I recently sat in on a claim review with a client and something interesting was noted. Out of seventy claims reviewed four were in negotiations for settlement (two with an MSA) because surgery was needed yet couldn’t be performed due to the employee’s morbid obesity. Four claims were now going to be settled with no ability to return to work with the employer all because the patient was not stable enough to undergo a simply needed surgery.
Per a recent article by the Mayo Clinic, it defines Obesity as this: “Obesity is a complex disorder involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn't just a cosmetic concern. It increases your risk of diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Being extremely obese means you are especially likely to have health problems related to your weight. The good news is that even modest weight loss can improve or prevent the health problems associated with obesity. Dietary changes increased physical activity, and behavior changes can help you lose weight. Prescription medications and weight-loss surgery are additional options for treating obesity.”
Note that they say that weight-loss surgery and medications are options to treat obesity. How about a program that not only can assist the patient to lower their overall BMI but could get them to a state of health to qualify for the needed surgery and possibly a meaningful return to work. I would love the opportunity to help your employees/patients before an injury is sustained and even after an injury. Lifelong transformation can be achieved, you just must change your mindset towards the rising costs of settlements and how we can be proactive to lower our overall risks.