Vocational Rehabilitation Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant Misconduct

vocational rehabVocational rehabilitation and working with a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultation (QRC) can reduce workers’ compensation costs and get an injured employee back to work in a timely manner.  Problems can arise when the QRC starts acting like an advocate for the injured employee.  Members of the claim management team and other interested stakeholders need to be on the look-out for QRCs gone wild – and ensure they are working for the rehabilitation plan, and not the employee.

 

 

What are QRCs?

 

QRCs are trained vocational rehabilitation consultants than assist employees in post-injury return-to-work and medical management activities.  Requirements for QRC registration are typically governed by administrative rules established by an industrial commission.  They are appointed following a work injury where the employee’s injury is severe enough to require extended time off work.  They should have a solid medical background, and understanding of the labor market and empowering employees to return to suitable gainful employment.

 

 

Acting in the Best Interests of the Rehabilitation Plan

 

QRCs will meet with an injured employee at appointed times set forth in statute or rule and determine the vocational goals.  This includes an assessment of various factors, which can include:

 

  • The nature and extent of the employee’s injury;

 

  • Restrictions and other limitations placed on the employee post-injury;

 

 

  • Ability of the date of injury employer in returning the employee to work, including in a light-duty capacity.

 

QRCs are required to be neutral parties and not an advocate for the employee.  The best interests of all parties need to be carefully balanced and taken into consideration.

 

 

Qualified Rehab Consultant Misconduct

 

QRC misconduct is defined by statute or rule in each jurisdiction.  There are general principles that govern the conduct of a QRC.  Proactive members of the claim management team need to be on the look-out for these factors and take appropriate action against a QRC that steps outside their role.

 

  • Failure to perform rehabilitation services with reasonable skill because of negligence, habits, or other cause. This can include a number of different factors and behaviors.  It can be something as basic as missing meetings or appointments, and consistently not returning telephone calls in a timely manner.  It can also include failing to properly supervise QRC interns and support staff;

 

  • Engaging in conduct that is likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public;

 

  • Fraudulent billing practices, or failing to properly bill for vocational rehabilitation services; and

 

  • Engaging in adversarial communication or activity. This can include behaviors such as offering opinions on the facts of the case, litigation strategy, requesting information not related to the rehabilitation plan, failing to report all relevant information, and not complying with authorized requests for information.

 

QRCs need to take their responsibilities seriously.  Let the attorneys advocate for their client(s).

 

 

Removing a QRC From the Rehabilitation Plan

 

Each jurisdiction has the mechanisms and standards for removing a QRC from the rehabilitation plan and installing a difference vocational assistant.  Most states look at the “best interests of the parties” when making such changes.  Factors for consideration include the following:

 

  • Loss of trust of the QRC. Claim handlers making this argument should provide concrete evidence on how the QRC has “picked sides” in a dispute – become an advocate for the inquired employee;

 

  • Duplicative time and costs that may be incurred as the result of the removal/change in QRC. This is an argument that can be made when the claim management team opposes the change in QRC;

 

  • Reputation and years of experience and complexity of assignments by the individual; and

 

  • Geographic location of the QRC. In some instances, one QRC may be better than another if the employee relocates.

 

 

Conclusions

 

QRCs play an essential role in vocational rehabilitation and getting an injured employee back to work.  Claim handlers need to be diligent in making sure the QRC is doing their job and being an advocate for the rehabilitation plan, and not a party.  Failure to do so will result in an employee being off work for a longer time, and more money spent on vocational rehabilitation costs.

 

 

 

Michael Stack - AmaxxAuthor Michael Stack, CEO Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers’ compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their workers’ comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is a 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 .

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

 

©2019 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.

Closing Down Vocational Rehabilitation Workers’ Comp Cases

vocational rehabVocational rehabilitation is an essential workers’ compensation benefit for employees suffering from the effects of a work injury.  It not only helps the employee understand their medical care and treatment, but provides them with assistance in getting back to work.  This reduces the money spent on a workers’ compensation claim and improves program efficiency.  Members of the claim management team need to examine their files to ensure this benefit is being provided in a responsible manner.  When there is no longer a benefit to the employee, steps must be taken to discontinue services.

 

 

When is Vocational Rehabilitation Appropriate?

 

Vocational rehabilitation services are provided to employees who are qualified under a workers’ compensation law.  This is a benefit that did not come into acceptance in most jurisdictions until the 1970s.  It is generally not available to an employee unless they have been off work for an extended period of time.

 

In order to qualify, a consultation is usually performed by a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (QRC), and a recommendation is made regarding the employee’s status.  Factors generally considered include:

 

  • Whether the employee is permanently precluded or is likely to be permanently precluded from engaging in their usual and customary occupation or from engaging in their pre-injury job;

 

  • Whether the employee is reasonably expected to return to suitable gainful employment with the date of injury employer; and

 

  • Whether the employee can reasonably be expected to return to suitable gainful employment through vocational rehabilitation services by taking into consideration the treating physician’s opinion regarding the employee’s ability to work.

 

 

Vocational Rehabilitation is Being Provided – Now What?

 

During vocational rehabilitation, the QRC will issue regular progress reports.  It is essential that the claim handler monitors vocational rehabilitation once it has been approved.  These reports outline the services being provided and the progress the employee is making in recovering from the work injury.  Important issues to consider when reviewing periodic reports are as follows:

 

  • New or continuing physical limitation that significantly interferes with the completion of the rehabilitation plan;

 

  • Whether the employee is participating fully with the plan; and

 

  • Whether the goals of the plan should change, or be modified.

 

Steps should be taken to termination vocational rehabilitation services if it appears the employee will not benefit from ongoing assistance from the QRC.

 

 

Do Not Pass Go: Shutting Down Vocational Rehabilitation Services

 

Each jurisdiction has the prescribed method one must follow in order to terminate the rehabilitation plan, and discontinue ongoing services from the QRC.  While the process may differ, there are general requirements that are considered when putting an end to vocational rehabilitation serves.

 

  • A new or ongoing physical disability that significantly interferes with the completion of the rehabilitation plan. This is sometimes the case when the employee has a significant setback in their medical care or new injury or disability that is not related to their work injury;

 

  • The employee is not cooperating with the vocational rehabilitation being provided by the employee. Common examples include missing medical and physical therapy appointments, or failing to keep in contact with the employer and/or QRC; and

 

  • The employee is not participating effectively in the implementation of the rehabilitation plan.

