Workers’ compensation is a program of the U.S. government that makes employers or their workers’ compensation insurance carriers responsible for the payment of the medical treatment of their employees who got injured or sick in the course of their employment.
A workers compensation physical therapy, on the other hand, is a part of the workers compensation program. The costs for this type of treatment will be paid for by workers comp if your injured worker’s treating physician recommends it as a necessary treatment for your employee’s recovery, rehabilitation, and return to work.
Why Workers Comp Physical Therapy is Important
Musculoskeletal injuries are not uncommon in the workplace. These injuries are caused either by accidents or long-term use as a part of your employee’s daily routine. Workplace injuries can affect the bones, tendons, muscles, or ligaments of your workers and prevent them from performing their duties.
Physical therapy is one of the most effective ways to treat workplace injuries. It is a non-invasive way to correct an injury through manual and electronic stimulation as well as other treatments that are intended to reduce tissue inflammation.
Physical Therapy is a non-narcotic way to manage or heal the pain. It allows injured workers to perform strengthening exercises that can get them back on the road to recovery in the shortest time possible.
Does Workers’ Compensation Cover the Cost of Physical Therapy?
All the costs of medical services, therapies, or rehabilitation necessary for the injured employee’s treatment and recovery will be shouldered by workers’ comp as long as they are per the guidelines of the workers’ compensation program.
Treating physicians often consider physical therapy as an essential part of post-injury treatment and they recommend it to ensure the full recovery of the patient. When this happens to your employees, the cost is often shouldered by your workers’ compensation insurance. Physical therapy can be a reasonable and necessary process to ensure that your injured employee will be able to regain their physical faculties and get back to work asap.
When a surgical procedure is required because of workplace injury, rehabilitative therapy may be necessary which is also covered by workers’ compensation. Workers’ comp also covers ongoing physical therapy of workers who are suffering from long term work-related injuries.
As the employer of an injured worker, you should have an authorized treating physician take care of your employee’s physical therapy needs. They’re the ones who can justify and expedite the necessity and importance of physical therapy in the treatment of their injury. For this reason, you need to work with a company that can facilitate immediate physical therapy for your employees in need. These are medical management companies with a large physical therapy provider network.
Generally, the cost of workers comp physical therapy is covered by the workers compensation program. However, this is only effective if your employee’s treating physician feels that the therapy is still beneficial to the patient and it is helping them move towards recovery.
When your employee’s treating doctor sees that your injured worker has reached the maximum level of recovery or maximum medical improvement (MMI), the coverage for your worker’s physical therapy may be stopped.
Physical Therapy – Is It Important in Workers Comp Rehabilitation?
A rehabilitation program can take a lot of forms and one of them is physical therapy. PT is an important aspect of an injured worker’s trip to recovery because:
- It can help restore to normal a range of motion that is lost due to injury.
- Physical therapy alleviates pain and stiffness that are related to an injury.
- It works to restore strength, endurance, functional ability, and flexibility that your employee may have lost due to workplace injury.
- Physical therapy speeds up recovery from workplace injuries. It can even help your injured worker recover at a faster pace than some forms of medical care.
- It helps injured workers avoid the risk of further injuries by educating and conditioning them physically.
- You can use physical therapy to determine the light-duty requirements and workplace accommodations of an injured employee who is scheduled to return to work.
The Benefits of Physical Therapy to Employers
Workers compensation physical therapy offers a lot of benefits to employees because of its ability to restore their health, well-being, and capability to earn. But the benefits do not stop here. Physical therapy also offers several factors that are beneficial to employers.
- The improved outcomes of physical therapy play a significant role in the retention of injured employees. This helps employers reduce their costs related to the hiring and training of replacements.
- Physical therapy facilitates early recovery of injuries. It reduces productive time lost due to workplace injuries.
- Early recovery and return-to-work because of physical therapy working to reduce workers’ comp costs and restore injured workers to productivity.
- Physical therapy works to make employees aware of workplace safety and injury avoidance. In effect, it helps minimize costs related to workplace injuries.
- The ability of physical therapy to help injured workers manage pain also helps employers avoid the cost of expensive surgeries and pain medications. A study conducted by the Health Services Research found that the use of physical therapy as a first treatment strategy reduced the treatment cost by 72% within the first year.
- Another study based on employees who were given same-day access to physical therapy found that 94% of patients were able to return to work on the same day or the day after they saw their therapist.
As an employer, your employees are your greatest assets, and their health and well-being are an important aspect of your business. Provide them with the best possible PT treatment when they get injured on the job. Make it available to them through a company that carries a huge physical therapy provider network.
It would be your best move to restore their health which is a vital factor in keeping your business in the best shape.
Call us at (866) 214-5920. We can help to make workers comp work for you.