November 2020

Healthcare and Wellness Integration

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for both medical and mental health care for individuals across the country. To address the growing demand, virtual care utilization has grown at an unprecedented pace — creating new opportunities and challenges as employers seek to address the needs of their employee populations. This issue of @Work magazine provides insight into growing trends and holistic programs to address health and well-being during the pandemic and beyond.

Features

The Next Integrated Health and Productivity Priority: Workplace Well-Being

The pandemic shifted business plans and priorities at work in 2020. Leaders were quick to pivot their teams to address the health and safety of their workforce, customers, and business continuity due to COVID-19. And while evolving integrated health and productivity programs may have taken a back seat to more urgent needs, the learnings from this time offer even more clarity around the importance of mental health and well-being in the workplace. Read more.

Functional Best Practices to Establish Goals and Encourage Collaboration

The personal and professional impact of disability can be greatly reduced when two professionals — medical case managers and disability managers — collaborate early on to fully leverage their complementary skill sets. Rather than simply handing off the individual, as sometimes occurs, medical case managers and disability management specialists should work together through resolution. Read more.

Integrating Prevention into Health and Well-Being Solutions

The old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure continues to ring true for our own individual health, as well as the health of our organizations. Prevention is even more important today, given the COVID-19 global pandemic, and the emphasis on people’s health in the workplace. Read more.

Spotlight Articles

ESIS

Program Showcase: Virtual Care

It took a spreading pandemic to elevate telemedicine to a key healthcare gateway — largely due to its scalability and effectiveness for social-distancing patients. This creates a unique window of opportunity to leverage telemedicine’s popularity and efficiency to dramatically expand access to onsite clinics and improve the total population health of the workforce and their families. Read more.

Program Showcase: Clinical Guidelines & Disability Durations

The use of evidence-based guidelines can help prevent over-treatment and the provision of low-value care — wasteful practices that annually cost the U.S. healthcare system $78 billion. Although some healthcare systems have embraced the use of clinical practice guidelines throughout their networks, individual clinicians often need to advocate for the use of decision-support tools in their medical practices. Read more.

RTW Showcase: Tragedy to Triumph

The story of Paul’s return to health and work after a catastrophic workplace injury may seem unique, but many of the strategies and best practices used in Paul’s case apply to other severe or catastrophic cases that can help bring about successful outcomes. Read more.

Columns

Optis

Absence Matters: Safety and Wellness Integration

Most companies take strong measures to provide safe and effective workplaces. In addition to safety training and education, leading employers today must also promote good health and well-being at the workplace. This approach allows seamless integration of safety and wellness programs that can lead to lower healthcare costs and improved quality of life for employees. Read more.

Integrated Absence Management: Dental Insurance

Don’t overlook dental health as an integral part of total health for your employees. Like other forms of essential care, it can promote overall well-being, employment, and financial stability. Read more.

Engaging Today’s Workforce: Holistic Wellness

The pandemic has a profound and evolving impact on how the world is experiencing work, family, and community. However, one thing remains constant; employers who understand their employees’ experiences and needs and help them manage their challenges inside and outside the workforce will have a more engaged and productive workforce. Read more.

Employer Solutions: Lessons from the ‘New Normal’

Heading into the winter holidays always brings an extra dose of stress. So little time, so much to do for others. That’s just normal. But 2020 has been anything but normal. The adaptations employers have had to make as the pandemic unfolded and the lessons learned certainly will be needed as we wrap up this unprecedented year. Read more.

FMLA & ADA Medical Information: Recertification Process

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), an employer can request a recertification every six months and anytime an employee requests an extension of leave. Recertification gives the employer a complete, new FMLA medical certification from the employee’s or family member’s healthcare provider. Read more.

IAM Technology Tips: Where Have All the Nurses Gone?

In recent years, we are seeing fewer nurses managing disability and leave cases. Instead, many carriers, TPAs, and employers have transitioned to a clinical escalation or clinical consultation model in which non-clinical case managers handle the majority of claims and nurses are pulled into only the more complex cases. Read more.

Absence & Accommodation Technology: Communication, Collaboration, and Process

As important as finding the right absence management technology is how your organization implements it. No matter how good your technology is, if you don’t have the right implementation team, communication strategy, and process in place, you won’t end up with the solution you expected. Read more.

Common Sense Compliance: Designing Wellness Programs

Developing a wellness program that works for your organization requires you to establish objectives, meet specific needs, and provide accessibility and options, all while maintaining compliance with privacy and anti-discrimination laws. Read more.

A Clinician’s Viewpoint: Evidence Based Medicine

The ever-growing list of new federal, state, and local leave mandates has made administrative functions more crucial than ever to the effective operation of integrated absence management programs. However, we sometimes let HIPAA constraints intimidate us into relinquishing medical case management. When we do this, we are forfeiting one of the key tools to reduce medical cost and disability durations in the workers’ compensation return-to-work process. Read more.

Workplace Mental Health: Mental Well-Being Innovations

This year, your organization needs to have frank leadership discussions about the stressors employees face during the pandemic and how your company can support them. Your organization needs to leverage three key trends in wellness and primary care: earlier identification of mental health concerns, innovative supports, and skill training. Read more.

Benefits & Risk Management: Wellness Meets Loss Engineering

Many wellness programs are available to employees upon offer, but which ones are likely to provide the greatest benefit for your workforce? Have you talked to loss engineering recently to understand the kinds of injuries that are hurting your workforce seriously and frequently? Could particular wellness services help your people cope, avoid injury, or recover quickly with less residual impact? Read more.

Departments

DMEC's FMLA/ADA Training for Supervisors and Managers

The CEO’s Desk: The Future of Health

COVID-19 remains a dominant concern for most employers and has changed the way we access non-urgent medical care. When the pandemic hit, clinical practices scrambled to find the “right now” solution, with some medical offices turning over to virtual strategies in a single weekend. However, telemedicine isn’t a new concept. Read more.

DMEC News: November 2020

Throughout the year, DMEC conducts a variety of pulse surveys on hot topics in the industry. With the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic brought, the 2020 pulse surveys focused on employer responses to the virus and employee caregiving concerns. Read more.

Compliance Memos: November 2020

The November 2020 compliance memos cover updates and expansions to California and New York’s paid leave laws, and upcoming implementation of Maine’s “any reason” leave law. Read more.

Compliance Memos_July 2016