6 Minimum Expectations For Employer Involvement in Workers’ Comp

6 Minimum Expectations For Employer Involvement in Workers’ CompWe all know it is the employer’s responsibility to purchase workers’ compensation insurance coverage and to report a claim to the claims office when an accident occurs. Unfortunately, way too many employers end involvement in workers’ compensation at this point. It’s expensive to be passive about workers’ compensation.

 

However, being an active, responsible participant in your work comp claims process improves the employer’s financial picture.  Here are the minimum expectations of employer involvement in workers’ compensation:

 

A Safe Work Environment:

 

It is your responsibility as an employer to provide a safe work environment. By doing so, you eliminate many work comp claims because the injuries never happen. A strong safety program in which the employees are actively involved in preventing accidents has a major impact on the financial cost of workers’ compensation.

 

Know the Law:

 

Post in a convenient place state required notices for all employees to see. Notices include their rights under the work comp laws, a list of approved medical facilities (in states allowing the employer to select the medical provider), post OSHA posters and anything else required in your state.

If an employee is injured, allow the employee to seek medical care as quickly as possible. Do not do anything appearing to interfere with the employee’s right to medical assistance.

 

 

Report the Claim At Once & Accurately:

 

It is not enough to report the injury claim to the claims office. Report the injury immediately to the claims office  – just as soon as the employer becomes aware the injury occurred. Not next week, not in a couple of days, not when you “get around to it,” but NOW – when the employee is seeking medical treatment for the work comp injury.

 

All employees and all their supervisors should know that it is a requirement for every work comp claim to be reported to your work comp claims coordinator as soon as medical treatment is needed. The claims coordinator then promptly completes the Employer’s First Report of Injury and immediately sends it to the claims office. Immediately means, “stop whatever you are doing” and report the new injury/claim.

 

All supervisors should be trained on the information needed to complete the Employer’s First Report of Injury form so it is accurate when it is received in the claims office. It is well established in the claims field that fast and accurate reporting of the claim has a positive impact on the outcome of the claim.

 

 

Cooperation with the Insurance Company:

 

The employer who takes the hands-off approach to work comp claims will see a steady increase in their work comp insurance premiums. The smart employer takes the approach of being actively involved in the work comp claims.

 

It is your responsibility as an employer to assist the work comp adjuster in their handling of the claim. As the adjuster investigates the claim, there will be a need for documentation from you as to the employee’s payroll history. The adjuster may need to speak with the employee’s supervisor or co-workers who witnessed the injury. In some situations, the adjuster may need to see the employee’s personnel file or health benefits file. If you are contacted by an attorney for the employee, be sure to notify the adjuster immediately. By providing whatever assistance the adjuster needs on a timely basis you can help to mitigate the cost of the work comp claim.

 

 

Employee Contact:

 

One of the most often over-looked responsibilities of the employer in work comp claims is the human element. The employee’s supervisor or the work comp claims coordinator or both, should stay in contact with the injured employee while that person is off work. By letting the employee know your company is concerned about his/her well-being and by keeping the lines of communication open, the risk of the claim becoming adversarial or the employee employing an attorney, guaranteed to delay resolution of the claim, is diminished.

 

 

Return to Work Program:

 

Study after study show the quicker the employee is returned to work, the lower the overall cost of the workers’ compensation claim. It is imperative the employer have a Modified Duty Program or a Light Duty Program available for all injured employees.

 

In most states you can contact the employee’s medical provider and ask for the conditions under which the employee can return to work. You have the right to know the employee’s medical condition and to have the worker return to work on a light duty program with the medical provider’s agreement.

 

By bringing the employee back to work on a modified duty program, the employee benefits and the employer saves money (remember the more the insurance company pays out, the higher your eventual work comp premium).   When the employee is off work, the insurance company is paying benefits to the employee, but the employer is not receiving anything of value. By returning the employee to work, the benefits being paid by the insurance company stop. While an employee on modified duty may not be as productive as an employee on regular duty, the employee is still producing some benefit to the employer.

 

 

Summary:

 

The more pro-active the employer is in the work comp claim process, the lower the overall cost of workers’ compensation. Employers who provides a safe work environment, knows the requirements of the workers’ comp laws in their state and who reports their work comp claims quickly and accurately will lower their cost for work comp coverage. The employer who cooperates with the insurance adjuster’s investigation, keeps in contact with the employee and assists the employee to return to work quickly experiences a positive effect on the cost of workers’ compensation.

