AF Group / Johns Hopkins Research on COVID-19 Identifies Industries Most Affected by Workers’ Compensation Claims

January 19, 2021

A new study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that healthcare employment is associated with the greatest risk of developing COVID-19 infections and relatedly, submission of a workers’ compensation claim. The study, titled “What Industrial Categories Are Workers at Excess Risk of Filing a COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Claim? A Study Conducted in 11 Midwestern States,” was lead-authored by Dan Hunt, D.O., corporate medical director at AF Group, and Edward Bernacki M.D., MPH, emeritus professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

According to the study, the overwhelming proportion of all COVID-19-related workers’ compensation claims submitted and accepted during the term studied were from healthcare workers (83.7 percent). Within the healthcare employment category, workers’ compensation claims submitted by medical laboratories were also found to be of higher risk along with traditional hospital, nursing home and other related categories. In fact, the study found that healthcare was the only industrial classification that was at significantly higher COVID-19 workers’ compensation risk.

“This study represents important research that will help companies understand where their respective industries rank in terms of work-related risks as a result of COVID-19,” said Dr. Hunt. “We are grateful to Dr. Bernacki and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for their partnership in this important study.”

As the basis for the project, researchers from AF Group and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine analyzed 21,336 AF Group claims filed between Jan. 1, 2020 and Aug. 31, 2020 from 11 Midwest states, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The full research report is included here.

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