November 24, 2014

Matheson Philosophy on Workplace Safety and Work Injury Evaluation

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The 9 Key Steps to a Defendable Post-Offer: Step 9

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This is the final step in The 9 Key Steps to a Defendable Post-Offer Blog Series:

Stay in Compliance with the Law

We began this nine part blog series by saying that the cornerstone of an informed hiring program is to ensure that a qualified individual’s physical and cognitive abilities match the demands of the job. We went on to indicate that jobs with high levels of physical exertion, gross whole-body movement, or jobs with a history of injuries were ideally suited for Post-Offer, Pre-Placement Testing (PPT).

We end this series of posts with this discussion: the challenge for the health care or vocational professional involved in post-offer testing is to stay current with the intention of the law and, more importantly, with recent federal court decisions regarding enforcement of the law.

Americans with Disabilities Act ADA logoThe reader may wonder why one would suggest a preference for being current with federal court cases rather than the actual code of the law. The reasoning is simple: the actual law is not dynamic. The law was modified in 2008 and will probably not change for another decade or so. Once a practitioner has invested time and study in becoming familiar with the law, energy and interest should then be turned to the constant interplay of everyday medical and vocational practice as new opportunities for enforcement of the law are created.

The process of staying current with new interpretation and enforcement of the law can be done in a variety of ways. Here are three suggestions:

Participate in a Matheson webinar on the first Thursday of each month. Send an email toinfo@roymatheson.com and request that you be added to the list of people to be notified of the next upcoming webinar. An email reminder is usually sent at the beginning of the week of the webinar.

Visit the “Newsroom” on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website at www.eeoc.gov, click on About EEOC and the Newsroom. News about EEOC settlements or pending litigations can be found on that page.

And, as you have already done, stay tuned to developing issues by following our blog at http://blog.roymatheson.com/

Another step one can take to remain current with the law is to maintain contact with your regional ADA National Leadership Network center. Divided into 10 regions, the function of the Network is to foster adoption of ADA-friendly practices by providing resources to individuals and employers. Among those resources are speakers expert in the various titles of the law. Refer to this map to identify your region:

Regional ADA National Leadership Network center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Region I (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont)

New England ADA Center
Institute for Human Centered Design
200 Portland Street
Boston, MA  02114
617-695-0085 voice/tty
adainfo@newenglandada.org
www.newenglandada.org

Region II (New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands)
Northeast ADA Center
203 Dolgen Hall
Ithaca, NY. 14853
607-255-6686
northeastada@cornell.edu
www.northeastada.org

Region III (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia)
Mid-Atlantic ADA Center
401 North Washington Street, Suite 450
Rockville, MD 20805
301-217-0124
adainfo@transcen.org
www.adainfo.org

Region IV (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee)
Southeast ADA Center
1419 Mayson Street
Atlanta, GA 30324
404-541-9001
adasoutheast@law.syr.edu
www.adasoutheast.org

Region V (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin)
Great Lakes ADA Center
University of Illinois at Chicago
Institute on Disability & Human Development (MC 728)
1640 West Roosevelt Road, Room 405
Chicago, IL. 60608
(312) 413-1407 V/TTY
info@adagreatlakes.org
www.adagreatlakes.org

Region VI (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas)
Southwest ADA Center
at ILRU, a program of TIRR Memorial Hermann
Houston, Texas 77019
713.520.0232
swdbtac@ilru.org
www.swdbtac.org

Region VII (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska)
Great Plains ADA Center
100 Corporate Lake Drive
Columbia, MO 65203
573-882-3600 (V/TTY)
adainfo@missouri.edu
http://www.gpadacenter.org/

Region VIII (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming)
Rocky Mountain ADA Center
3630 Sinton Road, Suite 103
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
719/444-0268
adainfo@adainformation.org
www.adainformation.org

Region VIIII (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Basin)
Pacific ADA Center
555 12th Street, Suite 1030
Oakland, CA 94607
510-285-5600 (V/TTY)
adatech@adapacific.org
www.adapacific.org

Region X (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington)
Northwest ADA Center
Center for Continuing Education in Rehabilitation
University of Washington
6912 220th St SW #105
Mountlake Terrace, WA. 98043
425-248-2480
nwadactr@uw.edu
http://www.nwadacenter.org

And, as always, keep in touch with the Matheson team by contacting us at info@roymatheson.com

Learn how to perform Defendable Post-Offer Test:

Register for our Post-Offer, Pre-Placement Testing course

checked checkbox Understand the Concept of Agency Relationship

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Matheson Philosophy on Workplace Safety and Work Injury Evaluation

November 21, 2014

Matheson Philosophy on Workplace Safety and Work Injury Evaluation

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Exciting Training Opportunity: Building a Content Expert & Consulting Practice

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Labor law attorneys across the United States are looking for skilled work evaluators to critically2014 Content Expert review reports and test protocols generated by clinicians who perform functional capacity evaluation and post-offer services. The demand for this pre-deposition or pre-cross examination service is being driven by opportunities for negotiated settlements or litigation under the amended Americans with Disabilities Act. This area of activity is predicted to expand for the coming decade.

