Rhode Island Workers' Compensation Health Initiative Finds Stakeholders Need Help Accessing Care

Developing a state-based resource center to improve information and care surrounding work-related injury and illness

From 1999 to 2001, the State of Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training established a model state technical resource center to collect and disseminate data designed to encourage improvements in workers' compensation medical care.

An initial activity of the center was the development of surveys of injured workers, employers and health care providers to measure their knowledge and experience of the workers' compensation health care delivery system in Rhode Island.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Workers' Compensation Health Initiative national program.

Key Findings

  • Findings of the pilot survey revealed that:

    • 67 percent of injured workers, 89 percent of employers and 73 percent of health care providers knew that injured workers have the right to choose their first health care provider.
    • 86 percent of health care providers report using diagnosis-specific protocols for treatment of work-related injuries.
    • 72 percent of injured workers were very satisfied with their care.
    • 86 percent of injured workers were satisfied with the promptness of care they received.
    • 80 percent of injured workers had returned to work.
    • Survey results also indicate that employers, employees and health care providers do not fully understand how to obtain care through the state's workers' compensation system.

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