The more we work with those who get hurt on the job and the more we study the best outcomes for what went right, it’s clear that effective, high-quality medical care plays an essential role.
The coronavirus pandemic has taught us much about disparities in health care. We know, more than ever, that access to robust care carries profound and, indeed, life-altering consequences.
For years now, we’ve understood the same holds true for helping injured workers get back on the job: quality of care matters. Relying on those providers who have proven track records of success when it comes to addressing the unique needs of injured workers is a winning formula.
This success-breeds-success ethos emerged alongside recognition that other forces, like comorbidities and mental distress, can also exert enormous influence on the trajectory of workers’ recoveries. Yet now, armed with deeper data sets and more robust analytics, we realize with even greater certainty just how important that quality-of-care aspect of a claim is — giving injured workers access to the best clinicians.
Networks, in general, enable injured workers to gain broad access to the care they need. After all, about 80 percent of payments for medical services in workers’ comp flow through medical provider networks. There is also evidence that the arrival of networks into new jurisdictions can benefit injured workers and lower costs at the same time.
Such results aren’t surprising. To be a part of a network, a provider is likely to have to meet certain criteria. These parameters are good for injured workers. The more we work with those who get hurt on the job and the more we study the best outcomes for what went right, it’s clear that effective, high-quality medical care plays an essential role. To pull those best-performing clinicians to the front of the line when it comes to treating injured workers, many turn to outcomes-based networks (OBNs). These networks within networks can offer an injured worker the benefit of proven expertise and perhaps the best shot at a successful recovery.