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Concept: Workers' compensation

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BACKGROUND: Prior studies have suggested that patients with workers' compensation (WC) related injuries have less successful postsurgical outcomes compared to the general population. The purpose of this study was to determine the functional outcome and return to work for WC patients who have undergone distal biceps tendon repair (DBTR). A group of patients without a WC claim (non-WC) served as a control. METHODS: From July 2002 to December 2009, 60 WC patients and 63 non-WC patients who underwent unilateral, acute (<6 weeks) DBTR and had a minimum of 12 months of postoperative follow-up were contacted. Data pertaining to patient age, sex, handedness, smoking status, occupation, time to return to work, and ability to return to original occupation were obtained. Functional outcomes were primarily assessed with the DASH, DASH-Work Module, and DASH Sports/Performance Arts Module questionnaires. Outcomes in the WC group were compared to the non-WC group. RESULTS: Average length of follow-up was 3.55 years (range, 1.5-8.9) in the WC group and 3.64 years (range, 2.2-8.0) in the non-WC group. Mean DASH, DASH-Work Module, and Sports/Performance Arts Module scores were significantly greater (poorer outcome) in the WC group than in the non-WC group. Average time to return to full duty was 3.95 months in the WC group and 1.35 months in the non-WC group. CONCLUSION: WC patients who underwent distal biceps tendon repair took longer to return to work and had worse DASH scores than non-WC patients.

Concepts: Vector space, Group, Outcome, Workers' compensation, Group action, Simple module

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Purpose This research sought to determine whether there is a relationship between claimants' expected time to return to work (RTW) as recorded by claims managers and compensated days of work disability. Methods We utilized workers' compensation data from a large, United States-based insurance company. RTW expectations were collected within 30 days of the claim being reported and these were compared with the termination of total temporary indemnity payments. Bivariate and hierarchical regression analyses were conducted. Results A significant relationship between expected time to RTW and compensated disability duration was observed. The unadjusted correlation between work-disability duration and expected time to RTW was .25 (p < .001). Our multivariate model explained 29.8 % of the variance, with expected time to RTW explaining an additional 9.5 % of the variance in work-disability duration beyond what was explained by the covariates. Conclusion The current study's findings support the hypothesis that claimant RTW estimates as recorded by claims managers are significantly related to compensated-disability duration, and the relationship is maintained after controlling for variance that can be explained by other variables available within workers' compensation databases.

Concepts: Scientific method, Linear regression, Theory, Expected value, Insurance, Plaintiff, Multivariate, Workers' compensation

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In recent decades, the frequency of Medical Only (MO) and Lost Time (LT) workers' compensation claims has decreased, while average severity (medical and indemnity costs) has increased.

Concepts: Workers' compensation

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A pilot study indicated that obesity was associated with an increased time lost from work and higher costs among workers' compensation claimants sustaining severe, but not minor injuries.

Concepts: Workers' compensation

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(1) To identify work-related fatal and non-fatal hospitalised injuries using multiple data sources, (2) to compare case-ascertainment from external data sources with accepted workers' compensation claims and (3) to investigate the characteristics of work-related fatal and hospitalised injuries not captured by workers' compensation.

Concepts: Workers' compensation

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Despite substantial financial and personnel resources being devoted to occupational exposure monitoring (OEM) by employers, workers' compensation insurers, and other organizations, the United States (US) lacks comprehensive occupational exposure databases to use for research and surveillance activities. OEM data are necessary for determining the levels of workers' exposures; compliance with regulations; developing control measures; establishing worker exposure profiles; and improving preventive and responsive exposure surveillance and policy efforts. Workers' compensation insurers as a group may have particular potential for understanding exposures in various industries, especially among small employers. This is the first study to determine how selected state-based and private workers' compensation insurers collect, store, and use OEM data related specifically to air and noise sampling. Of 50 insurers contacted to participate in this study, 28 completed an online survey. All of the responding private and the majority of state-based insurers offered industrial hygiene (IH) services to policyholders and employed one to three certified industrial hygienists on average. Many, but not all, insurers used standardized forms for data collection, but the data were not commonly stored in centralized databases. Data were most often used to provide recommendations for improvement to policyholders. Although not representative of all insurers, the survey was completed by insurers that cover a substantial number of employers and workers. The 20 participating state-based insurers on average provided 48% of the workers' compensation insurance benefits in their respective states or provinces. These results provide insight into potential next steps for improving the access to and usability of existing data as well as ways researchers can help organizations improve data collection strategies. This effort represents an opportunity for collaboration among insurers, researchers, and others that can help insurers and employers while advancing the exposure assessment field in the US.

Concepts: Better, Improve, Sampling, United States, Insurance, Occupational safety and health, Occupational hygiene, Workers' compensation

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Worker compensation insurance in Taiwan ensures that a woman under the age of 45 years who has her uterus removed can receive disability compensation benefits. The present study investigated whether such a compensation policy was related to a woman’s inclination to have a hysterectomy.

Concepts: Childbirth, Uterus, Menopause, Hysterectomy, Adenomyosis, Uterine fibroids, Workers' compensation

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Objective The “Technical rules for biological agents in healthcare and welfare facilities” (TRBA 250) came into force in March 2014 in Germany and deals with protective measures to prevent needlestick injuries (NSI). The present study covers the period of 6 months after TRBA 250 came into force. The study had 2 objectives: to investigate whether hospitals, doctors' surgeries and care facilities differ with respect to the causes of needlestick injuries (NSI) and to collect data on availability and implementation of safety-engineered devices (SED) in these healthcare settings workplaces. Methods This study analyses workers' compensation claims for NSI, as received by the Institution for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention in the Health and Welfare Services (Berufsgenossenschaft für Gesundheitsdienst und Wohlfahrtspflege, BGW) (n=1602). During a telephone interview (response rate 33.3%), the subjects were asked about the course of the accident and the handling of SED at the workplace. Descriptive analyses were performed for hospitals, doctors' surgeries and care facilities (including inpatient care for the elderly and outpatient care). Results In all 3 settings, about half of the NSI did not occur during the invasive procedure, but during the subsequent disposal of the instruments. 30% of all NSI were caused by needles for subcutaneous injections; in care facilities, the proportion was above 50%. SED were involved in 20% of the NSI in hospitals and doctors' surgeries and in 10% of NSI in care facilities. Lack of experience in activating the safety mechanism was the most important cause of failure for NSI with SED. SED were available at the workplace in 80% of hospitals and doctors' surgeries and in 50% of care facilities. Conclusion Training on the safe disposal of sharp instruments should be provided to all professional groups who come into contact with such instruments. It is currently not possible to provide a reliable estimate of the risk of infection from subcutaneous needles. As a high proportion of NSI in nursing homes and outpatient care services were caused by subcutaneous needles, training on safe handling practices for disposal of needles is needed in these settings.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Health insurance, Causality, Surgery, Physician, Needlestick injury, Workers' compensation

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This case history of Oregon state’s Ag Seminar Series is consistent with the Socio-Ecological Model, demonstrating how policy at a state level can influence an organizational approach with impacts that ultimately influence safety practices on the farm. From modest beginnings, the Ag Seminar Series, offered through a workers compensation insurance company, now serves over 2,300 Oregon farmers annually in English and Spanish. This case offers unique but also replicable methods for educators, insurers, and researchers in safety education, safety motivators, and research-to-practice (r2p).

Concepts: Actuarial science, English language, Insurance, Disability insurance, Oregon, Workers' compensation, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon