The RETAIN Demonstration: State Programs’ Approaches to Recruiting Potential Enrollees
Retaining Employment and Talent After Injury/Illness Network (RETAIN) Evaluation
Social Security Administration
- During the first 11 months of RETAIN, programs with higher enrollment also had relatively direct approaches to recruiting potential enrollees. These relatively direct approaches include proactively reviewing individual-level information to identify when someone might need services.
- Programs that use relatively direct approaches also had robust staffing structures in which multiple staff with ample time identify potential enrollees and recruit them into the program.
- Specific strategies for recruiting potential enrollees might not be fully replicable across RETAIN programs or other programs. For example, for program staff to review electronic medical records to identify potential enrollees, the program must partner with an organization that has access to those data and develop any agreements necessary to allow the review.
- The RETAIN programs will continue to enroll workers through 2023 and into 2024. Observing enrollment over the remainder of the demonstration will clarify whether the enrollment differences between states with relatively direct and indirect approaches to recruiting potential enrollees persist.
The Retaining Employment and Talent After Injury/Illness Network (RETAIN) demonstration, a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Labor and the Social Security Administration, aims to help workers with recently acquired injuries and disabilities remain in the labor force. Following a pilot phase, the Department of Labor awarded cooperative agreements to state agencies in Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, and Vermont to fully implement RETAIN services. A central challenge for the five state RETAIN programs is finding effective ways to identify, recruit, and enroll workers who would potentially benefit from RETAIN services within the time frame of early intervention.
This brief presents information on state programs’ approaches to recruiting potential enrollees and implications for the pace of enrollment during the first 11 months of the demonstration. The five state RETAIN programs varied widely in cumulative enrollment during this period. The programs use different types of strategies to recruit potential enrollees. For example, some programs use a relatively direct strategy of relying on their staff to identify potential enrollees by searching medical record data. Other programs use a relatively indirect strategy of relying on referrals from other entities, such as medical providers, to identify potential enrollees. Programs that use relatively direct strategies had more enrollees. The findings here offer considerations for RETAIN and other programs seeking to identify and enroll participants in a relatively short time frame to provide early intervention services.
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