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Return to Work Management

We partner with individuals who have experienced an illness or injury to support their recovery and return to work. We aim to make the process of navigating a workers’ compensation or insurance claim as straightforward as possible. Through site visits, clear and regular communication, claims management administration, and the development of Return to Work and Recover at Work programs, we work with key parties to support a successful recovery and a gradual return to work post injury or illness.

Our national team of rehabilitation consultants specialise in physical and psychological claims management. Made up of occupational therapists, psychologists, exercise physiologists, physiotherapists, nurses, social workers, chiropractors, rehabilitation counsellors and employment specialists, our team adopts an integrated approach to return to work management.  

As an integrated team we’re able to deliver a range of recovery and rehabilitation services, including:

  • Liaising with employers, employees and their medical and allied health treatment teams to develop Recover at Work or Return to Work programs.
  • Job redesign assistance to modify tasks an employee may struggle with or training in new ways to work.
  • Workplace modifications including ergonomic assessments of work environments to advise on redesign requirements and support with administration for workplace modifications.
  • Building relationships and communicating and negotiating with all key parties for positive outcomes.
  • Providing physiotherapy including musculoskeletal and spinal assessments and support to manage physical limitations while at work.
  • Educational programs, including training in areas such as resilience, manual task handling and workplace ergonomics.
  • Tailored health and fitness programs for health maintenance, pain management guidance and programs to improve mobility and physical capability.
  • Psychological assistance and support through mental health programs, personal goal setting and support to manage mental health and wellbeing while working.
  • Outsourced Return to Work Coordinators for organisations without internal injury management expertise, or simply with a need to free up resources.

Initial Assessments

A qualified rehabilitation consultant completes an initial needs assessment and seeks to establish the client’s history and identify the barriers to returning to work. An initial assessment looks at the mobility, pain levels, physiological and psychological limitations, and the capacity of a participant so they receive the right therapies and to develop a successful return to work plan. Our allied health professionals then provide recommendations, in conjunction with a client’s health practitioners.

Initial Assessments:

  • Enable our rehabilitation consultants to scope out the nature of an injury, return to work barriers and potential workplace issues that may impede a successful return to work.
  • Enable the establishment of clear return to work goals and timeframes that are able to be communicated to all parties.
  • Establish the services and supports required to support an individual’s recovery and return to work.
  • Support workers’ compensation claims and clear employee to employer understanding.
  • Lay the foundation for a successful, timely return to work.

Workplace Assessments

Depending on the nature of a client’s injury or illness, our physical and psychological workplace assessments are carried out by Altius Group's allied health professionals. We assess whether their usual work practices and their work environment are suitable for long term employee and employer health benefits.

Assessing the workplace of a worker with injury enables our rehabilitation specialists to:

  • Assess and identify specific health issues and potential sources of symptom elevation. 
  • Provide confirmation of appropriate work duties and make specific recommendations, such as workplace modifications, recommendations on correct working postures, ergonomic postures and education on safe working principles. 
  • Recommend strategies for managing situations impacting on workplace psychological health, such as bullying.

Medical Case Conferences

Our consultants facilitate medical case conferences with all the relevant stakeholders in a return to work or return to health case, including the individual with an injury, their doctor or treating physician, their employer and/or their insurance agent.

Altius Group rehabilitation consultants:

  • Are trained in professional communication and negotiation skills, enabling us to communicate with our clients in a way that empowers them and supports positive outcomes during medical case conferencing and workplace-based meetings. 
  • Work with all parties to ensure that together, the patient’s support team agree on the best pathway forward.
  • Have been selected for our panel for their expertise in their specific field, to ensure our clients are receiving expert medical opinion and advice.

Functional Capacity Evaluations

Functional Capacity Evaluations assess and provide recommendations on a person’s current physical and psychological tolerance for work. An assessment is followed up with a concise and easy to interpret report. This provides valuable information to guide workplaces as they deal with issues concerning an individual’s functional and psychological capabilities specific to work roles. Recommendations may be used to facilitate a safe and durable graduated return to work through provision of appropriate suitable duties.

Our qualified psychologists provide psychological Functional Capacity Evaluations to assess a person’s current psychological functioning. To assess our client’s physical capacity for their role, our physical Functional Capacity Assessments are led by our allied health professionals with a strong background in musculoskeletal pathology and how this may impact on an individual’s return to work. They bring expertise in observing for movement abnormalities, muscle weakness and self-limiting behaviours.

Our Functional Capacity Assessments:

  • Gain reliable information in relation to an individual’s safe work capacity and treatment recommendations.
  • Ensure individuals receive professional assistance to manage complex or severe injuries or psychological issues.
  • Generate reports and recommendations to help assess a worker’s fitness for duty when they appear unable to cope with their current duties.
  • Identify opportunities for workplace modification or reasonable accommodation.
  • Assist with appropriate and safe redeployment into an alternate role or duties.

Activities of Daily Living Assessment

Our Activities of Daily Living Assessments (ADL) measure an individual's level of functional ability with consideration to their performance of self-care tasks, domestic maintenance and general community mobility. The focus of an ADL is always to provide the person with an injury or illness with improved independence while maintaining safety. 

Our recommendations typically entail specific education, and the provision of assistive aids and services as required, to increase a client’s independence and improve safety in their home and work environments.

An ADL benefits those with an injury by:

  • Providing on-site education including strategies to enhance independence. 
  • Covering cost effective, innovative solutions for any difficulties identified.
  • Providing recommendations on assistive equipment and home, work or vehicle modifications as well as services such as garden maintenance or support with self-care.
  • Advising on scheme funding entitlements. 
  • Facilitating follow up assistance with prescribed equipment if required.
  • Generating a comprehensive report covering recommendations to aid a safe return to work.
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Why choose Altius Group to support your employee’s wellbeing?

We bring the broad expertise of our team of medical and allied health professionals.
Providing holistic support, covering physical, psychological and social wellbeing, is important to us.
We assess your workplace wellbeing needs to deliver tailored wellbeing solutions.
Our evidence-based services are delivered by experienced, accredited health professionals.
Clients gain access to our behavioural change digital platform, AltiusLife, to elevate their wellbeing.
Our services are built on 20 years of experience elevating the wellbeing of individuals and workplaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

A RTW program provides details on how your organisation will manage a workplace injury and an employee’s return to work. Guided by medical restrictions, a RTW program outlines duties and hours of work and includes a timeline for a staged progression to increased hours, to support a worker towards achievement of their return to work goal. It should include the details of your RTW coordinator, preferred rehabilitation provider and workers’ compensation insurer. The requirements for RTW programs differ in each state or scheme, therefore it is important that you review your state regulator’s website. If you’re unsure, please reach out for further information or assistance. Altius Group can also be engaged to complete a documentation review or develop your RTW program for you.
A RTW plan refers to a document that details an employee’s graduated return to work following an injury. This plan should be developed by someone with suitable experience to ensure a safe return to work is achieved. It should be developed in consultation with the employer, worker with an injury, nominated treating doctor and any treating parties involved with the worker, such as a rehabilitation consultant.
A Return to Work Coordinator (RTWC) is a designated team member who supports a worker with an injury with a return to work plan. Outsourcing this role makes it easy for both the employer and employee. The RTWC works seamlessly with doctors, insurers, and treating professionals. They understand legislation and best practice guidelines to ensure all stakeholders are consulted in the return to work process.

By outsourcing this task, you’ll have more time to focus on your business and clients. Outsourcing the role also improves RTW outcomes and time frames, helps to keep your workers’ compensation premiums down and ensures clients are provided with expert support and guidance in their return to work journey.