Work Conditioning vs. Work Hardening

March 14, 2023

Did you know Work Conditioning and Work Hardening are billed using the same code and are reimbursed at the same rate?

However, over the past few decades, the terms Work Conditioning and Work Hardening are often used interchangeably, but it is important to note that there are significant differences. While both programs aim to restore the ability of an employee to return to work fully and safely, Work Conditioning focuses solely on restoring strength, cardiovascular endurance and mobility. A quality Work Hardening program offers much more.

In addition to the physical recovery of the injured worker, Work Hardening includes specialized work-simulation clinics, which can be configured to match real-world work functions. Actual tools, materials and environmental situations provide meaningful rehabilitative exercise and accurate data on a worker’s ability to return to work. Work Hardening also adds instruction in proper body mechanics, work technique, work wellness, and injury prevention. Each program is customized using a job demands analysis and is tailored to meet the individual worker’s physical demands of the job.

Advantage OT has been providing Michigan’s leading Work Hardening program for over 20 years. Our three Southeast Michigan clinics average over 5,000 sq feet of industrial space, specifically designed for return-to-work rehabilitation. Our specialized WorkForce Ready program is outcome driven, combining evaluation, treatment and prevention to minimize return-to-work time, maximize cost containment and expedites claims resolution.