Properly Designing and Implementing Transitional Duty Program Ensures Success

 

Big Mistake is Designing Program After Employee is Injured

 

The biggest mistake employers make with a transitional duty program is having a “sorta” light duty program.  The employer recognizes a transitional duty program is an important way to reduce workers’ compensation cost and realize the importance of providing modified duty/light duty work for an injured employee, but does nothing about it until an injury employee is placed on light-duty work restrictions by the medical provider.

 

For a transitional duty program to be effective, it needs to be properly established.  This does not mean identifying a light duty job for the employee once an employee has been injured.  It means having a written policy on light duty work that is known to everyone in the company.  When there is a written policy of providing transitional duty work, every employee will know that a light duty or modified duty job will be available and required of them, if they are ever injured on the job.  The supervisors and managers within the company should be educated on the details of the transitional duty program so they can properly explain it to any employee who is injured.

 

A transitional duty position should be designed for every current job within the company.  The transitional duty job does not have to be in the same department as the injured employee’s original job.  It can be anywhere in the company.  The placement of the employee in a transitional duty position outside of the employee’s regular department is beneficial to the employee by broadening the employee’s skill base and knowledge of the company.  Any training the employee needs to accomplish the transitional duty job should be provided during the first days on the temporary job assignment.

 

 

Transitional Program Should be Understood Throughout Company

 

All employees should understand that transitional duty jobs are temporary and are not a new permanent assignment for the employee.  If the transitional duty is going to last more than 30 days, the employee should be moved to a second transitional duty job that allows for increased physical assertion, but still within the work restrictions set by the medical provider.  The employee should be clearly told that as soon as the medical provider clears them to return to their regular duty job, they will be required to do so.

 

The business partners who are involved in the handling of the workers’ compensation claim need to understand that transitional duty is required of all injured employees who are able to work in some capacity. The nurse case manager and the designated adjuster or dedicated adjuster(s) assigned to your work comp claims should understand that your company will return all injured employees to work as soon as the medical provider states what work restrictions are necessary.

 

The medical provider, whether employer selected or employee selected, should be advised there is a transitional duty job available to the injured employee. The medical provider should be given both a copy of the physical requirements of the employee’s regular job and a copy of the physical requirements of the transitional duty job that will be available to the employee. If it is a non-emergency situation, the physical requirements or the regular job and of the transitional duty job should be given to the medical provider prior to the first medical visit.  When this is not possible due to the need for immediate medical care, the physical requirements of both the regular duty job and the transitional duty job should be provide to the medical provider prior to the employee’s second medical appointment.

 

The employer should never allow the transitional duty job to interfere with the employee’s medical appointments, physical therapy appointments or other medical treatment.  The supervisor in charge of the transitional duty job position should be provided the date of the next medical appointment immediately following the most recently completed medical appointment to minimize the interruption in productivity of the department where the injured employee is working.

 

 

Properly Designed & Implemented Program Ensures Success

 

The work comp coordinator within your company should coordinate the transitional duty position with the employee, with the supervisor of the transitional duty position and with the medical provider to be sure everyone is on board.  Any issue that arises with the employee working in the transitional duty position can be addressed timely by the work comp coordinator.  The work comp coordinator should also verify that the transitional duty job meets the work restrictions set by the medical provider.

 

The establishment and implementation of the transitional duty program before it is needed is the key to a successful program.  By designing your transitional duty program to accommodate the needs of the injured employees, you will ensure the success of your transitional duty program.

 

 

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, 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: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. 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 about workers comp issues.

Different Strategies for Return to Work

 

Most Employers Have Poor Advanced Planning for Injuries
 
There are several different strategies an employer can utilize to return injured employees to work as quickly as the employee is medically able to do so.  Unfortunately, many employers wait until they have an injured employee before they think about return to work methods that can be used.  The approach of ‘we will make the injured employee a receptionist and have him/her answer the phone’ does not provide the employer with much productivity from the injured employee. This approach also comes up short if the employer has two or more injured employees at the same time.
 
