As a business owner, there are times when there is nothing you could have done to prevent an employee injury.
According to OSHA information:
- Every day, more than 12 workers die on the job – over 4,500 a year;
- Every year, more than 4.1 million workers suffer a serious job-related injury or illness.
Running a business takes much time and effort, but one area of focus that can oftentimes be overlooked is the follow-up time needed to make sure injured workers are recovering properly. If they are not, it ends up costing your business more money.
One way to make sure your injured employees are receiving the best care possible is to stay in regular communication with your employee and stay on top of their recovery efforts.
Develop a Relationship With Medical Professionals
It is common that many business owners fail to visit the medical professionals to which they refer injured workers. In dropping the ball on this important task, they miss out on the chance to integrate medical services into their workers compensation cost containment program.
So, why do many employers fail in this arena?
In a number of cases, they are at a loss as to what to search for and they do not know what questions to ask. They can also be under the assumption that the claims administrator has put the relationship in place so a personal one-on-one visit is not needed, or they simply do not understand this is an important best practice.
It is best to come up with and adhere to guidelines to meet with your medical providers, including personal visits.
Relationships are Important
The reasoning behind such visits is to formulate a relationship with the doctors who are responsible for treating your injured employees.
Face it; the medical personnel must know you are a caring business owner and are as concerned about the health of the employee as the doctor is and that you are a partner in the worker’s rehabilitation.
A face-to-face meeting is crucial to establish rapport and to demonstrate you are open to be held accountable for your employee’s recovery. You are holding them accountable, so you must also be accountable so the relationship is viewed as a partnership.
With the meeting in place, you should be able to confirm that the medical facility chosen for treatment is a high quality to provide a range of treatments. If not, your post-injury response should incorporate methods to access off-site treatments when required.
Hours of operation are important too. Check to confirm that they are they open the hours your employees are likely to be injured.
Invite Medical Provider To Your Facility
Medical provider visits give you a chance to offer your contact information, go over in detail what your business does, demonstrate what forms of transitional duty are available and seek the medication restrictions on the first visit with the employee.
Fees are not as important as the other criteria, as paying a little more for better results is fine.
Lastly, the medical providers should be welcomed to your facility to view what you do, meet with your staff and see potential transitional duty assignments.
Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact:RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Principal, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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