Tag Archives: obesity

Workers’ Compensation May Cover Weight Loss Treatment, Surgery

Gastric bypass is one type of weight loss surgery

Today’s post comes from guest author Rod Rehm, from Rehm, Bennett & Moore.

Obesity is a disease that affects Americans in many ways.

Workers’ compensation is affected by obesity as well. A work injury or disease, coupled with chronic obesity, frequently becomes much more difficult to deal with. The usual methods of treatment may not be possible for an injured worker living with chronic obesity. 

Thomas A. Robinson, a noted expert on workers’ compensation, recently posted a great discussion on obesity treatment. The well-written article discusses how various state workers’ compensation systems deal with these problems. The short answer is some states award benefits for treating obesity as part of the work injury, and some don’t. Nebraska and Iowa have cases denying gastric bypass surgery based on factual findings that it was not necessary to treat the work injury, but leaving to door open with more proof of medical necessity. 

Our firm has had at least one case where gastric bypass surgery was paid voluntarily when it was apparent the surgery was necessary to enable proper treatment of a serious work injury. A workers’ compensation trial award was entered in early January awarding gastric bypass surgery as necessary to reduce weight so a back surgery could be performed safely. This award reinforces that with proof of medical necessity to treat a work injury, weight loss treatment and surgery may be covered by workers’ compensation in Nebraska.

Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.

The Costs and Complications of The Other Disease on Workers’ Compensation Claims

Source: NCCI

Today’s guest post comes to us from Jon Gelman of New Jersey.

Employers and their insurance companies are responsible for the treatment of all medical conditions that arise from an industrial accident or exposure. A recent study published by NCCI concludes that costs are soaring as medical conditions become more complicated by other conditions known as comorbidity diagnoses. These conditions are frequently: obesity, hypertension, drug abuse, chronic pulmonary conditions and diabetes.

While the average medical cost for a workers compensation claim is approximately $6,000, the medical cost of an individual claim can be a few hundred dollars or millions of dollars. In 2010, an NCCI study found that claims with an obesity comorbidity diagnosis incurred significantly higher medical costs than comparable claims without such a comorbidity diagnosis. Relative to that study, this study expands the number of comorbidities examined and provides additional information on both the types of claimants receiving comorbidity diagnoses and the types of providers submitting comorbidity diagnoses.”

KEY FINDINGS

  • The share of workers compensation claims with a comorbidity diagnosis nearly tripled from Accident Year1 2000 to Accident Year 2009, growing from a share of 2.4% to 6.6%Claims with a comorbidity diagnosis have about twice the medical costs of otherwise comparable claims
  • Comorbidity diagnoses for hypertension are the most prevalent of those investigated
  • The initial comorbidity diagnosis tends to occur early in the life of a claim
  • Hospital and physician visits account for a majority of visits resulting in a recorded comorbidity diagnosis
  • Only a small portion of visits result in the recording of a comorbidity diagnosis

View complete report: Comorbidities in Workers Compensation

 

 

Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.

The NFL’s surprising occupational hazard: obesity that kills, PART 2

Today more then 350 NFL linemen weigh over 300 pounds.

Today we have a follow-up post from our colleague Len Jernigan of North Carolina.

A few weeks ago, we shared a post about a surprisingly common illness affecting retired NFL players: chronic obesity.

In 1990, less than 70 players in the NFL weighed more than 300 pounds. Today there are more than 350 who weigh that much. All this weight adds up to
higher death rates for retired NFL linemen than for the general public.

Retired NFL players are more likely to have medical conditions that go along with obesity Continue reading

Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.