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Health Strategy Associates has published the key findings of “The Impact of COVID-19 on Workers’ Compensation” survey. HSA Principal Joe Paduda interviewed 15 workers’ compensation insurance carriers, third-party payers, government entities, and other self-insured employers over a seven-day period ending April 6.

“I wanted to gather information to help payers learn from each other so they could adapt more quickly to this fluid and entirely unforeseen event,” Paduda said.

Among the initial impacts raised were:

— Declining payrolls
— Access-to-care issues
— Spike in demand for telemedicine, telerehab and other telehealth services
— Delayed return to work
— Transitioning employees to work from home (WFH)
— Determining which COVID-19-related claims should be accepted — Dealing with WFH claims

Respondents noted the challenge of shifting operations from managing injury-related claims to disease-related ones. Prior to the pandemic, roughly 95 percent of claims resulted from injuries and investigating them was usually straightforward.

With COVID-19, you need to try to figure out where the exposure occurred. Could it have happened outside the workplace? Adjusters need to ask about travel, family health, potential contact with infected people, and determine whether to test or not,” Paduda said.

States have different presumption standards, and some link COVID-19 to specific occupation types,” he added.

Paduda will conduct a second survey on the impact of COVID-19 on workers’ compensation in a few weeks. He plans to expand the types of respondents to include managed care organizations and others that support workers’ compensation payers as well as payers. Anyone interested in participating can email While the full report is available only to respondents, an abstract can be found at

Based near Syracuse in Skaneateles, New York, Health Strategy Associates consults with insurers, employers, medical management companies, health care providers, and venture capitalists.