ACOEM's Eight Best Ideas for Workers' Compensation Reform

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Executive Summary

The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) is the pre-eminent organization of physicians who champion the health and safety of workers, workplaces, and environments. In keeping with this mission, the College strongly advocates that changes be made in the current workers' compensation system. Neither injured workers nor employers benefit when the quality and availability of medical care is uneven or when resources are wasted. ACOEM believes that taking advantage of certain managed care techniques can improve the quality of both medical services and the flow of health care information in workers' compensation.

Specifically, ACOEM recommends eight changes to the workers' compensation system that will improve results by both optimizing recovery and reducing the risk of injury and illness. These eight suggestions include recommendations to: (1) refocus safety programs; (2) link prevention with injury care; (3) use health professionals appropriately; (4) actively involve employers and workers; (5) manage disability sooner; (6) standardize the ratings process;(7) encourage innovation while protecting quality; and (8) collect new kinds of data to improve decision-making.

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