Knowledge is power: Medical surveillance defends your company against workers comp fraud
As more jobs in the workforce become vision-intensive – computer programming, data entry, fine-detail design and manufacturing – vulnerability increases to those unscrupulous individuals who see blurry vision and the workers compensation system as their tickets to an early retirement. Indeed it is estimated that employees that fake or exagerrate illnesses cost the economy up to $5 billion annually.
Here, a company’s best defense is a comprehensive medical pre-testing and surveillance program.
- Insurance Journal online (www.insurancejournal.com) recommends the following components to a comprehensive medical surveillance program:
- Knowing the physical limitations of those you hire.
- Establishing an Accommodation Review Team (ART).
- Identifying occupational health exposures.
- Monitoring and documenting health exposure levels.
- Enforcing personal protective equipment programs.
- Providing prompt injury treatment and follow-up.
- Expanding medical data gathering programs.
- Implementing drug/alcohol abuse testing programs.
- Offering wellness programs to employees.
Specific to vision testing, this would entail an initial vision test before job placement – within ADA and EOE regulations, of course – to gauge the physical limitations of the new hire and ensure appropriate job responsibilities and accommodations. For recommendations on what to include in this test, click here. (link to “What should an occupational health vision test include?” article)
Using these results as a benchmark, repeat the vision test periodically through the employee’s stay with your company, and accompany this with proactive vision health and therapy programs – strengthening your case against any future claims. For vision therapy tips for heavy computer users, click here. (link to “Top 10 computer vision tips” article)
In the world of workers compensation, knowledge is power. A comprehensive medical surveillance program – including ongoing vision testing – can help strengthen your company’s arsenal against fraudulent claims.