There is a better approach. We strongly recommend for the employer to prepare for future injuries by having a transitional duty return to work program in place before it is needed.  A transitional duty job program will significantly reduce the lost productivity caused by a workers’ compensation injury and will decrease the work claim cost, both indemnity and medical expense. 
 
 
Transitional Duty
 
The transitional duty program provides modified duty jobs to the injured employee, modified jobs the employee can perform while the employee recovers from his/her injury.  By anticipating the future need for a transitional duty program you can prepare for when an injury occurs.
 
An established transitional duty program will expedite the employee’s return to work, especially in situations where the employee does not want to return to work. The established transitional duty program can also serve as a counterbalance to when the employee has retained an attorney, and the attorney is trying to keep the employee off work in an effort to drive up the claim’s settlement value.
 
 
Create Bank of Transitional Duty Jobs
 
The first step is to create a job bank of modified duty / transitional duty jobs.  By studying your prior history of injury claims you can identify the type of injuries that occur most often and prepare transitional duty jobs for them.  For instance, the most common injury situation is the strain/sprain back claim. Often the medical provider will allow the employee to return to work as long as they do not lift over X pounds or bend or twist.  The employer can prepare for this situation by reviewing the different jobs where back injuries might occur and studying how each job can be modified to eliminate lifting/bending/twisting.
 
A second most common injury situation is a hand/arm/shoulder injury with the medical provider restricting the use of the body part.  The employer can again review their various jobs and analyze how each job might be performed using only one hand.
 
 
Create Wish List of Projects & Tasks
 
Another way to create or establish transitional duty jobs is to have your supervisors and department managers create their wish list of work, projects and tasks they would like to accomplish, but have not completed because of lack of personnel. The injured employee can often do tasks that need to be accomplished, but get delayed because no one is available to do them.
 
If your state allows you to select the medical provider for the injured employee, your chosen medical providers should be educated that you always have modified duty jobs available for the employee.  If the employee selects the medical provider, a telephone call to the medical provider’s office should be made to advise your company has transitional duty jobs available.  A list of potential jobs, with the general physical requirements of each job, should be faxed to the employee’s medical provider for the doctor’s review, prior to the employee’s appointment.  
 
 
Success Requires Management Participation
 
When the employee arrives on the first day of the modified duty job, the employee’s supervisor or manager should meet with the employee.  This gives the supervisor or manager the opportunity to explain how important the employee is to the company, to reassure the employee that their job is not in jeopardy, to explain carefully how the transitional duty job differs from the employee’s prior responsibilities and that the transitional duty job is within all work restrictions stated by the medical provider.
 
The details of the transitional duty job assigned to the injured employee should be conveyed to the workers’ compensation adjuster and to the nurse case manager assigned to the claim, if there is one.
 
If the injured employee’s regular job cannot be modified enough to comply with the work restrictions given by the medical provider, an option is to place the employee in a different job within their regular department, or to place them in a different job in another department.  By having previously created a job bank of modified duty jobs, the placement of the employee in a position within the employee’s medical restrictions is made much easier.
 
 
Return to Work Placement Companies Can Assist
 
Return to Work placement companies can often assist a small employer who is unable to modify the work performed to accommodate the injured employee.  Return to Work placement companies normally work with non-profits or charitable organizations to place the employee in a light duty job.  This keeps the employee active and reduces the physical deconditioning injured employees often incur.
 
Through this article we have discussed the return to work strategies and discussed different approaches to transitional duty jobs.  A slightly different perspective should be taken with the employees.  Instead of referring to your transitional duty return to work program, name your transitional duty program “the remain at work program”.  This removes the assumption that an injury claim can result in time off work and emphasizes the intent of allowing all injured employees to remain on the job.
 
By having a transitional duty program in place, all injured employees will know prior to an injury ever occurring that the employer expects them to return to work as soon as they are medically able to do so.  The employee will benefit by remaining active and achieving a higher level of income, and the employer benefits by reduced workers’ compensation claims cost and higher employee productivity.
 
