Every workers’ compensation claims starts with an injured employee. Improving the process when it comes to the reporting of that injury can save claim management teams time and money. It can also buy good will from the people who deserve it most—the injured worker.
Barriers in the System
Countless studies demonstrate that injured workers believe the biggest barrier they face post-injury is a reporting system that is not responsive to their needs. This is due in part to state (and sometimes federal) regulations that require paper work be completed in a timely manner. In addition to being off work, injured workers get frustrated with time spent completing required forms.
Successful workers’ compensation programs are able to overcome these threshold barriers. Improving the way an injured employee communicates with their employer and claims management team can lead to decreased time away from work and lower medical costs associated with the injury.
Making Technology Work for Your Program
Simplifying the injury reporting process can allow an injured party to report easily their injury. Efforts to improve the process include the following:
- The use of telephonic reporting systems has proven the ease of reporting work injuries. In an age where a vast majority or workers have quick access to a telephone allows for injury reporting to be completed in a promote manner.
- Web-based technology. Access to the Internet is nearly universal in the United States. This allows injured employees to complete the required paper work in a prompt manner and ensures the accuracy of the reporting.
- App based technology. Innovative companies are taking the reporting of work injuries to the next level. The use of smartphone apps is allowing injured parties to complete documents immediately and can include photography to document the incident.
Synchronization Improves Claim Handling
Technology is also allowing claim management teams to provide a timely response to employees injured in the workplace. One example of this includes the concept of “synchronization.” This process recognizes the potential needs of an injured worker and allows the claim handler to customize a holistic approach to a claim and exceed the expectations of their client and claimant.
- Setting correct reserves. The use of this technology allows the claim management team to analyze data and better project expected costs of a claims.
- Issue identification. Using technology can allow team members to understand better the potential future needs of an injured worker. This goes beyond identifying medical needs, but can also be customized to allow the claim handler understand future vocational needs of the injured worker.
- Other intangibles. The reality of any work injury is the inconvenience any person feels when they are not able to go to a job they often enjoy. By making the process easier for injured workers, claim management teams can buy good will and demonstrate the compassion people need.
Claim management teams need to be forward thinking in their approach to improving the claim management process. This includes the use of technology to improve the process for the injured party. It allows the team to be more effective and bring dignity to the process.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2015 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.