Post-Pandemic Case Management: What’s Changed, What Remains the Same, and How to Prepare for What’s Next

Workers’ compensation and case management are inextricable from the other. Medical management professionals involved in helping an employee travel the road to recovery and return safely to work hold two different—but not discrete—responsibilities: First, to the affected employee, and second to the patient’s employer.

Case managers have the vision to see who and what kind of information and resources are necessary to contribute to an employee’s rehabilitation plan. They also have the talent to know which resources will best support the employee’s return to work.

The modern workers’ compensation treatment management model (closely tied to the coordinated care model) serves employees not simply from the isolated physical diagnosis but from a broader, holistic approach to ultimately enable the employee to return to work in optimal condition.

Having one point of contact for each of the stakeholders in the treatment and recovery streamlines the process and boosts quality. That centralized tracking helps ensure exceptional care, avoid redundancies and omissions, and keeps the treatment care plan moving forward smoothly and effectively. It also ensures that information is relayed responsibly to the claims adjuster and the patient’s employer, to advocate for any requisite workers’ compensation or return-to-work plans.

What's Changed

It feels like everything in 2020 changed in an instant – even within case management, there were some significant innovations that took place rather quickly.

One upgrade to the industry that the pandemic pushed to the forefront was the increased reliance on technology to keep operations moving along. Quarantines and concerns around viral spread prevented many people from feeling comfortable visiting on-site medical facilities, and case managers were unable to meet with injured workers in-person to evaluate their individual claims. As with many others in all industries, workers’ compensation professionals inevitably found ways to expedite advancements that would have happened naturally over time