ACOEM 2nd edition, pp 84-85 defines multiple risk factors for delayed recovery which are viewed as being statistically related to delayed return-to-function; their presence serves as barriers to returning an individual to their work setting. These risk factors include a variety of historical factors, patient’s social factors, personal physical and mental health issues, patient’s beliefs and attitudes, employment related factors, and economic and legal factors. According to MTUS, pp 5-6: Patients not responding to initial or subacute management or those thought to be at risk for delayed recovery should be identified as early as possible….. Those at risk should be aggressively managed to avoid ineffective therapeutic efforts and needless disability. Per ACOEM, pp. 86: If personal or psychosocial factors are contributing to delayed recovery, psychological, psychiatric, or other behavioral health intervention is more appropriate than continuing medication, physical therapy, or surgery; continuing such treatment in the face of treatment failure simply creates the expectation of disability.
Why is the ROC uniquely positioned to identify and manage factors for delayed recovery?
The ROC medical and behavioral health team is uniquely positioned to intervene clinically at all phases of a claim. Preferably, factors for delayed recovery are recognized early and referred for early intervention, maximizing the ability of our team to work with the injured worker and claims management team to collaboratively promote the most effective and goal-directed care. This optimizes the likelihood of efficiently returning the injured worker to their highest level of function.