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    The Benefits of an RTW Program

    Investing in workplace safety is a key to controlling rising insurance costs. At Montana State Fund, we know that a safe working environment contributes to a business’s overall success and the well-being of its employees. That’s why we have committed ourselves to providing employers with the best safety services and information available. Preventing injuries from occurring is the primary goal; however, if an injury does occur, a Return to Work (RTW) program is an important tool to help control the cost of workers’ compensation claims, which in turn could lower your premium costs.

    WHY RTW?

    Benefits for Employees
    • Speeds recovery and improves outcomes
    • Keeping the injured employee physically active and on a normal work schedule contributes to the healing process by maintaining physical conditioning, self-confidence, quality of life, and function.

    • Maintains self-esteem
    • Providing meaningful modified or transitional work reduces feelings of isolation and increases feelings of productivity.

    • Reduces financial impact
    • Many injured employees experience reduced wages due to an injury while they are away from work as workers’ compensation benefits are not designed to completely supplement the employee’s lost wages. By working in a modified or transitional duty position employees may have less financial burden and stress, which aids in the healing process.

    Benefits for Employers
    • Retains good employees
    • Implementing an RTW program tells employees their employer values them and is concerned about their well-being.
      An RTW program also reduces hiring and training costs while maintaining the injured existing employee’s knowledge base.

    • Manages the impact of injuries on workers’ compensation premiums
    • Returning injured employees to work reduces medical and indemnity costs of the claims. Lower medical and indemnity costs lead to lower premiums. Lower premiums allow employers to utilize those funds elsewhere, such as growing their businesses, offering other benefits to their employees, etc.

    • Reduces fraudulent claims
    • Returning an injured employee to work while healing from injury may reduce the chance that employee would submit a false claim of injury in order to take time off work.

    Benefits for Employers AND Employees
    • Provides a structure for managing injuries
    • When an employee is injured, the last thing on anyone’s mind is insurance. Having a RTW program in place ahead of time can ensure that the employee gets prompt medical care while simultaneously taking care of the necessary paperwork.

    • Fosters communication between employers, employees, medical providers and MSF claims examiners
    • Maneuvering through the claim process can be confusing. A RTW program can ensure effective communication and lead to improved outcomes when all parties are on the same page.

    Work Heals

    For more information on how Return to Work promotes recovery and improved outcomes, please see the following articles.
    American Family Physician Journal
    Evaluation and Treatment of the Acutely Injured Worker

    Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation
    Intervention Characteristics that Facilitate Return to Work After Sickness Absence – A Systematic Literature Review