& Occupational Health,
WC - Procedures
The following procedures have been adopted by EHRM for all Return-To-Work (RTW) UM employees as of July 1, 2012 in compliance with BOR policy 713.2 (9.20.2012) and MUS WC Committee Policy WC-0003 (9.12.2012):
On the UM-Missoula Campus there will be Transitional Teams set up for all injured employees that have been off work and have a medical status report that would indicate they are ready to begin the process of 'transitioning over time' back to their job of injury. The formation of these teams is in response to the MUS Workers' Compensation Program Stay-at-Work/Return-To-Work (SAW/RTW) Policy that was passed by the MUS WC committee on September 12, 2012. This policy was in response to the recent Montana Board of Regents passing of a revised workers compansation policy on RTW on September 20, 2012 (reference number 713.2).
1. Purpose of Team Concept
The purpose of forming a Return-To-Work (RTW) Transitional Work Team is to enhance the successful return to the job of injury by an injured employee who has incurred time loss benefits. The formation of this team will also improve communication channels and documentation among all key players: the returning injured employee, the home department supervisor, 3rd party WC administrator, campus WC coordinator and possibly, outside PT &/or Vocational Rehab consultants. Each UM employee that has incurred loss time and is medically release to transition back to the original job of injury position will be required to participate on the team.
Typically, the attending physician completes a medical status form (MSF) that details the restrictions under which the employee may return to the work force. In many cases, departments will be able to accommodate the restrictions for a period of time, but if for some reason, conditions change, especially those that result in the employee’s work hours regressing (versus transiting to full time) the situation can become very frustrating for both the employee and the supervisor. For most situations, the documentation has been very limited or non-existent which makes matters even more challenging.
Typically the team will meet or communicate weekly in the initial stages after an employee is released to the job of injury with certain restrictions, but do need to meet more that the usual monthly checkup schedule between the employee and attending physician. This group effort will provide more personal, direct assistance to the process of returning the injured employee to his/her job of injury in a safe and timely manner.
3. Plan of action
EHRM will organize the formation of each Transitional team and maintain meeting notes. The makeup of the group will vary from employee to employee but will generally include: the employee, supervisor, WC coordinator, WC 3rd party administrator. In addition, there may be a PT consultant &/or Vocational Rehab consultant, and a nurse case manager, depending on the what’s deemed appropriate by EHRM and 3rd Party administrator. The home department’s director or assistant director will always have the option to either attend or specify which department personnel will attend with or in lieu of the employee’s immediate supervisor.
EHRM will present the results of various team efforts to an ‘ad hoc’ team to consider whether it is feasible for the employee to work outside the home department if transitional work isn’t available in the home department. The goal of this process is to develop a pool of possible tasks within departments across campus that can accommodate the employee for a brief period.
The results of this ad hoc team may be reported to the MUS WC committee periodically as deemed by EHRM.