The Job Search Challenge
Employers are often faced with the challenge of not being able to bring all injured employees back to work in their workforce. Many employers just do not have appropriate light duty positions for their injured workers. The challenge is, then, locating suitable positions for these permanent partial disability (PPD) cases. A permanent partial disability case is one where the injured worker has permanent restrictions. I’ve found employers are not aware of the firms specializing in finding REAL open positions for their injured workers. This is not an easy task in this economy; cases can remain open if there are no suitable positions available, regardless of the cause. A diligent job search firm is different than home-based employment or charitable work.
Simply put, a job search firm finds open positions for injured employees. Job finding or job search locates positions for permanent partial disability (PPD) case files.
It allows you, the employer, to quickly and efficiently reduce your overall workers’ comp costs by reducing indemnity (lost wage) expenses. Job finding is not necessarily appropriate for all workers’ comp PPD cases. It is appropriate when the case has challenges such as geographical location, physical limitations or financial restrictions.
What Claims Qualify for Job Search?
Adjusters are generally working on a caseload of 100-150 files at any time. When time is precious, it is natural for adjusters to devote their time to files where they can make some headway. The claims a job finding company takes are those many adjusters are unable to make significant progress on, such as carpal tunnel, lower back soft tissue damage, or rotator cuff injuries.
A job search service is often used to find appropriate positions for construction, transportation, shipping and other physical, relatively high-paying positions in states having wage loss exposure after a case reaches Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) and the employee still has work restrictions.
Why Turn Claims Over to Job Search?
Going back to the case load of your average case manager, if an adjuster has 100-150 active files, 30% of cases may be difficult to advance to the next level. For this reason, these files can go on much longer than necessary.
It takes 20+ hours per successfully scheduled interview and an average of 4.5 interviews per case to successfully close a case. It would be impossible for an adjuster to include this in their daily or weekly routine. And, spending all their time on 30% of the most challenging claims would not be an effective use of an adjuster’s time.
A firm whose business is to locate jobs for employers has an established network of contacts and employers. They also cold-call employers in appropriate geographical and industry niches until they find an unlisted, hidden position suitable for each worker. This type of firm keeps extensive notes and maintains a record of everything from the initial pre-interview session with HR personnel, to the interview results and follow-up.
Job finding is appropriate for about 30% of cases and works best in any state where the insurer has wage loss exposure after the employee has fully recovered and reached MMI.
In other words, it is most appropriate for PPD cases. Certainly, it is better to put your PPD cases into the hands of a job hunt service as soon as possible after MMI is established. The sooner the better because every day you wait to find suitable employment opportunities, the more indemnity payments will be lost. ï¿½
Success Story and Savings Potential
A PPD case in Michigan costs an average of $72,000.00 PER CASE between months 13-36. These are cases that have ALREADY been active for 12 months. If case managers waited 12 months before sending a case to a Job Finder they would still save an average of $65,000.00 per case. (workersxzcompxzkit)
One job finding company is: http://www.nationaljobfinders.com/. They can be reached at 207-583-6464. Call to discuss whether this strategy would work for some of your “old-dog” claims.
Author: Rebecca Shafer, J.D. coaches and trains mid-market and national accounts to do assessments, data review, benchmarking, and development of Workers’ Compensation Programs. Projects center on development of training and education programs, document design, evaluation and integration of insurance claims administration and TPA services. Contact her are: RShaferB@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com
WC Calculator: www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/calculator.php
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workmanâ€™s comp issues.
©2009 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.