 

The focus of the arguments made to terminate ongoing vocational rehabilitation services is whether the employee would benefit from additional vocational rehabilitation assistance.  The party seeking to cease these services has the ultimate burden of proof.  Grounds for stopping these services that are absolute usually include:

 

  • An employee who has returned to work with a negligible wage loss, or without a wage loss. Expectations of near-term future earnings can also be taken into consideration;

 

 

  • The employee is no longer making themselves available for services;

 

  • Death of the employee.

 

The closure of a rehabilitation plan generally requires a form to be filed with the industrial commission.

 

 

Conclusions

 

Members of the claim management team must closely monitor every workers’ compensation benefit being received by an employee.  This includes keeping abreast of the employee’s status and cooperation with vocational rehabilitation benefits.  While this is a useful benefit, steps should be taken to terminate it if evidence supports the conclusion the employee would not likely benefits from ongoing vocational rehabilitation services.

 

 

 

Michael Stack - AmaxxAuthor Michael Stack, CEO Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers’ compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their workers’ comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is a 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 .

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

 

©2019 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maximize ROI of Workers’ Comp Management Improvements with the Right Insurance Structure

 

TO LEARN MORE ON THIS SUBJECT:

 

Register for the full on-demand course:

 

  • HOW TO DETERMINE WHICH WORKERS’ COMP INSURANCE STRUCTURE IS RIGHT FOR YOU

Registration – How to Decide Which Insurance Structure is Right For You

 

 

How does a company maximize the return on investment of implementing work comp management best practices?

 

Hello, my name is Michael stack and I’m the CEO of AMAX and the short answer to that question of ‘how does this company maximize their ROI’ is to start with the right insurance structure, whether that be guaranteed cost, or a retro or a captive, high deductible program or self-insurance policy. But the question is how does a company then determine what is the right insurance structure for them? So often I see this done in the marketplace so incorrectly and only a small percentage of the time is this actually done right. Most of the time it’s just sort of done Willy Nilly and you’re just guessing or the insurance broker says, Hey, I’ve got this really awesome retro policy with this XYZ carrier and I think you’re perfect for that.

 

 

The Right Insurance Structure for the Right Employer

 

Or, Hey, I’ve got this really awesome captive because I know captives really well and I specialize in captives and I think everyone should be in a captive and you should be going to captive to. In short, what often happens is that if an insurance broker is a hammer, everyone looks like a nail and if that hammer is a captive program or if that hammer is a high deductible program or if that hammer is a retro program or even if the hammer is a guaranteed cost program, where all you know is guaranteed costs, every single company you look at looks like they should fit into that program, which is not the right way to do it at all. You need to raise yourself up and have a higher level of professionalism in the marketplace to analyze an employer’s needs or if you’re an employer yourself to analyze your own needs and be able to ask the right questions to your insurance broker and risk advisor team.

 

So I want to talk about today is these four cornerstones of risk financing, what they look like and how you start to go about making this decision because when we’re talking about maximizing the return on investment, why are we implementing from a senior management standpoint, why are we doing all this work with return to work? Why are we working and our injury response systems? Why are we working on building out our medical networks and building this adjuster team and building out this partnership with all our whole risk financing, our risk management team? Why are we doing all that stuff? Of course, it’s to impact those injured workers, but particularly from a senior manager standpoint, it’s all about that bottom line and that’s what’s going to fuel, if you hit that bottom line right, then you’ll really be able to fuel that injured worker being able to really take care of them as well.

 

 

4 Cornerstones of Risk Financing

 

Let’s talk about these four cornerstones and what they are, and again, this is how you’re going to go about really starting to make an analyze this decision. I’m going to write these out here first.

 

These four cornerstones are:

 

  • Risk tolerance
  • WC Management Best
  • Predictability of your risk
  • Financial Impact

 

So these are the four cornerstones and I’m just going to run through these again very quickly cause this is all about changing the mindset and if you can get out of this video to change your mindset of how you examine this from being a specialist in retro programs where everyone looks like they fit into a retro program, to now being a professional in the marketplace to now determine via these four cornerstones and asking these questions and having this perspective and how you look at this to change up that, how that looks like for you.

 

 

Determining Risk Tolerance

 

Okay, so risk tolerance, how comfortable is an organization with this variability of risk? Are they really risk-averse and they want to be very conservative, they want to be very predictable. We’re going to write a guarantee cost check and we’re going to know that in our budget and that’s going to be solid and we can predict that out and we’re in great shape or can they handle a little bit more variability as far as what’s going to happen with their losses? That’s sort of question number one. What helps you then be more comfortable taking on more risk is these two things right here. These two things are going to help you be more comfortable in taking on more risk. One is if you know, whoops, I wrote best twice there. If you know you’re doing really well in your return to work program, you know you’re doing really well in your injury prevention program, you’ve really cranked that up, you’ve dialed everybody in, you’ve gone through the supervisor training, your supervisors know how to respond to injuries appropriately.

 

You’ve built out your claims handling team with your adjusters and you’re just cooking with gas. You can take on a lot more risk because you know you that you’ve reduced it on your own side. Same thing with this predictability of risk number. This is a big, big factor in this decision-making process. If you’ve ever going retro or high deductible or kept over self-insured, you start to look at this law of large numbers to say, well, how likely are we to now incur these losses? How likely based on actuarial data, big numbers based on this predictability of losses, how comfortable are we in this section? You’re going to get some help. You’re going to get some help from an actuary most likely to help you have this predictability of risk and the more comfortably without that, the more risk you can take on. So big two pieces here.

And then, of course, the financial impact is understanding that financial impact, both tax implications from your different structures and then that risk-reward feature as well as the more risk that you take on. Obviously, the more reward and organization it’s going to take.

 

 

Change Perspective of Risk Financing Decision Making

 

This is a very complex topic as you start to unfold it. And as you start to dig deeper into this. But again, the point of this video today is to change your perspective on how you look at this, to raise up your level of professionalism. To say that this decision is it about the market. This decision is about what’s best for the client, and if you are the client, if you are the employer client to now have these four things, your risk tolerance, how well you’re doing it, management of work comp, the predictability of risks, and then the financial impact on your organization.

