Hello Michael Stack here with Amaxx, so we’re 11 days until Christmas in the final countdown stage here to make sure you got those final gifts wrapped got everything prepared for the big day. Of course we also know Santa’s up in North Pole and he’s double checking his list as well to see if your work comp program has been naughty or nice.
Reason #1 – “Hope” Medical Treatment
I want to talk about three ways that you would land on Santa’s work comp naught list. Here’s number one, and I call this “hope” medical treatment and if you have ever read any of the reports or you’ve talked with an injured worker that has been involved in what I like to call a work comp horror story. Something in that claim went wrong right in at beginning, where they weren’t able to get the medical treatment that they needed. And part of the reason for that for that is this “hope” medical treatment, where you hope that they get to the doctor, you hope that they see the right person, and you hope that they start that healing and recovery process.
Transport the Injured Worker to the Doctor
Here is one way to prevent that. You need to be transporting the injured worker to the doctor after the injury…you need to be transporting the injured worker to the doctor after the injury. To make sure that they get there, make sure that they are getting the treatment that they need to start the healing and recovery process. The second thing you are doing is you are staying with them, staying with them through the treatment. And then when the treatment is done you are taking them back to them company to get them back to work right away, or you’re taking them home if they can’t get back to work right away. And if you do take them home, you are going to talk to the spouse while you are there as well. Demonstrate that care, talk about what happened in the accident, and just demonstrate that you want to get them back to work right away, to have them continue to be productive for themselves, of course, for their family, and for your organization. So, that is number one.
Reason #2 – Zero Communication
Number two way to end up on Santa’s Work Comp Naughty List, is zero communication. Now let’s say, this scenario, I’ve been working for you for 15 years, I’ve developed some pretty good rapport, developed some pretty good relationships at the company. Now I get injured, and I don’t hear from anybody, it’s crickets. I felt like I was a part of an organization, a part of a community, I felt like I was a part of something, and now I feel like an outcast. Because I have never heard from anyone, or if I did hear from someone, it was someone in the corporate office, all the way on the other side of the country, that is a very cold communication.
First Day Phone Call / First Day Visit; Followed By Weekly Meetings
So, what you want to do is you want to do a first day phone call, or better yet, a first day visit, to the hospital. From someone that I had a relationship with, ideally my direct supervisor, or someone in the company that I know, that I felt like I was a part of that community. A first day phone call or a first day visit, and then you are going to follow that up with weekly meetings.
You are going to be bringing me into the company so that I, again, can see my friends, see my peers, feel like I’m connected, feel like I’m a part of your organization. You are talking about the transitional duty job that I’m on, you are talking about the medical treatment, and you are making sure that everything is progressing as it should.
Reason #3 – “My TPA Will Handle It”
And the final way to end up on Santa’s work comp naughty list, is the feeling that my “TPA Will Handle It”, the feeling that my “TPA Will Handle It”, so we see this so often, abdicating the responsibility of the management of work comp in an employer’s organization to the TPA, and blaming them for everything that is going wrong. And if you are not blaming the TPA, you are blaming the broker, or your blaming the vendors, or blaming the attorney, blaming everyone else, except for yourself.
Employer Has Most Responsibility To Control Work Comp Costs
And the reality is the employer has the most control, the most accountability, and the most responsibility for their work comp management program. All of the other parties play very significant roles, but they can’t really do their job effectively without the employer taking the reins and taking that reasonability and accountability. So, once an employer has that perspective, then they are in great shape to really work effectively with those service providers.
So, that is 3 ways to end up on Santa’s naughty list, and if you do end up on the naughty list, it’s not coal that he’s going to be delivering to you, it’s going to be significantly increased work comp costs, significantly increased work comp premiums, and significantly negative experiences for your injured workers at your organization, so hopefully you avoided those this year, or you can avoid them moving into 2016.
So, remember, your work comp success, your success in the work comp industry, is defined by your integrity. So be great, and Merry Christmas!
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.
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