 

 

 

 

Michael Stack - AmaxxAuthor Michael Stack, Principal, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers’ compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder & lead trainer of Amaxx Workers’ Comp Training Center. .

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

 

©2017 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

Two Key Aspects To Controlling Workers’ Comp Medical Costs

Medical costs continue to be a significant driver in workers’ compensation claims across the United States.  This is due to a number of different factors, which include fraud, waste and abuse within the system.  In other instances, the increase in medical specialization is a driver of costs, which can lead to duplicative and unnecessary care.  When this takes place in the context of a workers’ compensation claim, the result is an unnecessary financial burden to the program.

 

Now is the time for members of the claims management team and other interested stakeholders to take control of their programs.  One important way to do this is by being proactive on the medical factors of claims and to direct effective medical care and treatment.

 

 

Responding to Injuries

 

All employers, regardless of size need to take a proactive and immediate approach to every workplace injury.  This includes personnel within the work environment who know how to provide medical care and being responsive to employees who suffer an injury.  Other key elements of an immediate and effective injury response include:

 

  • Rapid response to injury and with 24/7 nurse triage hotline. Time is of the essence to triage the injury and direct the employee to the right level of medical care, whether home treatment or the appropriate medical provider. The ability to use a 24/7 nurse triage hotline is not affected by differences in state laws regarding directing medical care.

 

  • Transportation to a medical facility is also an important component of responding to a work injury. This includes providing a means of transportation for a person who does not need an ambulance.  Instead of making that person drive himself or herself to the appropriate facility, an employer representative should make every effort to provide transportation.  This best practice demonstrates “good will”, and ensures the employee arrives at the medical provider to receive treatment.

 

 

Working with Treating Physicians

 

Having a designated medical facility for initial post-injury care does not preclude an injured worker from seeking future treatment at another location.  It is a general rule that employees suffering from the effects of a work injury have the right to choose their initial medical provider and seek care from a facility of their choosing.  It is important for members of the claim management team to communicate effectively with these treating physicians.

 

When working with the employee’s treating physician, claims handlers and other interested stakeholders should also keep the following factors in mind:

 

  • Professionalism: As a claim hander, you are the “face” of the employer and insurer.  Claim handlers need to understand and respect the doctor-patient relationship.   It is important to be patient and professional at all times. While state and federal privacy laws are relaxed in the context of a workers’ compensation claim, disclosure of information may be delayed.

 

  • Cooperation: This is an essential key when dealing with contentious matters such as workers’ compensation claims.  Building and maintaining cooperation is a two-way street.  Always seek to be a problem solver, not cause them.

 

  • Relationships: People like to do with business with people they like.  This includes working with medical professionals and the injured party.  The expression, “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar,” is something to consider.  An employee suffering from a work injury has a number of worries beyond recovering from the incident.  This includes financial, emotional and family pressures.  Always seek understanding and approach every employee as a person, not just another claimant.

 

 

Conclusions

 

There are no simple solutions to reducing the medical aspects of a workers’ compensation.  Interested stakeholders can take a significant step to addressing this issue through a proactive approach to directing medical care in all injury-related claims.

 

 

For additional information on workers’ compensation cost containment best practices, register as a guest for our next live stream training.

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder & lead trainer of Amaxx Workers’ Comp Training Center. .

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

Live Stream WC Training: http://workerscompclub.com/livestreamtraining

 

©2017 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

How To Implement An Effect Work Injury Response Plan

 

It goes without saying that in workers’ compensation risk management proactive response to a workplace injury or incident is important.  However, what is often lost in the discussion of this topic is what takes place following the critical minutes following an injury and after the employee receives initial medical care and treatment.  Taking time to think about your long-term response can save your program dollars and can increase productivity in the workplace.

 

 

Lack of Communication and the Post-Injury Dilemma

 

Take a moment to think about a work-injury from the perspective of an injured employee.  The employee is frustrated with a number of issues.  These can include:

 

  • Not understanding the workers’ compensation benefit process and payment structure. They do not want to get an attorney because everything seems right or they do not want to be viewed as a troublemaker.  They are receiving all the benefits they are entitled to, right?

 

  • Time spent filling out forms and seeing a number of medical doctors and vocational rehabilitation counselors. When they do see their doctor, it is a rushed appointment and sometimes not all of their questions are answered.