 

Those are the four cornerstones of now you how you start to go about making this right decision to maximize that return on investment and get, my name is Michael stack and the CEO of AMAXX, and remember your work today in workers’ compensation can have a dramatic impact, as we’ve talked about here on your company’s bottom line, but it will have a dramatic impact on someone’s life. So be great.

 

 

 

Michael Stack - AmaxxAuthor Michael Stack, CEO Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers’ compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their workers’ comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is a 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 .

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

 

©2019 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.

 

How to Control the 5 Variables that Impact MSA Amounts and Approvals

How to Control the 5 Variables that Impact MSA Amounts and ApprovalsWhen is the right time to get a Medicare Set-Aside? What medical information is needed? And what can you do to expedite the CMS approval process?

 

These questions plague any organization trying to settle workers’ compensation claims with injured workers who are or soon will be eligible for Medicare. But understanding when, how and why MSAs are most appropriate allows payers to work proactively with an MSA vendor to reach settlements that are in the best interests of all parties involved.

 

Anne Alabach, the Workers’ Compensation Department Manager of CPC Logistics, joins Daniel Anders, Chief Compliance Officer at Tower MSA Partners to discuss Achieving Great Outcomes with Your MSA Vendor during the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo next month at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.

 

The session will focus on the key indicators to determine success or need for improvement, ways to leverage partner relationships to drive down unneeded MSA costs, and variables that can significantly affect the amounts of MSAs as well as approval times from the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS).

 

 

Prime Variables

 

There are a variety of factors that go into developing an MSA. There is not necessarily a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ amount. What’s important is that the injured worker has enough money to pay for his injury-related medical expenses throughout his life, and the payer is not incurring irrelevant and/or unnecessary costs.

 

In addition to meeting the threshold for needing an MSA, injured workers should be at maximum medical improvement before one is even considered. An employee who’s about to undergo surgery or a change in medications is not at the point where an MSA should be developed.

 

Instead, it is most appropriate when the worker’s condition has stabilized.

 

The variables that should be considered to achieve the most suitable MSA include:

 

  1. Time
  2. Documentation
  3. Legal
  4. Medical
  5. CMS MSA Review

 

 

Timing of the MSA

 

Time is of the essence — unless it’s not the right time for an MSA. As described above, prior to MMI is the wrong time to establish an MSA. Changes in treatment or services will undoubtedly mean new medications or procedures will be needed, at least in the short term. The MSA should, instead, be developed when there is a reasonably strong chance the person’s medical requirements won’t vary much going forward. CMS’ MSA review program is actually designed for the injured worker who is already at MMI.

 

However, MMI does not necessarily indicate all medications and other medical needs are appropriate; far from it. For example, medical records for the injured worker may include a medication that was prescribed just one time, months or years ago. It is not uncommon to see medications included in the MSA that the injured worker doesn’t even remember taking.

 

Uncovering those types of issues is invaluable in reducing unnecessary costs from the MSA. Talking with the MSA vendor about the injured worker’s current situation may reveal clinical interventions that place the case in a more favorable position.

 

Also, there may be case-specific recommendations based on jurisdictional issues and opportunities that would change the MSA amount. Working with a qualified MSA vendor can lead to major changes in MSA costs.

 

 

The Right Documents

 

Workers’ compensation stakeholders are often frustrated by delays in the CMS approval process. While some of the blame may fall on the agency, it is often the result of insufficient or inconsistent information provided. “An MSA is only as good as the information it is based upon,” according to Anders. Failing to give accurate and complete information may result in letters from CMS and errors in the MSA amount.

 

“Put yourself in CMS’ shoes,” Anders advised. That means to obtain and provide recent treatment records, or an explanation as to why those documents do not exist. Also, contradictory recommendations need to be corrected. The MSA vendor can ensure the right documentation is provided and is properly filled out.

 

 

Legal & Medical Issues

 

There may be legal justification to exclude or limit medical care in the MSA. Working closely with the MSA vendor can identify those issues.

 

Physician peer review, clinical oversight, and physician follow-up are the types of interventions that are critical in creating MSAs. Every aspect of the injured worker’s future medical needs must be explored, by obtaining and analyzing his past medical care. Inappropriate care that may be huge cost drivers should be singled out and eliminated where possible, while still ensuring the injured worker’s care is optimized.

 

Date of injury, accepted and denied dates of injury and body parts, compensable injuries, & diagnosis codes are just a few of the many things that must be considered.

 

 

CMS Review

 

Gaining CMS approval for the MSA, while not required by law, is often a best practice. The outcomes of these reviews are largely predictable — once the process is well understood.

 

Correctly following the guidelines in the CMS WCMSA Reference Guide, using the correct pricing in fee schedules and recognizing statutory limitations are a few of the factors that can lead to CMS approval.

 

Certain metrics identified in the MSA preparation and submission process can allow reverse engineering to correctly allocate the MSA and identify obstacles to settlement. An experienced MSA vendor can help pinpoint and analyze metrics to get CMS approval as quickly as possible.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Creating an MSA can be tedious, painstaking work, especially for those whose jobs are not solely focused on them. Those MSAs that gain quicker approval from CMS and are properly funded are developed by payers working in conjunction with MSA vendor partners who have the skills to carefully look at a myriad of factors that impact the injured worker and his medical needs.

 

 

 

Michael Stack - AmaxxAuthor Michael Stack, CEO Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers’ compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their workers’ comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is a 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 the founder & lead trainer of Amaxx Workers’ Comp Training Center.

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

 

©2019 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.

Ergonomic Self-Assessments Reduce Injuries Among Office Workers

Ergonomic Self-Assessments Keeping workers comfortable can reduce costs for employers/payers. The more a worker experiences discomfort, the more likely she is to develop musculoskeletal pain and injuries.

 

Low back pain, one of the most common reasons for lost workdays, may be due to an improperly adjusted workstation. Improper chair heights, constantly reaching for the mouse, and holding a phone handset between the head and shoulder takes a toll on the body after long periods of time.

