One Call, a provider of specialty network management services for the workers’ compensation industry, announces the expansion of its CarePath program – specifically, Respiratory Pathway – to meet the needs of individuals experiencing lingering COVID-19 complications and symptoms long after test results read negative.   

According to the CDC, about 80 percent of COVID-19 cases have mild to moderate symptoms and conditions that don’t require hospitalization. That said, a significant minority of individuals battle long-term impacts from the disease that may be debilitating and delay recovery. Hospitalized individuals may face more severe issues, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), central and peripheral nerve impairment, altered mental status, acute kidney injury (requiring dialysis), atrophy and muscle weakness, blood clots and vascular conditions, cardiac complications, and pressure ulcers, a media release from One Call explains.

To facilitate the recovery process effectively, One Call’s suite of solutions – eg, in-patient nursing facilities, durable medical equipment, respiratory and medical supplies, home health, physical therapy, diagnostics, transportation – and patient-centric approach can play a crucial role, leading to better outcomes and faster return-to-work time frames, it notes.

Respiratory Pathway is an injury-specific approach that incorporates a dedicated point of contact – a Care Navigator – who engages with the patient early and supports individualized recovery paths through a multi-disciplinary support model. The Care Navigator assigned to all Respiratory Pathway cases is a licensed nurse who works directly with One Call’s medical advisory team to remain up-to-date on medical recommendations associated with the novel virus.

“At least for San Diego, about 10 percent of symptomatic COVID-19 patients have required some level of hospitalization, with two percent requiring ICU care inclusive of ventilator support. And their health battle did not end once discharged. These individuals remain severely ill, often requiring advanced medical support, such as skilled nursing care, durable medical equipment, home health care, wound care, dialysis, rehabilitation therapies, and close medical monitoring.”

— Craig M. Uejo, MD, MPH, FACOEM, One Call Senior Medical Advisor and Scripps Health Associate Chief Quality Officer

For those trying to return to work, the journey ahead is even more frustrating given the amount of time needed for full recovery. For example, only 16 percent of ICU patients who develop ARDS will return to work within three months. For nearly half (49 percent), it takes a full year to recover, the release continues.

Multiple physical ailments are compounded by emotional and mental health issues that often develop, such as depression, anxiety, fear, low self-esteem, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Our health is multi-faceted. Physical well-being or lack thereof, affects other aspects of our health. We need to be mindful of this when mapping out the proper recovery plan for individuals with lingering COVID-19 complications. Someone struggling with their physical recovery will most likely develop mental health issues, which in turn, will prolong their physical recovery. It’s a cycle that quickly needs to be addressed and monitored closely.”

— Craig M. Uejo, MD, MPH, FACOEM

Developed to Treat On-the-Job Respiratory Issues

One Call’s CarePath Respiratory Pathway was originally developed to address and treat respiratory complications arising from on-the-job situations where the lungs were compromised – smoke inhalation, burnt airways, and exposure to asbestos, silica dust and coal (black lung). As COVID-19 created new respiratory-related challenges for workers infected with the virus, One Call adapted its offering.   

“Working with Dr. Uejo and other medical experts, we’ve enhanced our current pathway to address complications and lingering symptoms that can arise from COVID-19, a complex virus that continues to present new challenges. No matter what we encounter, it’s important to provide the industry with real solutions that shorten the recovery time, resulting in healthy workers who are ready to return to work.” 

— One Call Chief Commercial Officer Will Smith

To learn more about the importance of respiratory health, register for Respiratory Muscle Weakness May Delay Recovery, a free, credit webinar, on August 27. For more information, visit One Call.

[Source(s): One Call, PR Newswire]

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