A workers’ comp injury begins a long journey, starting with initial treatment and ideally ending with a return to work. Getting the patient to that successful outcome is a team effort, and nurse case managers play a critical role in keeping that team together.
Cost-effectiveness is only one of the nurse case manager’s goals for treatment, but it is an important one. After all, keeping total costs down is an indicator that the patient is progressing through treatment. The faster an employee can reach MMI and return to work, the lower the costs of a workers' comp injury.
The goal is not to rush rehabilitation at the cost of a full recovery, potentially increasing the risk of re-injury. Instead, nurse case managers and providers must design programs that restore functional capacity completely. Even so, keeping efficiency in mind benefits everyone involved.