With apologies to David Letterman, here are the top 10 easy ways to INCREASE your workers’ comp costs.
#10. Forget the Adjuster – You have reported the workers' compensation claim to the insurance company, or your in-house claims office, now forget about it. Don't bother to keep in touch with the adjuster. The adjuster really does not need to know the “injured” employee told a co-worker he got hurt at home, or the employee has a history of staying out of work for every little sniffle. Don't bother the adjuster with petty stuff like the claimant came back to work . . . the doctor will send the adjuster a report in a month or so advising the employee was released to return to work. The adjuster can stop indemnity payments when s/he gets the doctor's report.
#9. Forget the Employee – You reported the claim to the claims office, now it is the adjuster's problem. It's a hassle to call the employee to tell him which doctors are on the approved list (in those states where you can do so) and it is just a lot easier to be unconcerned about the employee. Plus, if you keep in touch with the employee, he may bother you with a request for light duty work and even tell you about his doctor's visits or his other (not work related) medical problems that are keeping him off work.
#8. Do Not Train the Staff – There is no need for the supervisors and managers to know about how to handle a work related injury, that's the job of the claims office. Training the supervisors and managers on how to respond timely to an employee's injury takes time away from their other duties. Plus then, if you train the staff on how to respond to an accident, you will also have to train them in what the post accident response procedure is. Besides, if the staff does not report the accident right away, you don't have to deal with it until later.
#7. Do Not Supervise Defense Counsel – So what if the employee got mad about you not reporting the claim right away resulting in his medical condition being worse than it could have been. No need for you to select defense counsel, the adjuster can get his attorney friend/golfing buddy to handle the hearing before the Industrial Commission or Work Comp Board. Besides, the longer the defense counsel lets the claim drag along, the longer it will be before you have to integrate the employee back into the work schedule.
#6. Forget Managed Care – Managed care can be a whole new set of responsibilities. If you have managed care, you have to tell the employee what doctor(s) he can go to for treatment. The employee has his family chiropractor that he has been seeing for years and managed care could interfere with that long-term relationship. Plus, with Managed Care, you have to have a medical provider network to deal with. Then there is the time spent talking to the Nurse Case Manager about the employee, and the expense of utilization review. It is just a lot easier to forget medical case management and let the chiropractor treat the employee until the employee wants to come back to work.
#5. Hire Obese People and Forget Having a Health & Wellness Program – So what if the Duke University Medical Center [www.dukehealth.org][www.dukehealth.org] analysis of work comp claims found that obese people (body mass index greater than 40) have twice the number of work comp claims as non-obese (body mass index of 18 to 25) people. The obese had 11.65 claims per 100 workers’ compared to 5.8 claims per 100 non-obese workers. So what if the obese workers averaged 183.63 lost workdays per 100 employees compared to 14.19 lost workdays per 100 employees for the non-obese workers. So what if the average medical claims cost per 100 employees was $51,019 for the obese workers, but only $7,503 for the non-obese workers. Besides, a Health and Wellness program would give the employees the idea that you care about them and their wellbeing.
#4. No Fraud Prevention – You don't believe the National Insurance Crime Bureau knows what it is talking about when it says up to 25% of work comp cases have some element of fraud. Your workers love your company and would never stay off work one minute beyond what is absolutely necessary. Your workers would never claim an injury that happened at home as work related to avoid paying their deductible on their group health insurance. You know all your workers are totally honest and fraud prevention is not necessary. Besides, who wants to take the time to train their supervisors and managers on recognizing the red flags of potential fraud.
#3. No Drug Testing Policy – You understand what people do at home on their own time is none of your business, even if impacts their work performance and job safety. You know that a drug testing policy will deter job applicants who use and abuse drugs. In fact, without a drug testing policy you will get even more job applicants as the real hardcore druggies know which companies drug test and avoid those companies.
#2. No Return to Work Policy – It is a lot of trouble to implement and manage an effective return-to-work policy. You have to plan for modified duty and have a transitional duty program that is available to all employees. Besides, you know your lower paid employees would never get comfortable living on that income tax free income. You also know for a fact that none of your employees realize that the longer they stay off work, the more likely she or he is to get a cash award/settlement. (workersxzcompxzkit)
#1. No Safety Program – Who wants to miss out on the slapstick fun of watching someone slip and fall? A little spilled oil on the floor provides a lot of entertainment value. Besides, if you have a safety program, you will have to have safety training, do job hazard analysis, complete work-site evaluations and inspections and even have a safety specialist and/or a safety committee. Plus, with a safety program, you will miss out on a lot of fun visits from OSHA.
Yes, 10 easy ways to INCREASE your work comp cost.
Author Rebecca Shafer, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers' Compensation costs, including airlines, health care, manufacturing, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. She can be contacted at: Becki@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
Podcast/Webcast: How To Prevent Fraudulent Workers' Compensation Claims Click Here http://www.workerscompkit.com/gallagher/podcast/
FREE WC IQ Test: http://www.workerscompkit.com/intro/
TD Calculator: www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php
WC Calculator: http://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 workers' comp issues.
©2009 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@WorkersCompKit.com