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Pain Management & Work Hardening

Pain management programs

The claim manager determines if a vocational assessment is needed. This can be done before or in conjunction with the screening evaluation or pain management program. This decision is made on a case-by-case basis based on the worker's claim file. See Chapter 34: Chronic Pain Management for more information about referring to a pain management program.

Work hardening programs

Providers can identify workers who may benefit from these programs and discuss referral options with the claim manager.

Prior to a worker entering a work hardening program, the provider should:

  • Provide a job analysis for the program goal to the work hardening provider.
  • Explore return-to-work options including the previous job to identify a job goal.
  • Assist with job modifications, if appropriate.

During a program the provider should:

  • Maintain contact with all parties.
  • Attend worker conferences.
  • Review work hardening reports.

Providers should bill work hardening services as part of the referral.

For more information:

Additional information

Physical and mental limitations

Providers must consider the pre-injury capacities along with any physical or mental limitations from the industrial injury.

Preponderance of medical information

The preponderance of medical information should show, as a whole, that the medical evidence supporting the vocational decision is more convincing than the opposing evidence.

Temporarily unable to participate in vocational services

Occasionally, a worker (due to a related or an unrelated temporary medical condition) is medically unable to participate in vocational services.

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