 

Making a few simple adjustments can have a tremendous impact on improving employees’ health and wellbeing and reducing workplace injuries. But many employers and even the workers themselves don’t realize the long-term effects of improper workstation ergonomics. However, easy-to-use tools are available that can have a significant positive impact.

 

 

Common Ergonomic Problems

 

Sitting in the same position for long periods of time, especially with awkward postures of the head, neck, and upper limb can cause pain and injury. One study showed that workers often use poor positioning that can lead to discomfort and musculoskeletal disorders. For example,

 

  • Armrests were used improperly or not at all. Instead, many workers rested their arms on the desk, which can lead to elevation of the shoulders and increased tensions in the neck, shoulders, and trapezius muscles. They also sit forward in their chairs, instead of getting lumbar support, which can cause pain, especially if workers are in this position for more than four hours at a time.

 

  • Monitors are often placed too low, forcing a flexion of the cervical spine.

 

  • A mouse that is not aligned with the shoulder, as is often the case, forces the shoulder in abduction, which has been associated with musculoskeletal symptoms of the neck and upper limbs. Long use of the mouse can cause musculoskeletal disorders in the neck and wrist.

 

  • Workers who use desktop phones typically did not have headsets available, forcing them to hold the phone between their heads and shoulders, causing strain on the spine and shoulder. Workers who text may develop hand and wrist discomfort if the forearm is not properly supported.

 

 

Self-Assessment Ergonomic Fix

 

Office workstations come in a variety of styles and typically allow for multiple adjustments. Proper ergonomics ensure the worker is comfortable and not putting himself at risk of pain or injury.

 

One tool increasingly being used allows the worker to see how well he is or is not ensconced in his workstation; in terms of his posture, the height of the equipment, the reachability and other factors.

 

Called Rapid Office Strain Assessment (ROSA), provided by MyAbilities, it enables the worker to conduct a reliable self-assessment and provides self-guided training to make sustainable office ergonomics changes, based on the latest in ergonomics research.

 

ROSA consists of a video and diagram-based checklist that can quickly quantify the exposure of workers to risk factors in office workplaces, and provide users with immediate risk levels and intervention strategies. Each ‘page’ of the checklist corresponds to a particular risk factor. The worker clicks on the most appropriate box for each. Based on the responses, a score is calculated that identifies whether the worker is at high or low risk for injury.

 

  1. Chair.
    • The ideal is such that the worker’s knees are at 90° and reach the floor. The worker checks the most appropriate box, such as:
      • Knees at 90°
      • Chair too low — knee angle < 90°
      • Chair too high — knee angle > 90°
      • Chair too high — feet don’t touch the ground
    • Insufficient space under the desk for worker to cross his legs
    • Chair height is not adjustable
    • There should be 2-3” (one fist) between the edge of the chair and the knee. The boxes question if the seat pan is too short, too long, or not adjustable.
    • The elbows should be at 90°, and the shoulders relaxed. The boxes question the armrests’ height, width apart, and adjustability.
    • There should be adequate lumbar support so the recline is between 95 – 110 degrees. Questions in the boxes pertaining to the angle of the backrest, and whether there is adequate – or any – lumbar support.

 

  1. Monitor
    • The monitor should be positioned so the top is slightly below eye level, and the head is in a neutral position. Questions related to the height level as well as glare and the presence or lack of documents holders.

 

  1. Mouse
    • The mouse should be in line with the shoulder, and the wrist kept straight. The assessment questions whether the mouse is positioned too far away from the body, the pinch grip, and whether it is located on the same or a different surface from the keyboard.

 

  1. Keyboard
    • The wrists should be straight while typing. The questions pertain to the height and positioning of the keyboard.

 

  1. Phone
    • This should be accommodated via a headset or held in one hand. Questions ask about hands-free options and how far away it is located.

 

A score for each element is tabulated depending on the worker’s answers, and a final, overall score calculated. On the scoring of 1-10, anything over a 5 is considered a high-risk factor for MSDs and suggested for tweaking.

 

The final report includes assessments and recommendations for adjustments to reduce the risk. These reports, and the recommendations contained within them, have proven to reduce discomfort in office workers. All of this is possible without the use of new office equipment – just adjusting the existing furniture.

 

 

Conclusion

 

ROSA is one of the simpler and less expensive tools to enhance ergonomic appropriateness for office workers. One of its advantages is that the worker himself can experience how a simple adjustment increases his comfort, thus increasing the likelihood he will adhere to the change.

 

 

 

Michael Stack - AmaxxAuthor Michael Stack, CEO Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers’ compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their workers’ comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is a 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 .

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

 

©2019 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.

Dispute Questionable Workers Comp Claims

Dispute Questionable Workers Comp ClaimsNotwithstanding conventional wisdom, 80-90% of all workers’ compensation claims are initially accepted.  While claims can be later denied, questions arise as to how to properly dispute a claim.  It is important for members of the claim management team to take several factors into consideration and avoid making costly mistakes.

 

 

  1. All questionable claims need to be reported to a claim handler so a proper investigation can occur

 

Employers are on the front line of the claims process and generally report workers’ compensation claims to their insurance carriers, or third-party administrators.  They know more about the matter and anyone else and can assist the claim handler in obtaining medical records and starting a proper investigation.

 

Members of the claim management team need to be responsive to the concerns of an employer and flag it for special consideration.  Issues to consider include making a timely determination as to compensability, and direction of inquiry.  Leakage occurs when this does not take place.

 

Steps to consider include taking an employee statement, obtaining medical records, prior medical records, and background checks.  Taking these steps ensures the claim handler completes the investigation and makes the correct decision in good faith.

 

 

  1. Retroactive denials of primary liability and other considerations

 

Retroactive denials of primary liability can be troublesome.  Take for example the admitted low back injury.  During the course of investigation, medical records indicate the employee told a doctor they hurt their back over the weekend doing yard work.  The claim handler has no way of knowing how bad this injury was based on the timing.

 

Using nurse triage can reduce the likelihood of this type of claim because the employees speak to a nurse immediately at the time of injury, so there is less room to change a story.

