Cambridge, MA, Nov. 24, 2020 ― The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) will host a one-hour webinar on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, at 2 p.m. ET on its recent study The Timing of Physical Therapy for Low Back Pain: Does It Matter in Workers’ Compensation? The authors of the study ─ Ms. Dongchun Wang, Dr. Randy Lea, and Dr. Kathryn Mueller ─ will discuss the key findings from the study and take audience questions.

As an increasing number of workers with injuries are receiving physical therapy (PT), this WCRI study finds that for workers with low back pain (LBP) only injuries, early initiation of PT is associated with lower utilization and costs of medical services and shorter duration of temporary disability (TD). The study focuses on claims with LBP-only injuries, recognizing that PT is often used as first-line treatment for LBP and other musculoskeletal injuries before considering opioid prescriptions and invasive procedures.

“This is a comprehensive study that shows a strong association between PT timing and outcomes for workers with low back pain,” said WCRI President and CEO John Ruser. “While the study cannot conclude that early PT causes better outcomes, it does suggest that the potential benefits of early PT should be considered when planning care for these injuries.”

The webinar will address the following questions:

  • How often do workers with LBP-only injuries receive early vs. late PT?
  • Does early PT help reduce utilization and costs of medical services and shorten TD duration?
  • What factors may have considerable influence on PT timing and outcomes?

This study is based on nearly 26,000 LBP-only claims with more than seven days of lost time from 27 states, with injuries from October 1, 2015, through March 31, 2017, and detailed medical transactions up through March 31, 2018. The 27 states are Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Webinars are $50 for Non-Members and FREE for WCRI Members, members of the press, legislators as well as their staff, and state public officials who make policy decisions regarding workers' compensation. All attendees receive a free copy of the slides and a recording of the webinar. Click here to register.

About WCRI

The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) is an independent, not-for-profit research organization based in Cambridge, MA. Organized in 1983, the Institute does not take positions on the issues it researches. It provides information obtained through studies and data collection efforts, which conform to recognized scientific methods. Objectivity is further ensured through rigorous, unbiased peer review procedures. WCRI's diverse membership includes employers; insurers; governmental entities; managed care companies; health care providers; insurance regulators; state labor organizations; and state administrative agencies in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.


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