 

  • The major disruption in their life caused by physical disability. Their routine is in utter chaos.  Instead of spending time with friends at work, they sit at home and recover.

 

  • There is a reduction in income, but not everyday living expenses. Hopelessness and despair set in.

 

Missing from most post-injury response plans is an effective and consistent line of communication between the employer and injured parties.  Workers’ compensation stakeholders serious about their bottom line need to consider the implementation of pro-injury communication with their disabled workforce.  Lack of information breeds contempt.

 

 

Implementing an Effective Plan

 

It is important to plan and implement an effective post-injury response immediately after a work injury occurs.  Suggestions to improve these lines of communication and avoid distrust of the injured employee can include:

 

  • Assisting the injured worker in contacting immediate family about the injury and advising these parties about the status of the employee. In some instances, written authorization may be required given state and federal privacy laws.

 

  • Contacting the injured worker immediately after they are out of danger and in a stable condition. Sending a get well card or making a telephone call are a good, visiting the employee at their home or in the hospital is even better. Proactive employers can also offer to take someone home from a hospital or clinic after their release.  Random acts of kindness build trust.

 

  • Empathizing with the employee and explaining to them the workers’ compensation process can also be helpful. Developing literature about the workers’ compensation system can also be helpful if done right.

 

The open lines of communication should not stop there.  Additional follow-up steps can also be taken to build trust and confidence in the employee with the eventual goal of full recovery and return to work.  Other measures should include:

 

  • Weekly conferences with the injured worker to check on their physical and emotional status. These meetings can be in-person at a location convenient to the employee or via telephone.

 

  • Allowing the injured party to visit with friends and co-workers on the employer’s premises can develop a sense of worth.

 

  • Offering a broad selection of return-to-work opportunities.

 

 

Conclusions

 

Effective injury response goes beyond having a First Aid kit on hand and calling 9-1-1.  For proactive stakeholders, it requires exceeding the minimum expectations to build a bridge of trust and promote a positive relationship with the injured worker.  While this takes effort, it can reduce costs in your program and pay dividends via cost savings.

 

 

For additional information on workers’ compensation cost containment best practices, register as a guest for our next live stream training.

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder & lead trainer of Amaxx Workers’ Comp Training Center. .

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

Live Stream WC Training: http://workerscompclub.com/livestreamtraining

 

©2017 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

14 Points To Discuss With Your Injured Worker For Win-Win Outcome

A big mistake made by employers is leaving the injured employee to fend for himself / herself in the world of workers’ compensation.  For most injured employees, the injury is their first workers’ compensation claim and they do not know what to do or what to expect.  Fear of the unknown and not knowing what to expect creates a lot of angst in the employee.

 

 

Fear of Unknown Creates Angst in Injured Employee

 

The smart adjuster during the initial contact with the injured employee will take all the time necessary to answer the employee’s questions about medical treatment, lost wages, light duty return to work, and any other questions the employee might have.  The smart employer will also contact the injured employee and answer all the questions the employee might have about their work comp claim.  When neither the adjuster nor the employer answers the employee’s questions and concerns, the employee will usually find someone who will – an attorney.

 

We always recommend for the employer to call the injured employee immediately after the initial medical treatment.  They will want to ask what the doctor’s diagnosis and prognosis are, when the employee will be returning to work, and if the return to work date is not known, what the work restrictions are.

 

 

14 Points to Discuss With Your Injured Worker

 

  1. The injured employee should be asked to submit a detailed report of how the claim happen, preferably written
  2. Ask the injured employee who were the witnesses to the accident
  3. Verify the injured employee is treating at an employer selected medical provider, if your state allows the employer to select the medical provider
  4. Ask the injured employee if he has ever injured the same body part before, and if so, when
  5. Tell the injured employee you will send him/her a copy of the First Report of Injury being submitted to the insurance company, and ask them to review the Report and advise you if anything is inaccurate
  6. Ask the injured employee if he has discussed all pre-existing medical issues with the doctor (some medical issues like obesity will be obvious, others like hypertension or diabetes need to be disclosed to the medical provider)
  7. Explain to the injured employee how mileage to medical appointments is reimbursed in your state, and the mileage rate
  8. Explain to the injured employee the importance of attending every doctor’s appointment, diagnostic test and physical therapy session (if needed)
  9. If the injured employee is going to be off work, explain to him what the state’s waiting period is for indemnity benefits
  10. Explain to the injured employee how the indemnity benefits will be calculated by the insurance adjuster
  11. Ask the employee to call you after each medical appointment to let you know the doctor’s current plan of treatment
  12. Advise the injured employee to obtain an off-work slip at each doctor’s appointment
  13. Ask the injured employee if he has any questions in regards to how the transitional duty program works
  14. Ask the injured employee if he has any questions about any other aspect of how their workers’ compensation claim will be handled

