It’s long been known that workers’ comp claims in which behavioral health issues are present cost more than those without such issues. Often a lot more. This month’s issue of Health Affairs reports on a Canadian Study that found that the average cost for a “mental health high-cost patient” was roughly 33 percent greater than the average cost for other high-cost patients. The authors suggest that intervening early when behavioral health issues are first detected can mitigate these higher costs.
Also, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health Policy Snapshot, published in March 2013, examined the prevalence of mental disease in the U.S., and described how early treatment and intervention can improve lives and ultimately lower related health care costs.
Patients and payers are best served when screening occurs during the first month of any workers’ comp claim involving head injury or when the claimant is depressed, overly anxious or fearful. These can delay return to work and increase the cost of the claim. Intervening early leads to Recovery: Sooner, Faster, Smarter.