A recent change by the directors of the Georgia State Board will make the process of helping injured employees return to work more efficient.
Summary of Change
The Georgia State Board revised Board Rule 200.2; as of Jan. 1, the revision will now allow employers to “utilize qualified medical case managers to provide telephonic or field medical case management services.” This allows a case manager an opportunity to communicate with the doctor directly during the “240 procedure.” The case manager will also be allowed to communicate directly with the injured employee if permission is given by the claimant.
Implemented in 2002, Board Rule 240 and the “240 procedure” was created as a way to allow injured employees a way to transition back to work. The intended goal was to allow the employer to “unilaterally suspend income benefits upon the employee’s return to work or refusal to accept a properly offered suitable job.”
Board Rule 200.2 focuses on the process of identifying the job duties and physical limitations of the injured employee found during the “240 procedure.” The procedure benefits the employees because they will know their limitations and it benefits the employer because the injured employee will not be able to justify refusal to work that has been plausibly reviewed. The procedure is usually handled by case manager, individuals who provide services to injured employees to help them recover from their injuries.
Impact on Return-to-Work
So how will this benefit the employer? Before January 1, only the employer or claims professional could have direct contact with the doctor during the “240 Procedure.” This made the process slower, which accrued additional costs. The new rule allows the case manager to assist with the approval of light duty job descriptions and communicate directly with the doctor. In many cases this will be useful in obtaining information from the doctors more quickly. It will also allow the employer or insurer to obtain faster physician approval of light duty jobs as well.
The new implementation along with ReEmployAbility’s return-to-work program, Transition2Work, means the injured employee can transition back to work quickly. It also helps the employer retain skilled employees, saves the company money by reducing the duration of the claim, and it helps the community thrive.