 

Yes, this is a lot of information to review, and it will take you an extra five minutes.  However, the extra five minutes spent making sure the employee understands how everything will work in their workers’ compensation claim can be the most productive five minutes of your day.  By taking the concerned and caring approach, you will eliminate most of the hassles and headaches that occur when a work comp claim goes bad and save a lot more time later in the claim process.

 

 

On-Going Contact Will Avoid Many Problems

 

Managing and assisting the injured employee does not end with the initial follow up phone call to the employee.  The employee should be encouraged to call you after each medical appointment, and he does not do so, you should call the employee.  Any questions the employee has during the recovery period can be addressed timely in this manner.  By maintaining on-going contact throughout the time the employee is off work, you will avoid most of the problems that can occur with a work comp claim.  You will also be assisting the employee in returning to work the minimal amount of time.

 

 

For additional information on workers’ compensation cost containment best practices, register as a guest for our next live stream training.

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices.

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

Live Stream WC Training: http://workerscompclub.com/livestreamtraining

 

©2017 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

3 Steps to Discover the Root Cause of Work Injury

A near miss may be the best thing that ever happens at your company. Depending on what you do afterward, it can be a huge opportunity to save money and headaches.

 

After the initial ‘phew!’ reaction, it’s time to get down to business and find out what happened and why and, most importantly, what you can do to prevent a recurrence that could result in an injury and comp claim the next time.

 

Fact is, most (probably all) workplace accidents have multiple causes. Even the seemingly simple-to-explain incident likely has several underlying factors going on. By getting to the real root of the problem you can avoid potentially costly and preventable claims.

 

Root Cause Analysis

 

Delving into the true causes of workplace injuries requires a team effort, though it doesn’t need to be all that complicated. There are a variety of frameworks for ‘root cause analyses.’  There are templates to make it easier to organize the information. Some organizations use a fishbone diagram to group causes into major categories to identify variation sources. Whatever system is used, there are several keys to successful root cause analysis.

 

  1. Do NOT assign blame! This is the most important aspect in getting to the real root of a problem. It’s tempting to blame someone, punish him, and move on, but that doesn’t fix the underlying problems. Root cause analysis must be done without any finger pointing. Remember, most workplace accidents are the result of a confluence of contributing factors. The job of RCA is to identify and correct them.

 

  1. Ask questions. Then ask more. And a few more after that. The main questions to ask: WHY? You may feel like a 2-year-old asking ‘why, why, why’ – but this is key to getting to the crux of the analysis. As an example, let’s say “Fred” fell off a ladder and, luckily, was not seriously injured. It might be easy to say, ‘well, Fred was being careless, he was in too much of a hurry, so it’s his fault.’ But asking ‘why’ will uncover important details that would prevent future such incidents. The answer to the first ‘why’ could be that one of the rungs on the ladder broke. ‘Why,’ you ask again, and find out it could not hold Fred’s weight. If the rungs were designed to hold 350 lbs. and Fred weighs only 170, what was the extra weight? You discover Fred was carrying materials up the ladder and the combined weight exceeded 350 lbs. But the company has a hoist truck for such jobs, so why was Fred not using it instead of carrying the materials himself? Turns out the hoist truck was being used elsewhere. So why didn’t Fred wait until the hoist truck was available? Because he was under the gun to get the job finished on time and would have missed the deadline otherwise.

 

From the example, several problems come to light. There were not enough hoist trucks available, the ladder’s weight restrictions were ignored, and the deadline did not allow for the job to be done properly. Those are only some of the issues. With continued delving, there would likely be additional factors that contributed to the accident.