Roy Matheson’s “Building a Content Expert and Consulting Practice” will prepare you to become the “go to” expert in your region.

Instructors: Roy Matheson, Min Trevor Kyi, Dr. Leonard Matheson & William McClure

  • Separate best practice testing arguments from court accepted evaluation practices
  • Arrange a list of evaluation errors according to legal priority
  • Compose a written pre-deposition analysis of a functional capacity evaluation report and a post-offer testing protocol
  • Explain a battery of evaluation-controlled actions central to recent federal court cases
  • Understand the content expert’s role in the progression of service, complaint, suit, deposition, trial, and resolution
  • Become familiar with a standardized method of analyzing a functional capacity evaluation report and a post-offer testing protocol
  • Prepare a written dissection of a post-offer testing package
  • Recognize and be able to recite each of the evaluator-controlled
  • elements central to recent federal court decisions regarding work evaluations
  • Analyze documents such as a medical history questionnaire against the restrictions of the Americans with Disability Act Amendments Act
  • Prepare an attorney for deposition or cross-exemption of a work evaluation
  • Compose a list of reference materials for the requesting attorney
  • Conduct a pre-deposition or pre-trial meeting with the requesting attorney
  • Perform background credentialing research
  • Clinical protocols are based upon research and a best-practices approach
  • Understand the process of building long-lasting relationships with both plaintiff and defense attorneys

Click Here for More Information and to Register

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Matheson Philosophy on Workplace Safety and Work Injury Evaluation

November 11, 2014

Matheson Philosophy on Workplace Safety and Work Injury Evaluation

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Ergonomic Evaluation: The Struggle to Find a Role Under Title I

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Actually titled, “The Struggle to Understand the Role of Ergonomic Evaluation under Title I of the ADAAA”, our webinar tomorrow delves into the conflict between established ergonomic evaluation practices and the employment testing protections of Title I. If you are an ergonomic evaluation professional, practice in the area of post-offer testing, or perform stay-at-work or return-to-work functional capacity evaluations, this webinar will be both thought provoking and immediately useful.

In the interest of giving you a glimpse of the type of discussions we have during our webinars, I am setting up a link to those notes.

docs/Matheson September 2014 Webinar Background Notes.pdf

This event may be sold out by the time you register. If you are unable to join us on Thursday, we will send a notice of where you can obtain the recorded webinar. There is a small fee for the recorded event.

Register for the event at:

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/522394544

Stay in touch with us on:

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Exciting Training Opportunity: Building a Content Expert & Consulting Practice

November 6, 2014

Exciting Training Opportunity: Building a Content Expert & Consulting Practice

Share8

Labor law attorneys across the United States are looking for skilled work evaluators to critically2014 Content Expert review reports and test protocols generated by clinicians who perform functional capacity evaluation and post-offer services. The demand for this pre-deposition or pre-cross examination service is being driven by opportunities for negotiated settlements or litigation under the amended Americans with Disabilities Act. This area of activity is predicted to expand for the coming decade.

Roy Matheson’s “Building a Content Expert and Consulting Practice” will prepare you to become the “go to” expert in your region.

Instructors: Roy Matheson, Min Trevor Kyi, Dr. Leonard Matheson & William McClure

  • Separate best practice testing arguments from court accepted evaluation practices
  • Arrange a list of evaluation errors according to legal priority
  • Compose a written pre-deposition analysis of a functional capacity evaluation report and a post-offer testing protocol
  • Explain a battery of evaluation-controlled actions central to recent federal court cases
  • Understand the content expert’s role in the progression of service, complaint, suit, deposition, trial, and resolution
  • Become familiar with a standardized method of analyzing a functional capacity evaluation report and a post-offer testing protocol
  • Prepare a written dissection of a post-offer testing package
  • Recognize and be able to recite each of the evaluator-controlled
  • elements central to recent federal court decisions regarding work evaluations
  • Analyze documents such as a medical history questionnaire against the restrictions of the Americans with Disability Act Amendments Act
  • Prepare an attorney for deposition or cross-exemption of a work evaluation
  • Compose a list of reference materials for the requesting attorney
  • Conduct a pre-deposition or pre-trial meeting with the requesting attorney
  • Perform background credentialing research
  • Clinical protocols are based upon research and a best-practices approach
  • Understand the process of building long-lasting relationships with both plaintiff and defense attorneys

Click Here for More Information and to Register

This course is only for experienced evaluators. You must have taken an in-person Matheson training course within the last 8 years to qualify for this training. Please contact the Matheson office at expert@roymatheson.com if you have questions about your eligibility.

