Linda Van Dillen. Twitter @CompAllianceRN I recently caught up with Linda to chat with her and find out what she has been doing with her time recently. So grab your favorite beverage or snack and let’s have a chat with Linda. What’s on Linda’s mind? Return to work of course!

Q. Linda, what have you been up to this summer?

  1. My husband and I spent several weeks visiting with both of our families and teaching our granddaughter to golf!
  2. I was recently invited to speak in September at the NAOHP conference on the RTW paper my IAIABC committee has been working on for the past three years.
  3. CompAlliance has been very active in various Kids’ Chance activities across the nation, and we are looking forward to participating in the Give Kids the World service day at WCI later this month.

Q. What issue related to workers’ compensation is top of mind for you right now?

A. Return to Work! Workers that do not RTW experience a significant reduction in their overall income. There is a potential for delayed RTW and/or RTW to an inappropriate position due to absent or delayed communications with employers or the claims professional. As case managers, we refer to the Case Management Society of America (CMSA) Standards of Practice guiding principles, interventions and strategies when reviewing our internal processes that impact the injured worker. These guiding principles are targeted at the achievement of stability, wellness and autonomy through various principles including communication, education, collaboration and facilitation.

CompAlliance believes with increased efforts to facilitate obtaining Job Descriptions and RTW discussions with the employer, claims professional, Injured Worker and physician, a more timely and consistent RTW will result. To address this issue, CompAlliance developed a Quality Improvement Project (QIP) as part of our upcoming URAC re-accreditation titled, “Consistent Return to Work Facilitation”.

An article that assisted CompAlliance to formulate our processes was an article by ACOEM titled, “Preventing Needless Work Disability by Helping People Stay Employed”. This report focused on workers with medical conditions that should normally result in only a few days of work absence, who end up withdrawing permanently or for prolonged periods of time from work. For many of these workers, their condition began as a common problem, a sprain, strain, depression or anxiety, but escalated into a short-term, long-term or permanent disability. Their premise was these absences were potentially preventable, and posed unfortunate consequences for both the employer and employee.

This article gives an excellent overview of the usual stay at work/return to work (SAW/RTW) model we as a nation, employ. However, they also describe an alternative model pointing out only a small fraction of medically excused days off work are medically required – meaning any kind of work is medically contraindicated. From a strictly medical point of view, people can generally work at something productive as soon as there is no specific medical condition to keep them from working. The question is: what kind of work?

In addition, I participate on the IAIABC RTW committee; we are currently formulating a paper on RTW that addresses misconceptions and reality regarding the RTW process as it relates to ALL stakeholders.

For more detail on the approaches CompAlliance believes are useful in turning around this SAW/RTW process we wrote a blog article, “Keeping Your Employees at Work during the Rehabilitation Process”

Yvonne Guibert. Twitter @buzzystreet Call for Submissions: People’s Choice Awards at Comp Laude® Awards & Gala Oct 9 – 11. Do you have something important to say related to workers’ compensation? Are you passionate about it? Why not submit your topic to be considered for the People’s Choice Awards at Comp Laude® Awards & Gala? Up to seven topics will be chosen by a committee to presented in a TED- Talk style presentation. You get 6 minutes to say what you have to say with a Comp Laude® Award up for grabs. The audience will vote live during the session and the award winner will be announced during the awards ceremony later that day. Greg McKenna of Gallagher Bassett will emcee the session.

Please drop me a line — I’d love to hear from you. If you are a workers’ compensation professional I’d like to chat with you to what’s rolling around in your head!

#workerscomp #complaudegala #thoughtfulthursday