How Effective Tele Triage Services Can Reduce Temporary Disability Costs and Impact

According to a study by the National Council on Compensation Insurance, most lost-time claims from employees with temporary disabilities due to workplace injuries are likely to receive temporary disability (TD) benefits. Statistics show that temporary disability claims are increasing, costing employers billions of dollars annually. These costs include not just benefits payouts but also lost productivity, replacement labor fees, and administrative burdens.

The good news is that these expenses can be effectively reduced with a proactive strategy. While injury prevention strategies can help limit accidents, early medical intervention can reduce the impact of injuries, lowering the chances of long-term disability. This approach helps businesses avoid prolonged absences, reduce disability payments, decrease reliance on temporary substitutes, and promote faster returns to work. This prompt response not only saves companies money but also ensures a healthier and happier workforce.

What is Temporary Disability?

Temporary disability refers to an illness or injury that prevents an employee from performing their regular job duties for a short period, usually weeks or months. These absences can have a significant financial impact on businesses. Direct costs include paying out short-term disability benefits, which are mandatory in some jurisdictions and often provided by employers. Indirect costs include lost productivity, training time for temporary replacements, and potential declines in employee morale. Additionally, administrative costs for managing paperwork and logistics related to disability claims can add up. Early intervention can play a crucial role in reducing these costs by addressing employee health concerns promptly, preventing minor injuries and accidents or illnesses from escalating into major conditions requiring extended leave.
Let us explore this further.

How Doctor-led Triage Services Can Reduce Temporary Disability Costs

Despite robust safety practices, the presence of diverse hazards across industries and unpredictable human actions means that injuries still occur, sometimes resulting in permanent disabilities or fatalities.

According to International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions, “the focus is on secondary and tertiary prevention measures to reverse the onset of unnecessary work disability or substantially reduce the human, social, and economic costs associated with the development of unnecessary work disability by finding ways to help people stay in or re-enter the workforce.”
Here are some ways this can happen.

1. Eliminate Unnecessary System Delays – Once there is an injury or illness detected, it should be treated immediately. If injuries are treated on time, onset of further damage can be prevented or limited. Having access to a doctor who can immediately assess and offer medical guidance can make a huge difference.

2. Reduce Unnecessary Duration – Often, the extra time spent away from work by employees are due to non-medical reasons. These extended absences are caused by factors that are not related to the medical condition itself, such as delays in treatment or administrative issues. Having a team that can work with the injured party, the physician or ER, and the administrative side, can help reduce this unnecessary duration.

3. Simplify the Process – A confusing process can create uncertainty for the worker. Being ill or injured is already overwhelming, and complexity in the claims process can further impact their engagement and delay their return to work. Simplifying the process helps reduce stress and encourages active participation.

4. Create a clear return to work plan – Develop a worker-centric return to work plan that emphasizes collaboration. Empower employees to lead their reintegration, aligning plans with their goals and perspectives. Build trust and understand their motivations and concerns. This approach ensures effective disability prevention and supports successful, motivated returns to work.

At WorkPartners, we believe in providing the best possible care for all employees. Our experience shows that many non-emergency incidents can be managed safely if addressed immediately. When an employee reports an injury and receives prompt first-aid guidance, companies can manage injury outcomes much more effectively.

Our 24/7 tele-triage team, led by doctors, ensures that injured workers receive the right care at the right time. By responding quickly to an injury or illness, our doctors have been able to reduce the possibility of secondary complications that can extend an employee’s absence. Our services include MD-led remote triage, expert case management. And proactive health interventions designed to reduce the burden of temporary disability. This proactive approach saves companies money on long-term disability costs and allows individuals to return to work sooner.
Contact WorkPartners to know how our early intervention solutions can help your company build a healthier and more resilient workforce