 

  1. Get all relevant information — and then some. In addition to the obvious details such as interviews with witnesses, examining any video footage of the incident, and speaking with the injured — or nearly injured — worker, other considerations include:

 

  • The environment. Was the ladder properly placed on the floor? Was there anything surrounding it that might have contributed?
  • Training and skill level. Did Fred have training on using the ladder? Did he understand the weight limit? Had he ever used the ladder before? Was he instructed to avoid carrying materials up the ladder (which, aside from the weight limit, could have caused him to fall)?
  • Was there a specific procedure in place for using ladders? If so, was that procedure communicated to Fred and other employees? Was the procedure ever updated, and the updates communicated? Were workers known to circumvent the procedures?
  • Was it properly maintained? Was there enough available? Had any relevant equipment been updated as needed?
  • Human behavior. We found out Fred was in a rush due to deadline pressure. But why — what were the consequences of not meeting the deadline? Were there too few employees working on the particular job?

 

The Fix

Once you’ve ascertained all the causes (and potential causes) of the incident, it’s time to figure out corrective action. All the ‘why’ questions should end with something that indicates what and how something should be changed.

 

In our Fred scenario, several things could be changed to make the organization run more efficiently and with less chance for an injury. Training would be one area, for example. Fred clearly did not understand (or did not care) that carrying materials on the ladder could exceed the weight limit of the rungs. Procedures may need to be reviewed and changed to prevent people from carrying heavy or awkward items while climbing a ladder.

 

Equipment might need to be upgraded, perhaps with an investment in an additional hoist truck would be warranted. Communication might need to be ramped up to ensure that, while meeting a deadline is important, attention to safety is more important.

 

Conclusion

Workplace accidents, unfortunately, happen and may result in injuries and workers’ comp claims. However, the same incident should never be repeated within an organization.

 

By digging deep you can identify a variety of factors that could lead to an injury. Taking corrective action will help ensure workers stay safe, the job gets done, and you’re not wasting money on preventable problems.

 

For additional information on workers’ compensation cost containment best practices, register as a guest for our next live stream training.

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices.

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

Live Stream WC Training: http://workerscompclub.com/livestreamtraining

 

©2017 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

Leverage 2 Super Bowl Tactics To Drive Your Work Comp Comeback

Hello. Michael Stack here with Amaxx. So yesterday was Superbowl 51. If you missed the game or you went to bed early, kind of like my wife did, you missed the most exciting and improbable comeback in Superbowl history by one of the greatest teams and greatest quarterbacks in history as well. Of course the New England Patriots were down 28 points to 3 late in the third quarter, a 25 point deficit, but Tom Brady was able to rally the team together. Tied up in regulation, and then of course they went on to win in overtime.

 

 

2 Tactics Patriots Levered to Win Super Bowl

 

What are those things? What are those tactics? What are those characteristics that the Patriots were able to tap into that led to that extraordinary comeback? It’s going to be talking about in today’s video and how you can use those same tactics to have extraordinary success in your Worker’s Comp Management Program.

 

Let’s talk about what these things are. The two elements that they leveraged were momentum and expectation. Momentum and expectation. Momentum and expectation. Now, love the Patriots or hate them, they have an expectation to win. Tom Brady has an expectation to win. When their team was down late in the third quarter and they scored that first touchdown to make it 28 to 9, they started to capture some of that momentum. When Tom Brady in the huddle said, “We’re going to win this game,” the expectation was that I believe you. You don’t have to convince me, because that expectation has been ingrained in their heads for years and years as part of the Patriots culture. They captured that momentum and they continued to ride that through the end of the game. You knew when it went to overtime, it was almost guaranteed that the Patriots were going to win that game, because they had captured such strong momentum.

 

 

How Timely Are You Making Safety Repairs?

 

Let’s talk about your Workers Comp Management Program and how this looks and how this can be applied. I have a question for you. I want you to answer this question honestly for yourself. If you asked your workforce on a scale of one to ten how timely are system safety repairs and changes being made, that’s your expectation. Let me ask that one more time. If you were to ask your workforce on a scale of one to ten how timely are system safety repairs and changes being made. This is an an example of, say the guard needs to be replaced, say there’s water that’s spilled on the floor, say your workforce makes other safety recommendations for changes. How timely are you actually physically making those repairs? You’re setting your employees’ expectation for how much you care about them.

 

If they don’t see you making the changes, if you haven’t replaced the guard in six months, if there’s water spilled on the floor and no one addresses it or no one puts up the signs, that’s the expectation for care. When that individual gets injured, they think well these guys could give a _____ about me because they never fix the guard. You’re telling them about your return to work program and how much you care about them and how you’re going to work together to get them back to work, and they say, “Yeah, right. You couldn’t even fix the guard in the first place.” They’re carrying that momentum with them into the injury.

