Return-to-Work Physical Abilities Testing in Workers’ Compensation Cases Changes the Game
After an injured worker has received medical treatment, physical therapy, – maybe even surgery - the release to work decision is typically made by the treating physician.
Is that a good thing? Not always…
The physician is deciding whether the injury is medically resolved or, in more chronic cases, whether the person has reached “Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI).
Typically, that decision is based on some combination of x-rays, MRIs, physical examination of the injured body part, standards of clinical practice, watching the patient move, or…asking the patient if they feel “ready to go back to work.”
You might say the decision is based 20-30% upon objective information but a whole lot based on intuition.
But no one has EVALUATED whether the person still has the physical ability to do the job…
After all, the person did the job BEFORE the injury. Why can he/she/they do the job NOW?