 

 

  1. Dealing with injuries that are not proportionate to the work injury

 

Members of the claim management team should always review medical records and determinate the mechanism of injury. If an injured employee claims a lumbar strain while lifting a 20-pound tote, and the doctor finds objective evidence on exam of severe, and disabling back pain, then something is not right.  The lifting of 20 pounds should not have such excessive force that it will herniate multiple lumbar discs.   The claim handler should set an IME, and let that IME physician comment on the severity of the symptoms in relation to the stated work injury.

 

A proactive claim handler should also be on the look-out for false positives.  It is likely an average aged individual has degenerative changes in discs without experience symptoms.  IN some instances, these changes are not necessarily related to a work injury or activity.

 

 

  1. Dealing with the “illegitimate” claim

 

Members of the claim management team should have an ethical obligation to investigate all claims – even if there is clear evidence from the onset it is not legitimate.  In the same manner, employers are required to report all injury claims to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier no matter the circumstances.  The claim handler has training and certification, and they are qualified to deny a claim that is alleged to be work-related.

 

Some jurisdictions can carry heavy penalties for failure to report a work injury to the insurance carrier.  The employer pays a premium to the insurance carrier to protect the insured.   The employer should gather all the pertinent details, and report the claim promptly.  Indicate on the First Report of Injury that the claim is questionable, and then go from there. Follow up with the adjuster, and chances are it will be denied as you suspected.

 

 

Conclusions

 

There are several ways to dispute a questionable claim. But the most important thing to do, as an employer, is to gather all the information you can on the claim, then report it promptly to your carrier and follow it up with a phone call to the adjuster. The more you work together with your Carrier, the better the chance that questionable claims will be denied and not paid.

 

Michael Stack - AmaxxAuthor Michael Stack, CEO Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers’ compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their workers’ comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is a 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 .

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

 

©2019 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.

Ensuring TPA Quality Control of Adjusters

Ensuring Quality Control Quality control does not just apply to files; it can also apply to the personnel handling files. When you make that choice for an insurance carrier or third-party administrator (TPA), you want to be confident the claim handlers and other members of the team working your claims are qualified.  During the selection process, there are items interested stakeholders should consider before finalizing a decision.  This includes a review of screening tactics an insurance carrier or TPA uses when building their claim teams.

 

 

Multi-level Screening and Training Requirements

 

Most insurance carriers/TPAs prefer to hire entry-level candidates with little to no experience. This happens because HR departments look for new candidates to enter their company.  While it is generally a requirement a claim handler has a college degree, important considerations should include:

 

  • Requiring a candidate to have a degree in an area that applies to insurance. Examples of this include economics, accounting, finance, human resources, and criminal justice.

 

  • Training for new members of a claim management team is essential. The best insurance carriers/TPAs provide career path training so trainees know what they must do to move to the next level. Training can also include training that is onsite so they will know and understand the company culture.

 

  • Forms of advanced training are key to a claim handlers’ success. Proactive stakeholders should require new claim handlers to take steps to receive their AIC (Associate in Claims) designation from the AICPCU (The Institutes).  Other training should include annual compliance training, which includes insurance fraud awareness training.

 

 

Other Quality Control Requirements

 

Interested stakeholders need to go beyond the basics when hiring members for a claim management team.  To ensure the best people are selected, other criteria need to be taken into consideration.  Items to consider may include:

 

  • Reviewing a candidate’s credit history;

 

  • Criminal background check; and

 

  • Be verified to be considered a “fiduciary agent” since they will be making payments for your carrier/TPA on behalf of another party.

 

State and federal laws may apply to this process.

 

 

Commitment to Continuing Education Required

 

All members of a claim management team are required by state law to complete continuing education in some form.  Once hired, a claim handler will be sent to an extensive claims school, or formal training program – normally these are in-house training facilities.  They will learn the skills from veterans of the insurance industry.  They will handle fake claims to go through the motions

 

What happens after this initial training is key.  A claim handler is required to obtain a certain amount of extra training and education every year. This is obtained by attending legal/medical seminars, taking online courses, or obtaining an insurance designation.

 

The management of individual claim handlers is also essential to the success of a workers’ compensation program.  Unless it is a minor claim or a “report-only” claim with no medical treatment, the claim manager will review the file at or around the two-week mark. This will ensure contacts have been made, and a medical diagnosis obtained.  Additional status reporting will also take place at various points in the future:

 

  • 60-Day Status Report: This is the first formal report on a claim. It summarizes the contacts made, the medical records obtained, and provide an outlook on the claim. It also will address the reserve amounts.

 

  • 120-150 Day Status Report: This report will assign the current and future exposure on the claim. By 150 days, it will be clear if this will be a long-term large exposure claim. By this time, an injured worker may have had surgery, or has surgery pending. The injured employee may also be released from medical care and the file will be set to close.

 

 

 

Conclusions

 

Insurance carriers or TPAs have several tools they use to maintain that the work product they put out is of top-notch quality, no matter what the exposure.  There are many items to consider when selecting a team to handle workers’ compensation claims.  Making the right selection includes examining who will be working a claim, and what that company does to prepare their team.  The more you know, and the more involved you can be, the better outcome your claims will have.

 

 

 

Michael Stack - AmaxxAuthor Michael Stack, CEO Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers’ compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their workers’ comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is a 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 .

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

 

©2019 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.

Stop Making Excuses – Focus on Return to Work

return to workThe claim handler’s main role is to get an injured employee back to work.  The timeline on how this can happen depends on a multitude of factors, including the severity of injury, age of the patient, prior injuries to the same area, the diagnosis, and their occupation.  Employers and other interested stakeholders are sometimes afraid of returning an injured employee into their workplace.  This drives workers’ compensation costs and increases workplace anxiety among other employees.  Now is the time to focus on return-to-work efforts to reduce the cost of workers’ compensation, and increase morale.

 

 

It All Starts with the Employer

 

Employers need to take responsibility for return-to-work and make it a central part of their workers’ compensation program.  This is because the employer controls a lot of the future for the injured worker.  It is time for employers to stop making common excuses and get their injured workforce back into the work environment – even within their own organization.

 

 

Make Light Duty Work Available

 

This is always the easiest excuse to make.  Countless studies have shown that injured employees are willing to work and would prefer it to staying at home, watching TV, and doing other stereotypical things that come to mind when someone is off work.  The short-term impact is that individual lose confidence and self-worth, and becomes deconditioned.  Proactive employers can be creative when it comes to light-duty work.  This can include creating a job, which can include maintenance projects or other activities that advance the interests of the employer and keep the individual engaged.

