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Am J Ind Med. 2015 Mar;58(3):245-51. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22399. Epub 2014 Oct 20.

Workers' compensation: poor quality health care and the growing disability problem in the United States.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Seattle, Washington; Department of Health Services, University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Seattle, Washington; Department of Neurology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington.

Abstract

The proportion of working age citizens permanently removed from the workforce has dramatically increased over the past 30 years, straining both Federal and State disability systems designed as a safety net to protect them. Almost one-third of these rapidly emerging disabilities are related to musculoskeletal disorders, and three of the top five diagnoses associated with the longest Years Lived with Disability are back, neck and other musculoskeletal disorders. The failure of Federal and state workers' compensation systems to provide effective health care to treat non-catastrophic injuries has been largely overlooked as a principal source of permanent disablement and corresponding reduced labor force participation. Innovations in workers' compensation health care delivery, and in use of evidence-based coverage methods such as prospective utilization review, are effective secondary prevention efforts that, if more widely adopted, could substantially prevent avoidable disability and provide more financial stability for disability safety net programs.

KEYWORDS:

Insurance; chronic; disability; fusion; opioids; pain; spinal; syndrome; thoracic outlet; workers' compensation

PMID:
25331746
DOI:
10.1002/ajim.22399
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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