Safe early-return-to-work helps employees and employers
``Safe early-return-to-work programs are in the best interest of patients,'' the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons said in a statement. Employers also benefit through reduced disability payments, medical costs, absence from work and insurance premiums, according to the group.
Patients with extended disability often become depressed and show decreased motivation, and their medical outcomes are usually worse than those of patients who participate in early-return-to-work programs, said Dr. J. Mark Melhorn, an orthopaedic surgeon at The Hand Center in Wichita, Kansas.