Protocol to help ensure the workforce re-enters healthy and stays that way.
There’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the world’s newest workplace risks…a risk surrounded by great expectation.
Employers are now generally expected to have a COVID-19 protocol in place to help ensure that the workforce re-enters healthy and stays that way. People want to know that the employer’s protocol can be verified and that it aligns with CDC guidelines.
In addition, the question of how COVID-19 claims will ultimately be considered related to workers compensation is still largely unanswered. What we do know is that once the shelter-in-place orders have been lifted, employers who are good at minimizing the risk of COVID-19 exposure, and who have a very low incidence of workplace infection, will certainly benefit.
To facilitate that outcome, we’ve put together an easily implemented, affordable, telemedicine solution that gives our employers a documented protocol to guide the returning workforce.
1. Worksite Criteria - The first step is to make sure the employer is following CDC workplace requirements regarding physical distancing and sanitation protocols. We can assist if you need specifics.
2. Health Review – Employees may return to work if they have been without symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.) for at least 10 days since the date of their first symptoms. Taking temperatures daily can assist here at least in the early phases of re-entry. If an employee has been ill, a back-to-work-form should be required.
3. 24/7 Telemedicine Call – If an employee is ill, this physician service provides immediate consultation to determine how the illness should be handled. The service is accessed through an 800-number and a website link that prompts (7) questions that follow CDC guidelines.
4. COVID testing – There is a “testing” path and a “non-testing” path related to COVID-19. Before recommending a lab test, the telemedicine team determines if there is reasonable access to a testing site for the employee. If there is reasonable access, they will guide the person to the testing site. If not, they will prescribe the proper non-testing path. Of course, the availability of testing is growing exponentially every day and the physician team is staying current with the availability. The lab test is now required to be at no charge per Federal legislation H.R. 6201.
As the workforce transitions into the re-entry phase, the issue of testing will likely be moving from one of an early test (to clear the team member to continue working)… to obtaining an antibody screen (a finger-prick test) prior to a team member’s return to the workforce, 7 days after recovering from illness. The FDA announced, last week, that they expect to be approving an at-home test in the next week or two. We expect to know more in the days ahead as information becomes available.
5. Back-To-Work Release - If the employee can return to work, the Back To Work release form will be issued to the employee by the telemedicine physician.
The pricing we have negotiated for this service is $.60 per employee, per month, plus a “per consultation” fee of $29.00. For example, at 100 employees, the total monthly cost is $60.00 plus $29.00 for every consultation that has occurred.
As you can see, this solution not only supports any employer in need of a documented COVID-19 protocol, but also helps mitigate this unprecedented risk.
As a side note, the online physician service not only provides national COVID-19 consultation but can also serve your team members who need to talk with a doctor about any minor, common medical condition. This is often helpful for part-time workers (and their families) or anyone else who does not have medical coverage.
VANTREO is here to help. If you have questions or would like to explore enrolling in our COVID-19 Workforce Protocol, just reply here.
For information on VANTREO’s free, paperless platform to onboard furloughed employees and facilitate their benefits enrollment, etc., just reply here.