Stay in touch with us on:

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“I’ve been injured on the job – will I be fired?”

October 21, 2014

Cases where an injured worker is terminated, a.k.a. “fired,” while still attending physical therapy or enrolled in a Work Hardening program do, unfortunately, exist.

The important thing to keep in mind if you are an injured worker and are worried about losing your job is this:  You cannot control the actions of your employer, so instead keep your focus on rehabilitating your injury as quickly, and safely, as possible.  It should be common sense that the longer you remain off work, the more likely your employer will find a replacement.  For occupations that require more specialized training and/or educational Degrees, the window of rehabilitation may be longer in duration.  However, regardless of the time off from work, no job is safe after you have sustained an injury.  Therefore, it is of the upmost importance that you, the injured worker, educate yourself.  Ask questions and stay in contact with your case manager, employer, and physician.  Strictly follow any rehabilitation program prescribed to you and avoid all activities that could jeopardize your recovering injury.

If you have been terminated from your occupation, there are some considerations that can affect your case moving forward, stated very clearly in this article from 2013.

 

Written by Industrial Health, a specialized Workers’ Compensation therapy center which services Northern Virginia , Sterling , Loudoun , Fairfax , Dulles , Chantilly , Leesburg , Ashburn , Herndon , Reston , Centreville ; and offers programs including Physical Therapy , Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE) , Work Hardening , Work Conditioning , Impairment Ratings , Permanent Partial Disability Ratings

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Workers’ Compensation Fraud

October 15, 2014

Sometimes, the good-intentioned assistance programs that exist so graciously in our society are targeted by people of ill-intent who wish to fraudulently take advantage of their services.  At Industrial Health, the program relevant to our company is Workers’ Compensation.  In the simplest of terms, this is a no-fault service to the worker who sustains an injury while in the job place.  These injuries range from a simple muscle strain that can linger for days or weeks; skeletal and/or ligament damage that require months to rehabilitate; all the way to more severe injuries that involve multiple bodily systems and could potentially be permanently debilitating.  Regardless of how the injury happened – whether through employee or employer negligence, or just a freak accident – Workers’ Compensation provides a safety net that can give the injured worker an income until they are able to safely return to work.  In some cases, the check they receive is vital to keeping the lights on in their home, fuel in their vehicle, and food on the table.

Accidents happen.  It’s a fact of life.  Without question, the majority of workers’ compensation claims are legitimate.  This is to say that the injured worker is putting forth the time and effort needed to rehabilitate their injury, while also avoiding activities which could jeopardize their progress.  “I just want to get back to work,” is a commonly uttered phrase during an evaluation.  However, if a majority exists there must also be a minority:  the malingers and the frauds.  When stories like this enter the public realm, it is truly enraging.  I cannot speak for this employee,  but obviously his actions were premeditated.  He is just one of many workers who try to defraud Workers’ Compensation on an annual basis.  Unfortunately, these instances of fraud tend to make the legitimate cases more complex and time consuming due to a greater amount of case-by-case scrutiny by Workers’ Compensation.

Here at Industrial Health, we want people to get back to work and will do all that is within our scope of power to facilitate a safe and effective recovery.  However, we also strive to lighten the financial burden of the Workers’ Compensation system by recognizing those individuals who are not being completely honest about their injury.  Our Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE), based on the Matheson philosophy, is an effective tool that case managers and physicians can utilize if confronted with an injured worker whom they suspect may have secondary gains (though this is not the only use of an FCE!).  For more on FCEs, please click here.

 

Written by Industrial Health, a specialized Workers’ Compensation therapy center which services Northern Virginia , Sterling , Loudoun , Fairfax , Dulles , Chantilly , Leesburg , Ashburn , Herndon , Reston , Centreville ; and offers programs including Physical Therapy , Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE) , Work Hardening , Work Conditioning , Impairment Ratings , Permanent Partial Disability Ratings

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Repetitive By Nature: Injuries in the Workplace

October 6, 2014

It is reasonable to assume that most physicans, case managers, and physical therapists have all dealt with an injured worker who is diagnosed with a repetitive-use injury; otherwise referred to as “Repetitive Motion Disorder” (RMD) by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.  While RMD’s occur most frequently to the arm and hand, they can certainly develop elsewhere – the feet, knees, hips, and spine.  Indeed, most occupations existing today involve some degree of repetitive movement and the reality is that, given enough time, RMDs are inevitable.  The question therefore is this:  how does the injured worker return to their occupation when it’s the very nature of the occupation itself which is the cause of the injury?  The answer, as one would expect, lies in a greyish area between “easily” and “not going to happen.”  The reason for this convolution?  Well, one must look at the variables involved:

1)  Time The longer RMD is allowed to persist, the more  permanent its symptoms may become.  Recongnition and Intervention are the first and, arguably, most important variables when considering the likelihood that the injured worker will return to their occupation.

