The Psychology of Injury: Applications for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been considered a “gold standard” treatment approach in a range of psychosocial disorders, but only in recent years has its value truly begun to materialize in workers’ compensation. New and emerging applications, including work-focused CBT and expanded delivery channels, continue to increase its viability as an effective strategy in the injured worker population.
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Physical Therapy in the Injured Worker: Missed Opportunities for Cost Containment
Undeniably, overuse of physical therapy is a contributor to elevated costs in workers’ compensation. However, programs that focus solely on targeting potential overutilization are severely limited in their effectiveness. While curbing overutilization is an important part of cost containment, there are also significant financial ramifications from a population of underserved injured workers, i.e., those who aren’t receiving the treatment they require to achieve functional improvement. This can happen at a number of different touchpoints:
- The physician fails to prescribe appropriate therapy in the first place
- The injured worker elects to stop therapy (patient nonadherence)
- The treatment provider delivers ineffective physical therapy services (which in turn can drive overutilization or patient nonadherence)
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Rising Cost of Nonadherence
Nonadherence to medication is a serious and pervasive problem across healthcare, and the backdrop of workers’ compensation presents unique challenges to treatment management. The nature of injuries and their associated medications – which include opioids and other products with abuse potential – open the door for aberrant drug behaviors. These behaviors may include selective adherence or chemical coping, as the patient relies on these drugs to relieve symptoms or emotional stress of injury, while abandoning medications that can better restore functionality. Consequences of nonadherence include delayed return to work, poor health outcomes, and higher costs for the payer.
Healthesystems examines the key drivers of nonadherence in workers’ comp, solutions for monitoring adherence, and the shared responsibility of managing treatment in the Fall 2014 issue of RxInformer clinical journal, available at booth #1423.
For insights on other trending topics in workers’ comp, visit the new RxInformer website at www.healthesystems.com/rxinformer.