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Experts will share their proven ideas for successful case management at The 6th Annual Hospital Case Management Conference: Blueprint for Case Management Success: Information, Accountability and Collaboration, to be held March 25-27, 2001, in Orlando, FL. The conference is sponsored by American Health Consultants, publisher of Hospital Case Management.
The timely topics offer something for every hospital-based case manager or quality professional. A variety of speakers will address issues including:
• Knowledge-driven care coordination
• Creating a heart service line report card
• What you can teach your CEO about managed care
• Values, ethics, and legal parameters in case management
• The ABCs of the Balanced Budget Act
• Reimbursement: An ever-changing process
• Key concepts in case management
• An interdisciplinary practice model for acute-care case management
• Better case management through denial management
• Measuring the impact of case management interventions
Nineteen contact hours of continuing education will be offered. The conference fee includes a cocktail party to network with speakers and other registrants, continental breakfasts, lunches, a course manual, and a form exchange for attendees.
For more information, contact American Health Consultants, Customer Service, P.O. Box 740056, Atlanta, GA 30374. Telephone: (800) 688-2421 or (404) 262-7436. Fax: (800) 284-3291. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Providers should be aware that they actually do a favor for workers’ compensation patients by encouraging them to get back to work as soon as possible following a job-related injury or illness. Recent findings show that, within safe limits, early return to work programs promote faster, more complete recovery.
The workers’ comp system offers little incentive for prompt return to work following a work-related injury, according to J. Mark Melhorn, MD, clinical assistant professor in the section of orthopaedics, Department of Surgery at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita. "Right now the system encourages disability instead of rehabilitation," he contends.
These patients often take longer to heal, have more symptoms, and require more office visits than other patients. "Those with extended disability can become depressed and less motivated," he adds. "As a result, their medical outcomes are usually worse than patients who do not file a workers’ compensation claim."
Patients who actively participate in their recovery and go back to work sooner have better outcomes. Each year, 6.1 million work-related illnesses and injuries occur in the United States at a cost of $1.26 trillion. While those with legitimate injuries should be compensated for pain and suffering, an alternative to the current reimbursement system could discourage the tendencies to linger on the disabled list. "The Social Security disability system discourages potentially disabled workers from even attempting rehabilitation," Melhorn insists. For better outcomes, physicians or interdisciplinary teams should consider the whole person and the biosocial factors that influence treatment outcomes in work-related injuries.
Melhorn points out the similarities between sports medicine and the emerging science of occupational medicine. After recovery from a sports injury, he explains, the athlete is expected to return to the game and perform at his or her previous level of athletic ability. "Similarly, the injured industrial worker is expected to return to his or her previous level of performance," he says. "On the industrial playing field," he adds, "it is necessary to treat the workers as well as improve the workplace to help prevent future injuries." (See QI/TQM, May 2000, pp. 49-56.)
[For further information, see Melhorn JM. (The orthopaedic forum) Workers’ compensation: Avoiding work-related disability. J Bone Joint Surg Am 2000; 82:1,490-1,492.
For a free copy of the American Academy of Ortho-paedic Surgeons’ (AAOS) position paper on Early Return to Work Programs (document #1150), contact AAOS 6300 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL 60018-4262. Telephone: (800) 346-2267. Order by Fax-on-Demand at (800) 999-2939, or download from Web site: www.aaos.org (search for position statements).]