The new injury management pathway went live on 1 July 2023 and has changed the way that LGIS handles new and emerging workers’ compensation claims with early notification support services.
Our injury management team are all allied health professionals and draw on clinical knowledge and skills to work in collaboration with trusted providers. The team identifies high risk claimants and intervenes to support better recovery and return to work outcomes.
Services include early intervention access to specialised physiotherapists, and latest technology to reach our rural remote clients who have limited access to therapy, support with development of return-to-work plans, access to psychologists, and support for general practitioners by psychiatrist on how to best manage mental health claims.
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A female worker in her 50s slipped on a wet ramp and fell on her outstretched left hand in June 2022. She suffered a shoulder injury and had surgery.
She complained of persistent pain and limited functional improvement in terms of her work even after surgery.
The workplace rehabilitation provider at the City flagged the worker’s lack of improvement to LGIS’ injury management advisor (IMA) this year following the surgery.
Our IMA assessed the situation, liaised with the treating physiotherapist, and identified that the worker was presenting with key pain makers post-surgery that could result in the development of chronic pain syndrome. Our IMA arranged a referral for a specialist physiotherapist review after gaining consent from the worker.
The specialist physiotherapist undertook a comprehensive assessment, including reviewing the workers medical information, addressing her concerns, and formulating a treatment plan to resolve the identified issues.
After a six-week treatment, the worker went for a follow-up review and found improvement in her condition.
The result of the specialist physiotherapist referral was the finalisation of a complex claim.
Specialist physiotherapists are highly trained and experienced physiotherapists who are recognised as being at the top of their field. They are able to break down not just the physical, but also the psychosocial contributors of pain and injury often leading to far superior results than just treating the physical injury alone. They work collaboratively with treating providers and provide expert opinions on treatment and rehabilitation.
A worker from a metropolitan member sustained a left knee injury causing meniscal tearing, a condition in which forceful twisting causes certain tissue in the knee to tear. The general practitioner (GP) referred the worker for an immediate imaging and surgical review. The claim was lodged with LGIS.
LGIS injury management intervention: Initial triage
All new claims are triaged by the IMA team within the first 1- 2 weeks of a claim being lodged with LGIS. Upon review, the IMA identified that this worker would be a good candidate for the recovery options review (ROR) by a specialist physio service. This is an early intervention physiotherapy service to support setting a worker up for success when they have injuries and address any negative perceptions or beliefs from a worker about their injury and recovery.
LGIS’ IMA initiated contact with the worker and engaged him with the ROR prior to his appointment with a surgeon. The worker told the IMA that prior to the ROR sessions he experienced numbness and pain in his knee. After the review, he reported feeling better about his knee and his pain had improved. He advised that the ROR physiotherapist took the time to listen to him, answered his questions about his knee and provided treatment that resolved the numbness he was experiencing.
Following the consultation with the ROR, the worker was reviewed by his treating surgeon who encouraged him to continue with conservative treatment with the ROR team to see how he goes.
After a six-week physio treatment, the worker had a ROR follow up, where his lower extremity functional scale improved from 45% to 97.5%. The lower extremity functional scale (LEFS) measures a patient’s initial function, ongoing progress, and outcome for a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions.
The worker is now completing a self-managed exercise program and has been upgraded to his pre-injury duties and is nearing a final medical certificate being issued.
LGIS new injury management early intervention protocols, designed to identify medium to high risk claims and apply appropriate services, are already supporting members with better claims outcomes.
For more information on the early intervention services provided by the LGIS injury management team, please email your queries at [email protected]
In 2022/23 LGIS received over 2,300 claims and paid out over $43.8 million. It’s a similar story most years with LGIS handling more than 2,000 claims across property, liability, workers’ compensation, motor and volunteer bushfire fighter protection.
An outside worker in his early 40s sustained a significant workplace injury to his lower back at a local government owned/ operated facility while trying to assist a ratepayer who had attended the facility.