In a new article for Risk & Insurance, myMatrixx Director of Clinical Pharmacy, Michael Nguyen, and Chief Clinical Officer, Phil Walls, discuss the importance of addressing behavioral health issues in workers compensation claims. While conventional wisdom in workers’ compensation has always been “Don’t buy the psych claim,” Nguyen and Walls argue that there are substantial reasons to take behavioral health issues seriously. In fact, not addressing the mental health of injured workers can expose them to increased risk of delayed return-to-work and opioid addiction.
Throughout the piece, both stress that while mental health conditions can rarely be proven to be work-related on their own, they do often arise as a result of work-related injuries. Due to the increased isolation, lack of productive activity and pain they are experiencing, seriously injured workers often report increased depression, anxiety and sleeplessness. If left untreated, these issues can worsen the health states of patients and prolong claims, which Nguyen and Walls say can end up costing far more from both a health and cost standpoint in the long run.