2)  Job Demand:  An important step to resolving an RMD case is addressing the cause(s) behind the issue and, wherever possible, suggesting reasonable accomodations be made to their workspace to prevent reaggreavation of the injury.  This can be accomplished through a Jobsite Analysis, which objectively studies and evaluates the injured worker’s occupational environment.

3)  Course of Treatment:  It is not possible to know how the injured worker will perform once back at work, so allowing a chance to “practice” can determine the feasibility of a full duty return-to-work.  This is the function of Work Hardening – a long duration therapy program which is able to simulate (within reason) both the intensity and duration of the worker’s occupation.   The results of this program can also yield reasonable accomodation suggestions that can allow the injured worker to make a successful transition back to full duty.

Ultimately, timely action and cooperation between the injured worker, their healthcare provider(s), and their case manager can mean the difference between temporary and permanent injury when RMD is the diagnosis.  For more on RMD, click here.

 

Written by Industrial Health, a specialized Workers’ Compensation therapy center which services Northern Virginia , Sterling , Loudoun , Fairfax , Dulles , Chantilly , Leesburg , Ashburn , Herndon , Reston , Centreville ; and offers programs including Physical Therapy , Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE) , Work Hardening , Work Conditioning , Impairment Ratings , Permanent Partial Disability Ratings

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Understanding MET Testing and FCEs

October 6, 2014

A Metabolic Equivilant of Task test, or MET test, is an important component to any credible Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE).  When an injured worker has an extended absence from their occupation, their ability return in a safe and productive manner hinges not only on the successful rehabilitation of their specific injury, but also on the condition of their cardio-respiratory system.  A valid MET test is important because a discrepancy between cardio-respiratory fitness and the energy required to perform the injured worker’s target job may prove to be a signficant hurdle to clear.  When considering occupations that demand high levels of cardiovascular conditioning, such as a Firefighter, the performance of a MET test is critical to ensure that their body is capable of safely meeting the challenge before returning them to their occupation.  Following physical therapy, the injured worker worker may prove strong enough to return to work, but do they possess the stamina to successfully reintegrate into their occupation?  MET testing can answer this question.

At Industrial Rehab., we incorporate MET testing into our objectively thorough, Matheson-based FCEs.  With the valuable information gained as a result of the FCE, physicians and case managers are able to make more informed decisions regarding their injured worker’s return-to-work path.

For more on MET testing, click here.

 

Written by Industrial Health, a specialized Workers’ Compensation therapy center which services Northern Virginia , Sterling , Loudoun , Fairfax , Dulles , Chantilly , Leesburg , Ashburn , Herndon , Reston , Centreville ; and offers programs including Physical Therapy , Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE) , Work Hardening , Work Conditioning , Impairment Ratings , Permanent Partial Disability Ratings

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Three Types of Functional Capacity Evaluations

September 10, 2014

There are three types of Functional Capacity Evaluations. These three types are: BaselineJob-Specific, and Medical Legal. Here at Industrial Rehab. we offer all three! To read more about the three different types of Functional Capacity Evaluations, click here.

 

Written by Industrial Health, a specialized Workers’ Compensation therapy center which services Northern Virginia , Sterling , Loudoun , Fairfax , Dulles , Chantilly , Leesburg , Ashburn , Herndon , Reston , Centreville ; and offers programs including Physical Therapy , Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE) , Work Hardening , Work Conditioning , Impairment Ratings , Permanent Partial Disability Ratings

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Workplace Safety and Work Injury Evaluation- Hazard Prevention and Controls in the Workplace

September 9, 2014

There are four different prevention techniques and/or controls that can be put in place to reduce or eliminate the exposure to risks and hazards in the workplace. It is always best to be proactive about introducing these controls even before an employee reports fatigue, aches or pains, and well before an employee suffers an injury. To read more click here. Industrial Health is an Industry Leader in the rehabilitation of the injured worker. Services include:

Function Capacity Evaluation

Work Hardening

Work Conditioning

Physical Therapy with Work Simulation

Jobsite Analysis

Impairment Rating

Permanent Partial Disability Rating

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