Case Studies

Specialists in Occupational Medicine have the training and experience to determine if an injury is work related or "brought from home".

A Howell Township employee filed a worker's compensation claim for an acute stress reaction at work, however, it was noted that she was previously treated for an anxiety disorder by her primary care physician and had been in counseling for stress. Her safety was assessed, however, she was redirected to her treating provider and the claim was denied. The insurance carrier was in agreement.

A Howell Board of Education employee (custodian) with a wrist injury and suspected carpal tunnel syndrome with a strong family history of carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as predisposing factors, which were disclosed. Dr. Taylor performed a risk stratification and notified the insurance company early in her care, and the adjuster agreed that she was better evaluated by a hand specialist as apportionment was critical to this case. The adjuster was appreciative of our thorough history and frankness, as the injury occurred at work, and there was some responsibility on the employer's part even with her predisposing factors and strong family history.

A Lakewood Board of Education case, (teacher) with mold exposure that was very visible, as explicit pictures were provided for review and children were also at risk, was brought to our attention. Dr. Taylor worked with safety to ensure correction of the water damage, as allergies and asthma was of concern for the teacher as well as students. The teacher was treated at Corporate Care initially, however, she was ultimately directed to her personal otolaryngologist (ENT) as she also had long standing allergy issues. She was reassigned to a different classroom until her classroom was taken care of. She was educated on the issues and was very satisfied with Corporate Care intervening and bringing light to the issue, addressing her immediate medical needs and keeping her working in a safe environment while safety was doing their job.

A Lakewood Board of Education (teacher) who presented immediately following the summer break (which she had off) with back pain. Whether an injury occurred was questionable and she had previous non-work-related back problems and was well known to Corporate Care. We denied the claim, directed her to her personal physician and released her to work from a worker's compensation standpoint (i.e. her primary physician can address non-work-related back pain and disability if necessary).

A private company asked for Corporate Care involvement regarding an employee who was driving to work at unusual times, and we performed a fitness for duty evaluation. During her gowned examination, she was found to be wearing an Exelon Patch for early onset Alzheimer's. We got her daughter and physician involved immediately. She was not permitted to drive; her employer provided her with rides to the clinic and home. We communicated safety concerns with her daughter and she was removed from work.

Operating Room Transporter advises supervisor of shoulder injury 15 minutes into his shift on Monday morning. Employee is sent to Corporate Care. Dr. Taylor assesses the injury and determines probable rotator cuff tear. Understanding the type of job the employee performs is inconsistent with the injury, Dr. Taylor requests that the employee demonstrate how the injury occurred. Employee demonstrates work-related action that would not have caused rotator cuff tear. Dr. Taylor advises employee that this injury does not appear to be work-related and puts employee out on disability, not worker's compensation, and advises follow-up with private physician.

Nurse from inpatient unit presents to Corporate Care with skin infection. Dr. Taylor assesses and confirms MRSA. Dr. Taylor communicates with Patient Care Director to identify which patient the nurse cared for with MRSA over prior two week period. Patient Care Director advised there were no patients on the Unit with MRSA in prior two week period. Dr. Taylor determines employee has community acquired MRSA and puts employee out on disability, not worker's compensation.

Employee completes pre-employment physical and begins employment. Three months later, employee presents to Corporate Care with a lower back injury, claiming it is a result of the work environment. Dr. Taylor assesses the employee, but determines that the injury is actually an exacerbation or a pre-existing back injury. Dr. Taylor reviews employee pre-employment questionnaire and determines that the employee never disclosed a prior back injury. When confronted, the employee acknowledges a prior back injury resulting from a motor vehicle accident. Dr. Taylor advised the company Human Resources Director and employee was not treated as a worker's compensation case.

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