Interventions in Committee
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John Genise
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John Genise
2017-05-03 16:14
I'll just stick to the stress and traumatic portion of it, because we have a large population of different types of claims.
Stigma is one. We found that access to medical care within the worker's community is quite difficult. Not everyone lives in Ottawa or Toronto. We had difficulty even getting a baseline assessment. Of course, you can see what I'm talking about: we need that assessment to build on and go.
We took it upon ourselves, and we're a larger insurer, so we have a little bit of opportunity to use our size. We have just been developing a provider network within the worker's community. We have a roster of psychologists and psychiatrists specifically for these cases.
It was a challenge with the medical community for sure. We've overcome that. We're trying to overcome that by facilitating care within the community.
Return to work is very difficult in most of these cases. There are so many factors, from transportation to and from work—again we talked a little bit about stigma—to cognitive load, and being able to manage screens. The other part of it is maybe the employer's reluctance, the front-line supervisor's reluctance or lack of understanding of what's required.
As to how we overcome some of that, again, at the very beginning, we try to do a fulsome plan, including even education of the workplace parties who are on the ground to say what the worker's abilities are. They can only work for two hours at time. They're going to need an hour of downtime. If we have a good plan upfront and the people understand the reasons for it, we have a better chance of success.
The last couple of things are these. We have a dedicated team for these cases alone. They have that economy of scale of working with people who have those challenges. It's not a claim for a back, then post-traumatic stress—you know what I mean—then a leg injury. They deal specifically with these cases, so we are able to skill them up in terms of how to communicate, including that they not take the typical responses you get from someone at face value. Maybe there are other things going on. They have a breadth of understanding, and we try to incorporate that.
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