October 23, 2023
AF Group & Johns Hopkins University Partner on New COVID-19 Research
Following 2021 landmark research exploring industries most impacted by COVID-19, a new follow-up study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine offers additional insights on the impact of COVID-19 on older workers. The study was co-authored by Dan Hunt, D.O., corporate medical director for AF Group, and Edward Bernacki, M.D., MPH, emeritus professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
The study, titled “Attributes of Long Duration COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Claims from 36 U.S. States,” found that while a higher number of claims occurred in health care occupations in the early stages of the pandemic (in part due to the closure of many businesses during this time), workers’ age (60+) at the time of infection – not industry or gender – proved to be the stronger risk factor for prolonged impairment and increased workers’ compensation costs due to COVID-19.
As the basis for the project, researchers from AF Group and Johns Hopkins analyzed 21,336 WC claims (1,898 COVID-19 and 19,438 non-COVID-19 WC claims) submitted to a large workers’ compensation insurance carrier between Jan. 1, 2020, and Aug. 31, 2020, from 11 states in the Midwest United States.
“This is the sixth peer reviewed paper published with our research partners at Johns Hopkins University and the second examining our experience with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Hunt. “These efforts reflect the value of collaboration between AF Group and an academic center of excellence and allows us to critically examine health issues currently impacting our injured workers. We are grateful for our ongoing partnership with Dr. Bernacki and the entire research team.”
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