View the complete report: State Differences in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Joint Injuries (PDF)
Joint injuries are among the more common workers compensation claims. While some can be catastrophic, most are straightforward to treat and require less time to heal than, for example, many back injuries. Differences between states in the diagnosis and treatment of joint cases can be observed earlier in the course of treatment than for more complicated cases.
This study looks at medical services provided within the first two years after the date of injury. Although the nature of a joint injury is often better understood and the care more standardized than for more complex injuries, the care provided for a joint injury can run the full gamut of specialized medical services—from physical therapy to diagnostic imaging to surgery.
Stakeholders are interested in differences in treatment patterns by state and how to ensure the best outcomes for injured workers. This study quantifies differences in treatment patterns by state for joint injuries. Some key findings are:
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