 

 

Create A Winning Culture of CARE At Your Organization

 
Can you imagine, then, if Tom Brady didn’t have this winning culture, this winning history, that winning expectation and he’s in the huddle, and he tells his guys, “We’re going to win this game.” They’re going to say, “Yeah, right. We’re down 25 points. It’s the end of the third quarter. There’s no way that’s going to happen.” That’s the expectation. They had that carried into and they were able to win that game.

 

Let’s talk about that addressing those points, addressing those safety points, keeping that, building that positive momentum, so that you care about them. You’ve made all the safety changes. You’re on top of it. Then their expectation is that you’re going to care about them and you’re going to work together for much more successful Workers Compensation Injury Management Program.

 

Again, I’m Michael Stack with Amaxx, and if you’re watching this video somewhere other than http://reduceyourworkerscomp.com go ahead and go to that website. Sign up for our newsletter for a lot more free information and tips on how to control your workers comp costs. Let’s take it one step further. You can go to http://workerscompclub.com/livestreamtraining and sign up for my next live stream training.

 

Again, I’m Michael Stack. Remember, your success in Workers Compensation is defined by your integrity. So be great!

 

 

For additional information on workers’ compensation cost containment best practices, register as a guest for our next live stream training.

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices.

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

Live Stream WC Training: http://workerscompclub.com/livestreamtraining.com

 

©2017 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

2 Must Have Concepts For Your Injury Response Message

High quality, and simple. High quality, and simple. High quality, and simple. Those two concepts are the cornerstones of the clothing brand Patagonia’s business philosophy.

 

 

High Quality & Simple

 

 

I’m Michael Stack with Amaxx, and I was recently up in Freeport, Maine with my wife celebrating our eighth year anniversary on a little getaway. Now, she needed a raincoat so we spent some time in the Patagonia outlet, and I picked up the book written by their founder Yvon Chouinard. As I was reading it that day and later following to finish it, these two concepts resonated throughout the 258-page book for their business success and the foundation of that company.

 

 

Employee’s Bombarded With Information

 

It got me really thinking as I was reading this book, is how these two concepts can really be applied to Workers’ Compensation, particularly in the communication and the messaging to our employees. Because the reality is that employees today are just bombarded with information on a day-to-day basis of things that they need to understand, and a lot of times need to put into action. The other reality is that Workers’ Compensation for employees that are not injured, it’s just not that high of a priority. When they become injured it does become a high priority, and then that information that you are giving them needs to be extraordinarily high quality and extraordinarily simple. My recommendation is to have you take a look at your messaging of what you want your employees to do at the time of injury, whether you’re giving them a wallet card, you have posters on the walls at your organization in the shop, or maybe it’s even signs within your trucks. How simple is that information? What information can be taken away to improve the quality of that messaging?

 

 

Injury Triage

 

My recommendation here is to work with an injury triage provider, that you can get an 800 number to call that they can talk to a medical professional 24 hours a day. Then the only message that they really need to remember in the midst of all this overwhelm of information is that any time you have an injury, no matter how minor, just go ahead and call that number and we’ll take care of you from there.

 

Again, I’m Michael Stack with Amaxx. If you’re watching this video somewhere other than reduceyourworkerscomp.com, go ahead and go to that website and sign up to receive a lot more free information about how to control your Workers’ Comp costs. To take it one step further, I’d love for you to join me on my next live stream training. Go ahead and go to workerscompclub.com/livestreamtraining. Remember, your success in Workers’ Compensation is defined by your integrity. This’ll be great.

 

 

For additional information on workers’ compensation cost containment best practices, register as a guest for our next live stream training.

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices. Through these platforms he is in the trenches on a working together with clients to implement and define best practices, which allows him to continuously be at the forefront of innovation and thought leadership in workers’ compensation cost containment.

