Language Translation is another expense often overlooked by claims adjusters and/or nurse case managers. Using the services of a translator can drastically improve the claim expense cost, especially on larger work comp claims. Employers do not save money by skimping on translators and here’s why.
- If your company has immigrant farm employees, New York City cab drivers or any other type of worker where English is not the worker’s native language, you can expect your claims adjuster to have a more difficult time handling the work comp claims.
- It is also difficult for medical providers to provide appropriate medical care if the employee is unable to communicate with the medical provider. If the employee has a relative proficient in English, the relative can act as in interpreter for the employee at the medical appointments.
- If the employee has no one to bring to the medical appointments, a professional interpreter is needed, one who can communicate across both language and cultural barriers. By providing the employee with clear and accurate directions from the medical provider, recovery time is minimized.
- A case can also be made for the employer to control the translating process to be sure information is given and received without a personal interpretation, as might be the case when using a friend or relative.
- An interpreter is needed for the adjuster to conduct a proper investigation of the work comp claim. The interpreter assists the adjuster with the initial interview of the employee, the translation for a recorded statement if needed, the on-going communications with the employee, and if the work comp claim becomes contested, the translation of the deposition.
Use a translator/interpreter in these circumstances:
- Translating medical reports for either the employee or the adjuster.
- Translating directions on prescriptions for the employee.
- Letters to or from the employee.
- Communication between the employer’s work comp claims coordinator and the employee.
- Arranging for return to work by the employee to either full duty or modified/light duty.
All employees are fearful about the future when they have a work comp claim. The work comp adjuster has a higher hurdle to overcome when unable to communicate with the employee. The use of a professional interpreter can keep the claim under control and the overall cost of the claim down.
Author Michael Stack, CEO 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 & lead trainer of Amaxx Workers’ Comp Training Center. .
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