Occupational Medicine Category

As we’ve discussed here previously, the more widespread legalization of marijuana use around the country is presenting any number of challenges for urgent care providers who offer drug-testing services to occupational medicine customers. One wrinkle: Legalization does not necessarily affect regulations laid down by employers regarding employee use. Some legislators in California want to put a stop to that by enacting legislation that would protect workers from disciplinary action, including dismissal, for using marijuana. Assembly Bill 2069 would prohibit employers from “discriminating” against employees “on the basis of his orRead More
Workers who need to rehab injuries can now do so without schlepping to a physical therapy practice under a new initiative just launched by Concentra in California. The “telerehab” program hooks up employees with workers comp claims with Concentra therapy clinicians from home or work, with the intention of improving compliance and speeding recovery and return to full function on the job. Presumably, the program will be expanded to others states if it’s successful.Read More
Urgent message: Much has been written about the integration of occupational medicine into urgent care practice. However, doing so successfully requires consideration of many important factors. This is the first in a series of articles that will examine occupational medicine in the urgent care setting from the financial and practice management viewpoint, with the aim of guiding the urgent care decision-maker and practitioner in the best practices of business and clinical occupational medicine practice.  Max Lebow, MD, MPH, FACEP, FACPM Introduction Occupational medicine is a branch of preventive medicine. InRead More
New data show the market for companies that provide drug screen services—which would include urgent care operators who offer occupational medicine services—should grow at a 10.2% clip annually through 2022. By that time, the total market value would be $8.63 billion (up from $5.32 billion in 2017). The Drug Screening Market Report from ReportsnReports reasons that demand will continue to be driven by growing drug and alcohol consumption among workers, combined with increased enforcement of applicable laws, policies, and employer health initiatives. The report also indicates the drug screening marketRead More
The timing couldn’t be better for urgent care operators who offer occupational medicine services, as a new government report challenges various stakeholders to establish more robust health surveillance practices in the workplace. A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Center, published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, calls for greater coordination among federal agencies and the states, as well as the creation of regional occupational safety and health surveillance programs “to provide critical information about the relationships between work and injuriesRead More
More than 5,000 people die in workplaces every year in the United States, most often from violence, exposure to toxic chemicals, or traffic accidents. Drug overdose is catching up, though, as the fastest-growing cause of death on the job, according to a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of fatal overdoses from illicit drug or alcohol use in the workplace jumped 32% from 2015 to 2016. While the grand total of 217 is relatively small, the increase shadows the ongoing wave of addiction, largely to opioid painRead More
With approximately 70% of the 14.8 million Americans who abuse drugs being employed, and the rate of deaths from overdose continuing to climb annually, workplace drug testing has become a key service for urgent care operators that offer occupational medicine services. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims there’s been a 200% increase in the rate of overdose deaths attributed to opioid pain medications and heroin, and that nearly 2 million people in the U.S. have a prescription opioid use disorder. Data from the National Safety Council further underscoreRead More
It’s not an oversimplification to say that the difficult thing about providing care for truckers is that they’re not in the same place for long. What’s worse, there are certain occupational hazards that make access to care especially important. According to UrgentCareTravel (UCT), 80% of the 3.8 million professional truck drivers in the U.S. are obese; half live with untreated sleep apnea; and 65% don’t have a primary care physician. So, UCT is partnering with the Pilot Flying J Travel Centers to provide occupational medicine and urgent care services whileRead More
The Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) is getting with the times and adding opioid screens to its drug testing program. Specifically, providers who conduct physicals and assessments for the DOT will have to include hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone in their screens as of January 1, 2018.  In addition, methylenedioxyamphetamine has been added as an initial test analyte, and methylenedioxyethylamphetamine has been removed as a confirmatory test analyte. Adding the four semisynthetic opioids has been mandated by Federal statute, and applies not only to specimen testing validity values but alsoRead More
OSHA says employers have to evaluate for bloodborne pathogens immediately following possible exposure via needle-stick or specific eye, mouth, other mucous membrane, nonintact skin, or parenteral contact with blood. “Immediate” can be tricky on the jobsite or for first responders and clinical personnel, however, so U.S. HealthWorks is trying to facilitate faster access through a new telemedicine program. The company has an app that facilitates access at any time, any day and includes comprehensive medical history and immunization status, counseling, and follow-up care recommendations, including labs and prescriptions electronically transmittedRead More