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Layering on the pain

Anyone involved in trying to rehabilitate staff after injury – whether employers’ liability insurance companies or employers as part of their own occupational health arrangements – are likely to view the prospect of any kind of treatment with a large degree of caution.

There is good reason for this. For many years, rehabilitation efforts have used the equivalent of a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Someone with a minor whiplash injury to the neck, for instance, does not require an MRI scan, an orthopaedic consultation and several sessions of physiotherapy. They may simply require advice on how to ensure they do not aggravate the injury, and perhaps access to some neck exercises which can alleviate any pain and prevent it becoming anything more serious. It is all about matching the injury to the individual’s needs in a cost-effective manner.

Furthermore, much of this advice and support can be provided over the telephone. For many years employers and employees have been wary of this, but the concept is now well established among GPs as well as private medical companies and even employers’ own employee assistance programmes. In GPs’ surgeries, too, it’s common to see nurses taking responsibility for a range of appointments as well as taking blood tests and performing basic medical checks; a good example of ensuring the appropriate skill and expertise is matched to the task in hand.

BLAME AND CLAIM

It should be exactly the same with rehabilitation services, with the focus on providing an appropriate, cost-effective solution. Yet often employers are caught in the middle of the “blame and claim” culture, with insurers and solicitors entering into lengthy disputes over compensation and unnecessary treatment while racking up large legal bills in the process. As a result, something that could have been resolved through rehabilitation relatively cheaply can end up costing thousands of pounds with no benefit to the injured party.

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Recent attempts to cut down on this culture have forced both insurers and lawyers to change their behaviour. But in some cases this has led to them buying up rehabilitation companies and layering cost upon cost to make up for lost revenue. In these situations, employers or their insurers can find themselves facing bills of £1,000 upwards for MRI scans that should cost from £450 or having to pay for unnecessary X-rays or physiotherapy. No wonder businesses are wary of engaging in rehabilitation services.

FRESH APPROACH

What is needed is an injection of honesty and pragmatism around the true cost of rehabilitation provision and its methodologies. Corpore – The Treatment Network is an independent company which prides itself on being transparent in how it works, offering the treatment that is needed and justified.

We work for employers, solicitors and insurers, who know they can rely on the service they are getting and that they are getting it at the right price. We’re also very much outcome-focused, working to ensure patients recover and employers are able to get people back to work as quickly as possible, earning a living for themselves and their families, and reversing the spiral of misery and reduced income which can arise after a nasty accident.

What is needed is an injection of honesty and pragmatism around the true cost of rehabilitation provision and its methodologies

Corpore – The Treatment Network’s absence management system could result in insurers offering lower premiums to their employer’s liability customers as part of the package. This is because insurance companies will know about any issue much earlier in the process, meaning they’re able to take action to treat conditions before they escalate. Early intervention means lower bills for insurance providers and business, as well as reduced absence rates for employers, earlier return to work, with a knock-on of better health and wellbeing for patients.

The old model of rehabilitation has been proved to be both ineffective and costly, and has left employers wary of going down that route at all. A little openness and honesty can benefit everyone, while also keeping costs down at the same time.

To find out more about how Corpore – The Treatment Network could help your business, visit www.corpore-ttn.co.uk or call 0117 962 5017