In the 2009 RIMS Benchmark Survey, more than 60% of companies were found to need moderate to significant improvement in workers’ compensation cost-containment strategies.
The same study showed 30% to 40% of most companies’ risk-management dollars are spent on workers’ compensation.
Employers think they need to wait for the claims administrator to tell them what to do next.
- Stop waiting — ask questions, get in the game.
- The claims adjuster can only do so much.
- Claims adjusters need and want your participation.
There are a million combinations of changes an organization can make to reduce WC costs. For now, let’s focus on items applying universally to most organizations.
Just because you have a top-notch third-party administrator and broker handling workers’ comp does not mean you should sit back and wait.
One of the first things to do is sit down with your TPA to have a discussion about some of your larger lost-time claims. He or she will have a list of a ton of little things your company could do as the employer to help the injured employee help you!
These costs are controllable and not just by your TPA. The employer has a significant role to play — “Take Control.”
Some ideas for being a proactive employer are:
- Send injured the employee to the doctor with Work Ability Form (WAF) in hand.
- Develop a transitional duty job bank — focusing on ABILITY as much as on DISability — and list 10 TD jobs in the job bank (as a start.)
- Make these available to the adjusters. Note in the account instructions that TD is available.
- Incorporate a “return-to-work theme” into call scripts.
By sending the WAF with the injured employee to the doctor on the first visit, the doctor keeps this person fresh in her mind when filling out a form. You don’t wait days for the doctor to receive the form and several more days for her to re-open the forgotten file and offer general suggestions.
Instead of generic restrictions like “Can’t lift more than 20 lbs,” you get specifics geared toward the type of work your employee does – because the worker is right there when the doctor is filling out the form. (workersxzcompxzkit) and find out what the employee CAN do as well as what they can’t do.
If just one employee during one year has a WC claim grow from $10,000 to $20,000, your company has wasted $10,000 or, if you have a 10% profit margin, and you let one WC claim grow by $10,000, you need to find an extra $100,000 in sales to recover the cost.
Author Rebecca Shafer, J.D. Consultant, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers’ Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, manufacturing, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He can be contacted at: RShafer@ ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
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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.
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