Long COVID in Workers Compensation: A First Look
White Paper Summary
As of July 2022, the United States has nearly 50 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections, with more than 1 million deaths. There are several published studies that have reported varying percentages of COVID-19 infected individuals who subsequently endured persistent, debilitating symptoms for weeks and months after initial infection. This is regardless of the severity of illness originally experienced, whether mild or severe. Many have referred to this medical condition with prolonged symptoms as “long COVID,” “long-haul COVID,” “chronic COVID,” and “post-acute sequelae of SARS CoV-2
infection (PASC).” This study takes a first look at long COVID (i.e., PASC) experience in workers compensation (WC).
- The percentage of COVID claims with long COVID in WC was 24%
- Twenty percent (20%) of nonhospitalized and 47% of hospitalized COVID-19 WC patients developed long COVID
- Hospitalized patients who developed long COVID took longer for such symptoms to resolve compared to patients who
were not admitted to the hospital
- The most common symptoms seen in long COVID patients were of a pulmonary or cardiovascular nature
- Hospitalized patients sought more physical medical services in the 30- to 270-day PASC window than nonhospitalized
- Home health care services performed in the 30- to 270-day PASC window were among the top three medical services
provided for patients who had been hospitalized
- Prescriptions for pulmonary inhalers dominated both the hospitalized and nonhospitalized cohorts
- The average temporary disability indemnity benefit duration for long COVID patients was about 160 days for
hospitalized patients and 95 days for nonhospitalized patients
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