At the California Coalition of Workers’ Compensation Conference in Anaheim a couple of weeks back, one of the presenters made a comment that resonated with me. The topic was related to innovative claims management practices and had shifted to discussions of return to work and the role of physicians.Workers' Compensation
One of the panelists made an emphatic point of being tired of being given a list of restrictions related to the injured workers in their care. They said, ‘Why can’t the doctor tell us what a worker is capable of doing, instead of what they cannot do?’
It was a great point and reflects a bigger problem within the workers’ compensation industry.
The very nature of our work forces us to view negative connotations and conditions. As a result, we spend a great deal of time focusing on the ‘can not’s’ rather than the ‘still can.’
Our culture has evolved to focus on disability rather than ability. The comment regarding physician restrictions could not have been a more distinct example of that reality.