois University in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a certified trainer, fitness instructor and Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant.  http://www.medcor.com.  Contact: heather.klaus@medcor.com

Professional Development Resource

Learn How to Reduce Workers Comp Costs 20% to 50%"Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%"
Lower your workers compensation expense by using the
guidebook from Advisen and the Workers Comp Resource Center.
Perfect for promotional distribution by brokers and agents!
Learn More

Please don't print this Website

Unnecessary printing not only means unnecessary cost of paper and inks, but also avoidable environmental impact on producing and shipping these supplies. Reducing printing can make a small but a significant impact.

Instead use the PDF download option, provided on the page you tried to print.

Powered by "Unprintable Blog" for Wordpress - www.greencp.de