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Characterizing the relationship between in-hospital measures and workers' compensation outcomes among severely injured construction workers using a data linkage strategy.

Ruestow PS; Friedman LS
Am J Ind Med 2013 Oct; 56(10):1149-1156
Background: To characterize the relationship between acute measures of severity and three important workers' compensation outcomes associated with a worker's ability to return to work and the cost of a work-related injury. Methods: Probabilistic data linkage of workers' compensation claims made by injured construction workers from 2000 to 2005 with two Illinois medical record registries. Multivariable robust regression models were built to assess the relationship between three in-hospital measures and three outcomes captured in the Workers' Compensation data. Results: In the final multivariable models, a categorical increase in injury severity was associated with an extra $7,830 (95% CI: $4,729-$10,930) of monetary compensation awarded, though not with temporary total disability (TTD) or permanent partial disability (PPD). Our models also predicted that every extra day spent in the hospital results in an increase of 0.51 (95% CI: 0.23-0.80) weeks of TTD and an extra $1,248 (95% CI: $810-$1,686) in monetary compensation. Discharge to an intermediate care facility following the initial hospitalization was associated with an increase of 8.15 (95% CI: 4.03-12.28) weeks of TTD and an increase of $23,440 (95% CI: $17,033-$29,847) in monetary compensation. Conclusions: We were able to link data from the initial hospitalization for an injured worker with the final workers' compensation claims decision or settlement. The in-hospital measures of injury severity were associated with total monetary compensation as captured in the workers' compensation process.
Construction; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Injuries; Disabled-workers; Data-processing; Health-care; Health-care-facilities; Health-services; Medical-treatment; Surveillance-programs; Work-capability; Worker-health; Information-systems; Statistical-analysis; Analytical-models; Decision-making; Author Keywords: injury severity; length of stay; disability; worker's compensation; injury; linkage
Lee Friedman, PhD, Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2121 W.Taylor Street (Room 504), Chicago, IL 60612
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement; Construction; Grant
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-009762; Grant-Number-T42-OH-008672; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-009850; M102013
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Construction; Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Performing Organization
CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training, Silver Spring, Maryland
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division