As an employer, there’s more to find-ing a health-care provider than the final cost. It’s important to choose a health-care provider who does a thorough job of communi-cating with you and your employees regar-ding work-related injuries. 

Your goal should be to find a provider who’s committed to a safe, early return-to-work policy. Also one that will be willing to openly communicate with you and your employee about care, treatment and potential work restrictions, says Steve Kirkhorn, medical director of Occupational Health Services at the Immanuel-St. Joesph’s-Mayo Health System in Mankato, Minn.

To find a provider that fits this profile, begin by asking these questions:

1. Does the health-care provider know anything about occupational-health issues in agriculture?

2. Is the physician or other health-care provider willing to visit your operation to see firsthand the physical requirements for specific jobs?

3. Does the health-care provider support a safe, early return-to-work philosophy?

4. Is there a contact person available who will be able to answer your questions about an employee’s work restrictions?

For more information, check out the March 2002 issue of Gempler’s Alert. Contact Gempler’s at: (800) 382-8473 for subscription information.