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Industry Insights

Moore: Telemedicine Strong but Limited

  • National

Long before analyzing the 2024 workers' comp telemedicine markets, and years before COVID-19 caused an instant explosion of telehealth appointments, I was looking for technology.

James Moore

James Moore

I discovered a teledoc vendor. You can read an article I wrote in 2015 on workers' comp telemedicine.

The process made sense for minor injuries even in 2015. I wrote an associated article that was met with skepticism concerning telehealth appointments for workers' comp.

Two more recent articles or webpages on 2024 workers' comp telemedicine came from Concentra and the Carrier Chronicles on the future of comp telehealth. Carrier Chronicles published the article in 2023.

Combining info from the two links, initial telemedicine is still valid for:

  • Minor strains (i.e., pulled muscles).
  • Minor sprains.
  • Bruises/contusions.
  • Tendonitis/repetitive-use injuries.
  • Minor burns.
  • Contusions.
  • Minor cuts and scrapes.
  • Work-related rashes.
  • Bloodborne pathogen (BBP) exposure.

Injury rechecks include:

  • Some wounds and lacerations.
  • Second-degree burns.
  • Moderate cervical and low-back injuries.
  • Significant sprains, strains and contusions.
  • Routine postoperative checks.

Negative aspects of telemedicine

  • Lack of in-person experience. Severe injuries and diagnoses require physical hands-on assessment with the patient.
  • Potential for inaccurate diagnosis based on video. Some diagnoses require a hands-on visual component.
  • Initial PT evaluation and final PT evaluation/FCE need to be in person for a thorough assessment.
  • Limitations for assessing body image, gait and overall well-being can tell a lot about a patient’s status.
  • Poor patient perception. Some patients feel that they are not getting the proper care with telehealth.

Bottom line

Telemedicine may start to fade as the medical provider appointments switch more to in-person, but the savings opportunity remains in place as it has since 2015 or earlier.

The best example that I have seen with telemedicine in workers' comp comes from minor injuries at the employer. Keeping minor injuries minor avoids medical-only claim festering.

This blog post is provided by James Moore, AIC, MBA, ChFC, ARM, and is republished with permission from J&L Risk Management Consultants. Visit the full website at

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