A huge story over the past year or two is hospital bed availability. Recently, this story has become even bigger as many hospitals throughout the country have few, if any, intensive care unit beds left. As a result, many have put off visits to emergency rooms and doctors generally. In turn, some workers that have been hurt on the job have wondered if they would be able to get medical treatment for those injuries. And, for most states, there has not been a delay, but that’s not true here in New Jersey.
According to the Workers’ Compensation Institute, over the past year and half, there has not been a delay in medical treatment for those injured on the job. Though, there was a decrease in emergency care. To make this conclusion, the economists that did the research looked at the first two quarters of 2019 to the first two quarters of 2020. Surprisingly, for some treatments, wait times were actually shorter. However, in New Jersey, these numbers did not hold up as emergency services provided to injured workers dropped by nearly 10%. These results mirror those from the California Workers’ Compensation Institute and the National Council on Compensation Insurance.
General health delays not seen for injured workers
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 40% of people delayed their medical care over the past year or so, but that was not the case for injured workers covered by workers’ compensation. Indeed, those workers went to the hospital and doctors, and since many others were delaying medical care, many of the workers experienced shorter wait times for services. Again, though, this was not the case in New Jersey where injured workers seeking physical medicine dropped by about 5%, pain management by nearly 3% and emergency room visits by 8%, double the national reduction of emergency services.
For Freehold, New Jersey, residents hurt on the job, workers’ compensation is there to cover medical bills and lost wages, and please, do not allow the times we live in dissuade those from seeking medical services. Throughout the rest of the country, injured workers are receiving quality and speedy medical service, and our workers here can receive the same. They just need to go.