Transitional Work Therapy Services
Why Transitional Work Therapy?
If you follow the conventional path of physical rehabilitation, you will likely find that the therapy is focused on impairment rather than the physical aspects of the injured worker’s job.
Transitional Work Therapy has proven advantages over traditional clinic-based therapy care. A job-specific treatment approach combines therapeutic work to increase worker functional capabilities with coaching the worker in safe work methods to avoid re-injury, and progressive accommodation to reduce job demands through administrative or engineering controls, Despite the fact that transitional work programs are often hampered by misperceptions, effective transitional work therapy overcomes this obstacle by supporting the primary relationship between the employer and injured worker and by integrating evidence-based treatment with the goal of matching job demands with the worker’s ability.
Qualifiers for Transitional Work Therapy
As an alternative or supplement to clinic-based physical or occupational therapy care, transitional work therapy (on-site) may be requested, particularly in the following scenarios:
- Functional job analysis has not been completed for the original job.
- Physician’s report of workability seems unclear or unrealistic, based on diagnosed health conditions or related disability guidelines.
- Employer requests assistance with initial assignment or progression of safe and productive work tasks.
- Injured worker reports increased symptoms after returning to work or a change in assigned work activities.
- Physician or worker is concerned that employer does not know how to assign safe job tasks.
- Worker or physician requests a permanent job modification, job reassignment, or other accommodation for health reasons.
- Physician is not gradually advancing (lessoning) work restrictions.
- Worker is not progressing physically or advancing to more physically demanding job tasks within time frame of transitional work policy.
- Employer, worker or physician are concerned that high physical demands of job may expose worker to substantial risk for re-injury.
- Worker is observed performing activities that exceed physician’s prescribed work restrictions.
- Physician states that worker has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) or is medically stationary; however, worker still has ongoing work performance issues related to health condition or fitness.
What Can I Expect?
Transitional work services are provided at the work site by a licensed physical therapist. The services primarily focus on using the injured worker’s functional work tasks to progress the worker to a target job. Progressive conditioning, therapeutic exercises, training in safe work practices such as proper body mechanics and other work-site services may also be used as part of the therapeutic program developed for that injured worker.
The costs are normally covered as part of the medical portion of the workers’ compensation claim and are the same as if the injured worker was being treated at a clinic.