Dr. Melissa Tonn brings more than two decades of experience in occupational medicine to her role as a clinical assistant professor of population health at the Dell School of Medicine at The University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, Dr. Melissa Tonn serves as the chief medical officer and president of OccMD Group, P.A., in Dallas, which provides occupational injury medical management for employers who are not part of the workers’ compensation system. The following covers some of the most common injuries in the workplace.
1. Muscle strain. Muscle strain can occur easily in jobs that recruit muscles of the back and neck that are particularly prone to injury through heavy lifting. Basic training on proper lifting techniques can help workers avoid injury and considerably reduce the occurrence of muscle strain.
2. Lacerations. Cuts and lacerations can occur in various working environments, from warehouses to business offices. Inadequate safety measures and poor training are the most common causes.
3. Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). RSI refers to pain and injuries in the muscles, tendons, and nerves that occur as a result of repetitive motions and overuse. It typically affects upper parts of the body, including the neck, hands, and forearms. The condition can become severe over time.
4. Overexertion. Ranked among the top workplace injuries, overexertion can occur from overindulging in any physical activity in the workplace.
5. Contusions. Slips, falls, trips, and falling objects can all cause contusions in the workplace. Objects can fall from shelves or opened cupboards, and wet floors can lead to slippery surfaces that put workers at risk for injury. Workers may also fall from ladders or trip on stairs.
Melissa Tonn, M.D., earned her medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio in 1986. She has also earned an MBA and a Master of Public Health. Board certified in occupational medicine, Melissa Tonn, M.D., is the president and chief medical officer for the OccMD Group, a medical management company that provides responsible nonsubscriber employers a quality alternative to the state-administered workers' compensation system.
Generally, state workers’ compensation laws require employers to pay for medical treatment for employees injured on the job and to pay their lost wages. In exchange, the employees lose the right to sue their employers for negligence.
In Texas, employers have never been required to have workers' compensation coverage. Employers can elect to "opt out" of the state workers’ compensation program. These employers, called “nonsubscribers,” create and follow occupational injury benefit plans. A typical plan sets forth what, and how, workplace injuries will be covered and the compensation for lost time.
As is true in workers' compensation, various third party entities work with the employers, and the nonsubscriber insurance carriers to administer the program set forth in the benefit plan. There are numerous benefit consultants, network providers, third party administrators, law firms, medical management companies and ancillary service providers who perform work for nonsubscribing employers.
For over 20 years, Partnersource, a benefit consulting firm started by Bill Minick, has focused on developing programs for employers interested in becoming responsible nonsubscribers. In 1995, Dr. Tonn, and Mr. Minick met when speaking at a nonsubscriber conference, they married 2 years later. In the early 1990's, both were already well-established in their respective fields, and were highly regarded for their knowledge and expertise in the area of workers' compensation and nonsubscription. They were then, and continue to be, sought after speakers, in Texas, and nationally.
OccMD was incorporated in 2000, and in 2016, continues to be the only medical management firm solely dedicated to the nonsubscription industry.
In 2009, Partnersource was acquired by Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
An experienced physician, Melissa D. Tonn, MD, specializes in musculoskeletal disorders, workers’ compensation and disability cases, and chronic regional pain syndrome.