 

 

Do Not Fear Work-Related Aggravations

 

Employers are often afraid of offering light-duty work to an injured employee given the possibility of an aggravation of the underlying work injury.  The argument is, “I am afraid my injured employee will aggravate the injury when returning to work.”  This is a valid concern.  However, these same aggravations could also occur when the employee is convulsing at home. Yes, the risk is there, but not if you as the employer plan accordingly, and be smart about putting the worker back on light duty.

 

 

Do Not Fear A New Work Injury

 

“What if the employee slips or falls?”  This is another common concern of employers.  Again, injuries can happen anywhere.  It all comes down to common sense.  Have the employee do something safe.  The point is not to have them riding the edge of risk every day until full duty resumes.

 

 

Don’t Be Afraid the Injured Employee Will Hurt Someone Else

 

President Franklin Roosevelt once proclaimed, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”  The modern workplace is filled with risk.  However, using common sense when it comes to post-injury employment pays dividends.  Return-to-work minimizes the exposure of wage loss being paid on a claim and also reduces medical care and treatment an injured employee may receive.

 

 

Injured Employees Are Productive

 

The productivity of an injured employee is subject to many urban myths and legends.  If the employee has a hand injury, it does not make sense to have them packing boxes, taping them, and carrying them out to the loading dock.  Everyone can be productive if the circumstances are favorable to their strong points.  Be creative!

 

 

No Job Description – No Problem

 

No job description provides an easy out for a claim handler not to seek return-to-work.  On the other hand, it is an opportunity for an employer to review all the positions in the company, and create them before injuries occur.  It all comes down to the employer’s commitment to saving money.

 

 

Don’t Ignore the Value Add

 

Employers generally have the option of paying an injured employee their full wage for doing something other than their pre-injury position.  While the employer does not receive the “full value” of the employee’s work, they do receive the benefit of lower workers’ compensation costs.

 

 

Conclusions

 

There are many excuses when it comes to returning an injured employee to work.  At the end of the day, it is your job as the employer to set the tone for being proactive.  Team up with your HR department and make those job descriptions.  Be creative about light-duty work and what a person can do.  It is still better than letting the injured worker control the claim since the only job would be to check the mail for a compensation check.

 

 

 

Michael Stack - AmaxxAuthor Michael Stack, CEO Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers’ compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their workers’ comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is a 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 .

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

 

©2019 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.

Reduce Workplace Risk With a Solid Plan of Attack

workers comp plan of attackA lot of employers strive to maintain a safer, more productive workplace for their employees. Every business would love to reduce costs and increase profit margins.  The cost of claims can account for a big chunk of money losses, especially for the self-insured or self-administered employer.

 

So how do you get started? Where do you start, or better yet when do you start? The answer is RIGHT NOW, and here is how:

 

Step 1: Know Where Your Risk Lies

 

This process starts with a simple observation of your workplace.  Keep the following factors in mind:

 

  • Go through department statistics and see how they compare to each other regarding losses. Perhaps 75% of your injuries occur in the shipping department. Go down there and talk with the supervisor. Find out what the issues are and why they think injuries are happening. Then work together to solve the problem.

 

  • Examine your loss run. Talk to your workers’ compensation insurance carrier and see if they notice any trends. Which people are getting injured? Maybe newer hires account for a lot of injuries.  This may show that a focus needs to be directed toward training and safety.

 

  • Look at your business. What do you do?  What are the risks involved?  Identify issues. Work on ways you can reduce your injuries or occurrences from happening in the first place.

 

Step 2: Develop a Plan of Attack

 

Once you have identified a few areas where you could improve on reducing injuries, it is time to solve the problem.  What do you do to fix it?  Planning is important, but the most important thing is to start, even if that is with small steps.  The answer lies in the resources you have all around you:

 

  • Talk to your carrier. Chances are the carrier has loss prevention specialists ready to help you work with what needs to be fixed. Ergonomic professionals can be brought in to address workstations and to suggest solutions to reduce exposure.

 

 

  • Utilize legal counsel by having them come in to explain the risks and costs associated with potentially serious injuries, automotive accidents, or failure to drug test your employees. Any or all of these will help you reach your goal of reducing risk exposure.

 

Step 3: Implement Your Solution

 

Get rid of old equipment and bring in new equipment with better safety features.  Newer equipment costs less to maintain and repair and is quicker to operate. Most modern machines use less energy too.  Install padding on the floor for workers to stand on at their workstations.  This reduces strain on feet and legs, and reduces body fatigue.  Whatever the fix might be, get it done. Out with the old — in with the new!

 

Step 4: Measure Your Success Statistics

 

Now it is time to measure your reductions. Take a two, four, or six-month period of time to quantify your results. Did you see a drop in claim activity?  Did claims increase, meaning your plan backfired?  Be patient.  Change is disruptive to employees. Give it time, and measure your numbers post-change against the ones you first noticed back when you were figuring out where your risk was coming from.

 

Step 5: Get Feedback From Employees

 

Taking time to speak with your employees increases morale and makes them feel involved in the process.  Ask them the following questions:

 

  • How do they feel it impacted their workday?

 

  • Were the changes helpful, or did they hurt production?

 

  • How do they feel at the end of the day?

 

  • Do they feel less sore, or are the new workstations worse than the old ones?

 

Ask as many questions as you can. This makes your staff feel that their input is important, and taken into account.  A supervisor once said, “It is hard to fully embrace change. To make things easier, you have to ‘lean’ into it a bit at a time until you have accepted the entire package of change.”

 

This is true on many levels. Even though it is hard work to find out what your risks are, discover how to attack them, implement changes, measure success, and get worker feedback, in the end, it will be worth it.  Lean into the task.  Do not try to tackle it all at once.  As I have always said, “Don’t eat an elephant in one bite.”

 

Conclusions

 

Change is sometimes a difficult thing.  However, proactive employers need to drive change to reduce workers’ compensation program costs.  It not only can reduce injuries and their severity but increase company morale and make a workplace more efficient.

