MedRisk announces the publication of its 2019 Industry Trend Report on Physical Medicine in Workers’ Compensation. The report examines recent changes, including relevant legislation, regulation and research. 

“The trend toward non-surgical treatment, fueled by recent conservative care studies and some states’ ‘PT-first’ initiatives, continues to impact the industry,” says MedRisk’s Chief Clinical and Product Officer Mary O’Donoghue in a company news release, noting that MedRisk’s post-surgical physical therapy cases dropped by 26% over the last five years. 

The report also discusses NCCI’s finding that the cost of physical therapy in workers’ compensation is nearly three times higher than in group health. 

“While per-unit costs are slightly higher in comp, the vast majority of these costs come from utilization,” O’Donoghue adds. NCCI says that workers’ compensation patients receive 50% more visits with 20% more modalities per visit than group health counterparts. 

“Physical therapy is prevalent and valuable in workers’ compensation, helping patients recover functionality, avoid opioids, and safely return to work,” O’Donoghue notes. “Yet there’s a great need to carefully manage the quality and cost of care.”

MedRisk manages cases through evidence-based guidelines, patient education, initial consultations with a physical therapist, expert providers, PT-to-PT coaching, and clinical recommendations. The company saw a 25% decrease in duration of care between 2015 and 2018.   

“It’s not about arbitrarily limiting visits; it’s about clinical management, communication and technology that streamlines workflows,” O’Donoghue stresses. 

MedRisk, based in King of Prussia, Pa, is a managed care organization dedicated to the physical rehabilitation of injured workers.

[Source: MedRisk]