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

 

 

©2016 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

Don’t Be Afraid To Start Workers Comp Program Reform

Hello, Michael Stack here with Amaxx. Later today, millions of children are going to hit the streets of America, dressed in costumes, and filling their bags with way too much candy. Halloween has become a very fun and family-centric activity. My wife and I have Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz, we’ve got a Cowboy, we’ve got a Chef, and we’ve got a Ballerina that we’ll be enjoying trick or treating with later today. It wasn’t always such a fun holiday. Over 2,000 years ago, it was a Celtic tradition called Samhain. According to Folklorist, John Santino, there was a belief that it was on this day that the spirits of the dead transferred to the other world. They would have big bonfires and they would dress in these costumes. They would leave food and wine out on their doorsteps in order to ward off these roaming spirits. Something of a very fearful time for that belief.

 

 

Suggesting Any Organizational Change Creates Fear

 

Now, while Halloween isn’t so fearful, certainly, as that belief was back in that time, there are things in our adult life today that do strike that same level of fear. Take, for example, suggesting an improvement in a process or system at your organization, and if it doesn’t go well, it’s your neck on the line. Now my company has been around for over twenty-five years, and we’ve worked with hundreds of organizations to improve their work comp costs. The system of how to control workers’ comp costs is not a mystery, but getting it off the ground is often the most difficult part.

 

 

Start Small For Work Comp Program Reform

 

I want to give you some tips for getting started. The first one is to start small. You are rarely going to get buy-in from your entire organization to do a complete overhaul of your work comp program, but what you can often get buy-in for is a pilot. Start in a small division, implement these systems and processes improvements, create better outcomes for the injured workers, and reduce the workers’ compensation costs significantly for that division. Then roll it out to the rest of your organization. If that’s too big of a bite to start off, try it out with, start even smaller. Start with one employee, get him back to work just one day sooner. Small steps in a series of small steps can lead to significant change. In the case of Halloween, what started as a somewhat interesting Celtic tradition, has now turned into a $6 billion industry, spent on costumes and candy.

 

 

Connect With Like Minded Professionals

 

My second tip for you now is to connect and learn from others who have come before you. If you’re watching this video, somewhere other than http://reduceyourworkerscomp.com, go ahead and go to that website, and sign-up for a lot more free information on how to control your workers’ compensation costs. If you want to take it a step further and really connect, and learn more in depth into these concepts, go ahead and go to http://workerscompclub.com/livestreamtraining, and join me as a guest on my next Live Streaming Workers’ Comp Training. Remember, your success in workers’ compensation is defined by your integrity. Happy Halloween. Be great.

 

For additional information on workers’ compensation cost containment best practices, register as a guest for our next live stream training.

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices. Through these platforms he is in the trenches on a working together with clients to implement and define best practices, which allows him to continuously be at the forefront of innovation and thought leadership in workers’ compensation cost containment. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

 

©2016 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

 

 

Chicago Cubs, Steve Bartman, and Workers Comp Expectations

 

If you’re a Chicago Cubs baseball fan, to say that this past weekend, when the Cubs clinched the National League Championship Series to advance to their first World Series was a moment you’ve been waiting for a long time, would be a bit of an understatement, but what does Chicago Cubs baseball have to do with your Workers’ Compensation program? I’m Michael Stack, with Amaxx, and today I’m going to be telling you a personal Chicago Cubs baseball story, and I think you’ll be a bit surprised about how the lesson can apply to your Workers’ Compensation program.

 

 

Steve Bartman Game – October 14, 2003

 

Lets’ go all the way back thirteen years ago, October 14, 2003. I was single at the time, and living on the North Side of Chicago within walking distance to Wrigley Field. It was an exciting year. The Cubs were doing well, they made it to the playoffs, they won the divisional series, and they were up three games to two in the National League Championship Series. Some friends and I decided to get tickets to that game six, which is the infamous Steve Bartman game. Our seats were in the upper deck of left field. Basically directly behind Steve Bartman, and he was sitting right along the field’s edge. We had a great vantage point to see the entire stadium as well as outside the stadium, both Waveland and Sheffield.

 

Mark Pryor was on the mound and it was an extraordinarily exciting game. The second inning. We’re winning. Third inning, we’re winning. Fourth inning, we’re still winning. The excitement is building. The excitement is building, you could see on the streets behind the stadium, Waveland and Sheffield, more people start building, more people start coming. More and more people start coming. It’s the beginning of the fifth inning, the sixth inning, the seventh inning. The excitement is building, the energy is palpable in the stadium because the feeling is we’re going to finally do it today.