 

 

 

Michael Stack - AmaxxAuthor Michael Stack, CEO Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers’ compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their workers’ comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is a 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 .

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

 

©2019 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.

Drive Buy-In With A Workers’ Comp Cost Allocation System

This is a 16 Minute preview of the complete course “How to Create and Implement a Workers’ Comp Cost Allocation System” Register for the complete on-demand course here: https://workerscomptraining.com/registration-cost-allocation/

 

Yeah. Hello everyone and welcome to workers’ comp mastery training. My name is Michael stack and I really couldn’t be happier than for you to be joining us for this training session today. What I think you’re going to find is you’re going to find some information and some contacts on a very important topic, which is how to motivate behavior, how to motivate behavior, which is the essence of what is the title of our training, which is how to create and implement a worker’s comp cost allocation system. Because if you think about it, it’s not a mystery of how to do it. It’s not a mystery of how to reduce workers’ compensation costs. We know what those fundamentals are. We know return to work. We know Andrew response, we know how to work with your adjusters. You can go to a bunch of our trainings to learn all those fundamentals in detail.

 

 

It’s Not A Question of HOW…It’s a Question of MOTIVATION

 

So it is not a question of how to do it. It’s been done successfully for years and decades by hundreds and thousands of companies. So then the question becomes if it’s not a question of how, how to add two plus two it’s a question of how to motivate engagement, how to get buy in from your senior managers, from your supervisors, from your employees and from your upper management at the organization. Because if you have that, if you have that vine, if you have that engagement then you will be successful period. If you have that buy in, if you have that engagement you will be successful period because we know how to do what the prep, the tactics are so well proven and documented for what [00:02:00] works. So we’re going to be talking about today is have you not get sort of caught up in sort of this minutia of the actual elements of cost allocation, which we will be talking about going over and examples we’re looking at numbers but going through all that in detail, what we’re gonna be talking about is the greater picture then of motivation.

 

So here’s what that looks like. Then as far as the three major points of how we’re going to kind of flow through today’s session. So the first major point is we’re going to be talking about these drivers of behavior. What are those drivers of behavior in sort of getting into that greater context as I was referencing of what actually motivates us to engage. Second piece then is these actual cost allocation systems. We’re going to go through the examples. We’re go through different methods. We’re going to be looking at numbers, what have you sort of going through how companies do this, how they set it up, actually, what does it look like from a setup and numbers standpoint and like I said, we were going through some examples of that and then the third piece then is then those steps to actually implement this cost allocation. What are those steps?

 

 

The Greater Picture of Motivation

 

Then once you know kind of these nuts and bolts, once you know the greater picture of motivation, how do you then implement this into your organization? A couple of quick administrative points before we get going. The outline for today’s session is in the GoTo webinar interface, so it’s a word document. You can download that, take some notes right along there. There’s also a lot of good examples in there, so if you’re not able to kind of follow along. If I write something on the board and I erase it and you meant to see it, that’s a great place to reference it. That’s the outline for this today’s session. That’s what I follow when we’re going through the session. It’s a great thing to reference. You can get it there. I know sometimes some people with firewalls and things have trouble downloading that. Another place to look at that is in the final email that I just sent you that said we are starting now.

 

There’s a link in there where you can download that as well. And then the other piece that I want to encourage you to do too is this is a live session. The greatest thing and one of the greatest things about this style is that we can work together. So I encourage your comments. I encourage your questions. I do have my big screen right behind the camera here, so when you type something in, I’ll be able to address that as best we can through the out today’s so get, let’s get right down then into this first major point, which I think is really the most interesting. You know it’s the most sort of theoretical, but it’s also the most interesting and also as we’re getting into this topic, the most important because if we look at it as I referenced earlier, we’re going to be talking about this in several different instances.

 

 

If You Are Only Looking At Numbers, You are Missing the Point

 

If you’re looking only at the numbers, then you’re missing the point of this entire training and you’re missing the effectiveness of what a cost allocation system can actually do. Okay, so I want to lay out the context of this sort of idea of motivating behavior. And I want to start with this research study that was done by MIT and what it was called. It was called large stakes and big mistakes. So large stakes and big mistakes was the name of the research study. And here’s what they did is they took a group of students and this study has been replicated many different times. They did in India, they did it at MIT, they did it out in California. They’ve done it many different times. So here’s what they did is they said, okay, we want you to do this set of tasks of what they were looking at and studying was this reward system.

 

So we always think, and sort of the typical thing that we always think because we think that results and rewards are perfectly correlated. So we always think if you give a bigger reward, then you can expect that to drive behavior. That should be a one to one symbiotic relationship. If we give you a bigger reward that’s going to drive your behavior, that should drive greater results. So that’s what they were testing. So they split the kids up into different groups and they asked them to do these tasks. So memorize digits, do word puzzles, shooting a ball through a hoop, very sort of rudimentary tasks, pounding in a nail, things like that. Things that don’t really require a huge amount of thought. It’s just kind of go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, pound as many nails in as you possibly can.

 

 

The Bigger the Reward, The Greater the Result?

 

And the more nails you pound it in, the bigger the results, the bigger the rewards. Fantastic. And as they look at those results that held true. So that was that sort of one-to-one relationship that we kind of expect and that sort of made sense, make bigger reward, bigger results, fantastic. Then they asked them to do a little bit more difficult, a little more tasks that required a little bit more cognitive skill. So a little bit more thinking involved in regards to these tasks. And here’s what they found is they found actually the exact opposite of what we would expect. So what they found was the bigger the reward, I’ll, maybe I’ll do this in blue so we can differentiate. What they found is the bigger the reward. Then I just grabbed my black, all right, here we go. Bigger. The reward actually the worse the results.

 

So the bigger the reward, the worse the results. And that finding was, as I already mentioned, anytime the skill that they were testing required even a little bit, even just a little bit of cognitive skill, more than just palmed in the hammer and pounding the nail pounded them in as many as you can. Anytime they required a little bit more thinking involved. The reward system that we expect was the exact opposite of what actually happened. So I want you to kind of think on that sort of conclusion for a second because if you can grasp that conclusion of why that’s the case, you can grasp this entire essence of what I talked about in that opening statement there of cost allocation and how to do it most effectively. I’m going to say that again, think about this result, this sort of opposite result of what we would expect.

