Increasing Physical Therapy Visits as a Marker for Time Lost from Work and High Workers' Compensation Claim Costs

Edward J. Bernacki, Nina Leung, Larry Yuspeh, Nimisha Kalia, Robert A. Lavin, Nicholas F. Tsourmas, Xuguang Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective:To quantify the association between physical therapy (PT) visits and workers' compensation costs and lost time.Method:A total of 40,203 lost-time claims (1998 to 2018) were analyzed.Results:The odds ratio of total paid claim costs more than or equal to $100,000 increased with the number of PT visits from 1.91 with 1 to 3 PT visits (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.62 to 2.26) to 5.56 (95% CI: 4.86 to 6.37) for workers with a surgical procedure and more than or equal to 50 PT visits versus those without PT visits, when controlling for confounding factors. The risk of remaining at an off work status is greatest among claims involving surgery, escalating among claims with 15 or more PT visits (hazard ratio more than or equal to 3.76).Conclusions:PT visits may be used as a marker for high workers' compensation cost and delayed return-to-work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e328-e333
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Volume62
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Keywords

  • occupational injury
  • physical therapy
  • prediction
  • workers' compensation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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