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Thank you for visiting the Establishing Work and Full Participation as Accountable Health Outcomes Online Dialogue

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Please feel free to review the comments and suggestions posted by participants below and email ePolicyWorks@dol.gov with your questions or additional feedback.

How can we reduce the number of working adults who lose their jobs or leave the workforce after their ability to work has been disrupted by a health condition—and conversely how can we increase the number who get the help they need to stay employed?

As part of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy’s Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) Policy Collaborative this national online dialogue shares draft policy recommendations for how to accomplish this objective. In our view, doing so requires answering two critical questions:

  • Question 1:
    How can we establish widespread recognition that paid work is a positive life outcome following a health challenge?
  • Question 2:
    How can we ensure that the parties with the most direct influence become more accountable for delivering positive SAW/RTW outcomes?

Achieving all of these goals means overcoming significant challenges. The stakeholders who respond to workers’ health problems—health care professionals, health insurers, employers, and the workers’ compensation and private disability insurance industries operate in a fragmented system that does not encourage coordination or collaboration. Ensuring that more workers remain employed despite a challenging health condition will require strong policy leadership, targeted research, effective social marketing, and a sustained attention to essential technical details regarding payment mechanisms and data capture.

We are looking forward to receiving your input on establishing work and full participation in life as accountable health outcomes. Please take the time to Register or Log In (if you have already registered) in order to share your ideas and suggestions by commenting and voting on the six policy recommendations listed below.

For further instructions on how to participate in this online dialogue, visit How to Get Started

To learn more about this dialogue, visit Learn More about This Dialogue.

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Healthy should include being able to work and take part in life

The nation’s public health goals for the population should include work and full participation in life among the major indicators of health status for all adults ages 18 to 70, including those with chronic conditions and disabilities. The nation’s public health objectives are embodied in the federal government’s Healthy People initiative. The current version is Healthy People 2020, which has 1,200 objectives in 42 topic ...more »

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54 votes
58 up votes
4 down votes
Ideate

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Designate a responsible federal entity

Direct an existing federal entity or establish a new one to be responsible for leading an interagency effort to prevent adverse secondary consequences of health problems and chronic conditions, such as avoidable impairment and disability, job loss, and workforce withdrawal; then align relevant federal programs such that they support of this goal. There is no federal entity whose mission explicitly includes this goal. ...more »

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Voting

-14 votes
19 up votes
33 down votes
Ideate

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Build an evidence-based foundation for action

The nation’s research agenda does not include examining the benefits of working or the best ways to ensure that adults who develop health problems can remain employed. Meanwhile, a great deal of research has been devoted to the adverse impact of various aspects of work on health. As a result, the evidence base is unbalanced. To understand the positive connection between health and work more fully, we need evidence on ...more »

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Voting

34 votes
42 up votes
8 down votes
Ideate

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Use social marketing to change beliefs and behaviors

Social change usually reflects widespread changes in beliefs, which, in turn, influence behavior and then outcomes. A strategic marketing campaign alone will not create social change, but it is essential to changing the beliefs of influential groups. The success of a public health campaign depends on whether it presents the facts persuasively. Examples include the campaigns against tobacco, drunk driving, and domestic ...more »

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Voting

25 votes
36 up votes
11 down votes
Ideate

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Pay health care providers for services that promote SAW/RTW

To ensure that health care providers are paid for their expertise and the time they devote to promoting functional restoration and SAW/RTW, the designated federal entity (see recommendation 2) should: • Formally request the American Medical Association and CMS to collaborate with the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and other relevant medical associations to develop Current Procedural Technology ...more »

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Voting

26 votes
37 up votes
11 down votes
Ideate

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Capture and make visible new, relevant process and outcome data

Every year, workers who have lost their jobs because of a health condition become invisible. None of the institutions with which these workers might come in contact keep or report statistics on an event like this—not medical offices, workplaces, payer organizations, or insurance companies. As a result, the party that knows what happened and what, if anything, was done about it is often not the party that has the data ...more »

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Voting

21 votes
33 up votes
12 down votes
Ideate

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