 

 

The Goal is to Motivate Behavior

 

If you can grasp that concept of why that’s true, which we’re gonna talk about here in a second, you can grasp the entire effectiveness of everything involved in success in setting up a successful cost allocation system. Cause remember as we said, all we’re trying to do here is motivate behavior. We’re trying to have those results be better. And we’re looking at this reward system. This is all we’re doing in a cost allocation system really at its core. So if you have that in your mind, I want to talk about this sort of next sort of description of it or why that’s the case and the little bit more data [00:08:30] that was gathered and studies that I’ve done research that I’ve done that has been done to prove why that’s the case and that a study and that sort of context comes from the book called drive.

 

So it’s a book called drive written by the author Daniel pink. So if you’re interested in sort of this motivation and motivating behavior concept, great book, I highly recommend checking out a lot of really interesting information that he talks about in the, in that drive. Okay, next piece here, and I want to talk about sort of the, the why that’s the case. So why was that opposite results and rewards came out when it causes a little bit of cognitive skill. And if you think about worker’s compensation and work comp management, it requires a little bit of cognitive skill. There’s some complexity, certainly involved. There’s some human emotion involved, there’s a lot of stakeholders involved. So we’re definitely falling into that requires cognitive skill category. So want to bring your attention now here and what this is is this is something that we all probably learned.

 

 

Hierarchy of Motivation at Work

 

I don’t know if you’d go over this in grade school or high school, but this is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. And so on the bottom you have the physiological needs and then as you move up the pyramid here you’ve got security, you’ve got a belonging, love and belonging, you’ve got the next, you have self esteem, and then you have self actualization. And we’ve probably seen all this before. And then we can kind of understand this general concept of this is your, your basic needs, you need to get those squared away, food, water, shelter, et cetera. That’s at the bottom of that period pyramid. And as you move up this of what actually drives our motivation, what drives our behavior, what drives us as individuals to want to be better and want to do better and wants to pursue more. That’s as you move up this chain, there’s a great article written by Roosevelt moth Moss Kanter in the Harvard business review and here’s what Rosa Beth has to say about motivation and that reward results, rewards dichotomy that we were kind of just talking about.

 

Roosevelt says the key to motivation doesn’t depend on elaborate incentive schemes. What makes a good work environment is getting better at stuff or mastering a task. So the key to motivation doesn’t depend on elaborate incentive schemes. What makes a good work environment is getting better at stuff or mastering a task. As we now start to kind of internalize what that might mean in regards to this rewards and incentive schemes. I want to add one more layer to this to have you start to think about, so Roosevelt came up with what she calls the four M’s, so the four M’s and those four M’s are money. Next up then is membership. So money, membership mastering. And at the top there is meaning.

 

So her four M’s are money, membership, mastery and meaning. And if you lay these over Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you can see quite a connection in what’s actually driving our behavior. And what I want you to pull out of this is what I talked about in my opening statement, because if you’re missing this point, you’re missing the real value of what a cost allocation system can do for an organization. The point of what she’s talking about and, and, and that sort of root rewards results scheme is they use something very basic such as money. And if you see here, when we, what we all sort of think about  when we think about a rewards or a bonus system is we think we always go here. We always go to money and we stop there. We always go to money. And that’s where we stopped. And so if you look at this, as far as we all need money, everyone needs money.

 

 

Money Is Not the Best Motivator

 

Of course you got to pay the bills, you got to pay your mortgage, you gotta pay every whatever you gotta pay. You gotta pay for school, you got to do this and that. Everybody needs money. That’s at the bottom of this pyramid and everybody has food, shelter, clothing, all that stuff costs money. So you need money in order to do all that. But if you look at actually what is really driving our behaviors, what is really motivating us to pursue more, what it’s really mourning of us to be fully, fully engaged, which is what we’re trying to do here with this cost allocation system, is get people engaged in what the heck it is that we’re doing here and work on management. You got to think further up this chain and as Roosevelt said, it’s not about incentive schemes. What’s comes down here. It’s not about coming up with these elaborate schemes that people can make more money as long as they have enough to buy the stuff that they need.

 

They’re in pretty good shape and that’s only gonna get them so far. As you move up here, particularly as we’re talking about division leaders and we’re talking about these operations managers, you’re talking about a store, a location owner, or you’re talking about someone that’s in a bit of a higher position within an organization. When you’re talking about these cost allocation systems, that’s the level that we’re really talking about here. You’ve got our supervisor training when you’re talking about the supervisors and really getting them involved, and that’s a little bit of a different conversation when you’re talking about our metrics and you’re trying to get the senior managers involved, the upper management at the organization. That’s a little bit of a different conversation to get them fully engaged. When you’re talking about these division leaders, these operational leaders, as you’re thinking about this cost allocation system specifically, you need to start thinking about these higher levels of engagement.

 

These individuals are have some responsibility at the organization and they’re going to be more engaged. The more they can want to get better at it, the more meaning that they can put within the work that they’re doing. Then they’re going to be fully engaged. If you just talk about them, about money that might move the needle just a little bit. But if you want it to go off the charts, you need to start thinking about some of these other items as far as what actually drives behavior. So [00:15:00] if you think about that, results in rewards study from MIT of the large mistakes and big stakes and large mistakes. The reason that that was different is because the rewards and results was different because they were strictly focusing down here. And oftentimes those people that are fully engaged in what they are doing, and you would do it anyway.

 

 

You’re Doing It Because You Want to Get Better

 

You know, think about if you’ve ever picked up a guitar and you’re like, Hey, I just love playing guitar. And every night you’re practicing the songs and you’re singing, you’re having a great time, you’re never going to be on the stage with the rolling stones, but you just really enjoy it. You’re doing it because you want to get better at something or you’re doing it because you’re doing it with your kids and you find a great amount of meaning in that. That’s how you get fully engaged. And so when you think about sort of those levels of engagement, that’s when you can really start to cook with gas in regards to bringing in that element or bringing in some of that element to this cost allocation system that we’re going to be talking about. Getting into kind of some of the nuts and bolts of it.

 

 

 

Michael Stack - AmaxxAuthor Michael Stack, CEO Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers’ compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their workers’ comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is a 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 .

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

 

©2019 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.

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