The Economic Impact of a Disability Prevention Program

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Abstract

Abstract:

We evaluated the effect of an employer- and clinic-based intervention on indemnity, medical, and workers compensation costs. The intervention was designed to improve communication and coordination of employer and physician efforts to help employees with work-related injuries to return-to-work. The research design was a quasi-experimental comparison of expenditures in treatment and control employers and clinics, controlling for differences in baseline expenditures and other characteristics of the subjects. We estimated that the employer and clinic interventions produced combined savings of $490 per employee per year (21% of total health expenditures). Ninety-four percent of savings came from reduced medical expenditure. Our findings suggest that relative modest efforts at coordinating appropriate medical care with employer accommodation that allow early reintegration of injured workers back into the workforce could result in substantial reductions of medical expenditures.

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