 

Of course we know what happened next. The foul ball was hit into Steve Bartman’s seat. He interfered with the ball, Moises Alou goes crazy, and the interesting part, and here’s the lesson, is the expectation changed in that instant. The energy in the entire stadium which was so high, immediately left the stadium. The fans felt it, and the players felt it. The very next play, was a routine ground ball, should have been a double play ball, we were still winning three runs to one at that point, and could have gotten us out of the inning to go on to win the game, but of course, Alex Gonzalez made the error, the Marlins scored eight runs that inning, we lost game six and we lost game seven. it wasn’t until thirteen years later that the Cubs finally clinched that National League Pennant.

 

 

Never Underestimate the Power of Expectations

 

Here’s the lesson. Never underestimate the power of expectations. When your employee gets injured, what is their expectation for what’s going to happen at your company. I want to give you some how to’s here. When you’re at the hire, when you talk to them about your program, you need to give them an employee brochure. This is at the hire as well as at time of injury. You talk to them about this is how you do it at your organization. You do steps one, two , three, four and five. You give them that employee brochure, you drive them to medical treatment, to the doctor’s office, or to the hospital.

 

The supervisor drives them, and while you’re driving them, you are talking to them about what’s going to happen. You give them the employee brochure, this is the expectation of what’s going to happen. Day after, you give them a phone call. How are things going, assess their attitude, get some valuable claims management information and then you do weekly meetings with them doing the same thing. Assessing their attitude, answering questions, getting valuable claims management information and demonstrating care.

 

 

Set & Meet Expectations

 

Setting the expectation and then meeting the expectation. Do not underestimate, as in the case with the Chicago Cubs, the power of expectation. If you’re watching this video somewhere other than http://reduceyourworkerscomp.com, go ahead and go to that website, sign up to receive a lot more free information of how to reduce your Workers’ Compensation costs. Again, I’m Michael Stack with Amaxx. Remember your success in Workers’ Compensation is defined by your integrity. Be great!

 

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices. Through these platforms he is in the trenches on a working together with clients to implement and define best practices, which allows him to continuously be at the forefront of innovation and thought leadership in workers’ compensation cost containment. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

 

©2016 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

 

Negotiate Right to Choose Workers Comp Legal Counsel & Investigation

In general, the more risk a company has retained, the more control the insurer will relinquish. In a high deductible program (e.g. $500,000) most companies can negotiate for a high level of control comparable to if they were self-insured. Two account instructions to negotiate that are important to the defense of your claims are the right to choose legal counsel and select investigators.

 

The company needs to negotiate for the right to select legal counsel in any case where the exposure is within the company’s retention level.

 

Often, in-house counsel wishes to use lawyers previously used by the company on similar claims, but cannot do so unless such independent, outside lawyer is on the carrier’s “approved” list.

 

 

Right to “Select” vs. Right To “Suggest” Legal Council

 

The right to “select” counsel is different from the right to “suggest” or to “be consulted on” the selection of counsel because it allows the company to use an attorney of its choice. Although carriers have strict criteria for attorneys on the “authorized approved list of attorneys,” the insured may have business reasons, other than purely objective criteria, for desiring to use an attorney not on the list.

 

Bear in mind, sometimes the local attorneys who defend the insured are employed by “captive” law firms on the insurer’s payroll who will defend only the very narrow “insured” issue. For example, a company may desire a broader defense for a workers’ compensation claim wherein the defense attorney considers employment, labor and injury management issues rather than just the narrow issue of whether the injury was work- related.

 

 

Retain Right To Request And Select Investigators

 

The insured should retain the right to request and select investigators and have the right to specify the type of investigation needed. There is a significant difference between an “activities check” and a “sub-rosa investigation.” An activities check is limited to making inquiries and usually does not include in-depth, undercover, video surveillance of the claimant’s abilities.

 

The company aggressively controlling workers’ compensation claims may want to right to select the investigator of its choice because it had previous success with a local investigator or a certain firm it uses nationwide. Your account service instructions should specify  copies of all investigative reports be forwarded to the insured.

 

Most insurance companies are prepared to accommodate these requests in a high risk retention policy, but many employers simply do not know what to request or how to convey expectations.   An important element of employer’s taking control of workers compensation costs is taking control of their account service instructions.

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices. Through these platforms he is in the trenches on a working together with clients to implement and define best practices, which allows him to continuously be at the forefront of innovation and thought leadership in workers’ compensation cost containment. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

 

©2016 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

 

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