 
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, Director of Operations, 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: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. 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 about workers comp issues.

How to Measure Your Return to Work Program Success

 

For every day an injured employee is out of work, the cost of the workers’ compensation claim increases. Therefore, it is of critical importance to actively manage your claims using techniques designed to return injured workers to active work status as quickly as medically possible. This is true whether they return to active or modified duty. At the same time, you must be able to track and know exactly how well the return to work process is proceeding.
 
Return to Work (RTW) Ratio

How do you calculate whether injured employees are returning to work within an appropriate time frame or if they are out on comp for weeks at a time? The Return to Work Ratio (RTW) measures the effectiveness of your transitional duty program. The ratio calculates how long it takes employees suffering a lost time injury to return to work in either a transitional duty assignment or full duty. The RTW Ratio calculates total lost days and total claims to show the percentage of employees that have returned to work within the first few days after the injury. The RTW Ratio helps you categorize lost work days to ensure that employees aren’t off work too long.
The RTW Ratio accurately assesses how well your company manages the return to work process. The RTW Ratio allows you to calculate lost days quickly and see at a glance how well you are doing. The graphic visualization is helpful and motivational. Add new injuries to constantly update the ratio calculation to see how well you meet the goal of having 95% of employees returning to work within the first four days after an injury. Then you can take appropriate action as needed to improve your company’s rate of returning workers. You should also tell your broker when your RTW Ratio improves, as insurance carriers will want to know that you have made operational changes that will result in reduced workers’ comp losses.
For more about bringing employees back to work sooner see: http://reduceyourworkerscomp.com//employees-back-to-work-sooner.php
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, Director of Operations, 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: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. 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 about workers comp issues.

6 Strategies To Ensure Your Employees Return to Work

 

The Link between Worker’s Comp and the ADA
 
In 2009, The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a record-setting consent decree settling a class action lawsuit against Sears, Roebuck and Co. under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for $6.2 million. The EEOC’s suit alleged that Sears maintained an inflexible workers’ compensation leave exhaustion policy and terminated employees instead of providing them with reasonable accommodations for their disabilities, in violation of the ADA. http://www.eeoc.gov/press/9-29-09.html.
This case highlights the importance of having a proactive return to work program that addresses the ADA accommodation requirements. When employees are injured on the job, employers must have a plan that addresses return to work options and ADA accommodations.
 
 
Return to Work Strategies
 
Normally, when employees are released to work following a worker’s comp injury, they will return to their previous position. However, employees may have an occupational injury or illness where they are released to work but can’t perform all of the essential functions of their regular job or need an accommodation.  
When creating return to work opportunities consider several strategies. Think “out of the box” in your approach to getting employees back to the workforce. There are many tasks to keep workers productive and involved in the workforce.
 
 
1-Prepare a physical binder
 
Create a binder full of alternative job descriptions within the company or sister companies that employees can easily access. Have Human Resources regularly update the binder with all job openings, full and part time, temporary and permanent. Make sure the supervisor and the employee are aware of the binder and regularly check it for openings.
 
 
2-Promote internal online job listing resources

As with the physical binder, make sure there is an on-line job listing resource that the employee can access. Email all job openings to the employee in addition to what is available in the physical binder.
 
 
3-Create a return-to-work resource center

Have your Human Resources Department encourage the injured employee that they are wanted back at work. Make sure that HR is a resource to support the employee in creatively finding a way to return to work, even if it is in another position more compatible with the employee’s limitations. Have HR consult with the employee about any reasonable accommodations that would make it possible for the employee to return to work in any available positions.  Have a written Return to Work Policy so that all management and supervisors understand the goals and methods of having employees successfully return to work.
 
 
4-Consider outside resources to accommodate transitional duty workers

Vocational rehabilitation (voc rehab). Voc rehab is a federally funded agency in every state that offers vocational rehabilitation, employment opportunities and independent living services for disabled people. The programs vary by state but may include medical, psychological and vocational assessments, counseling services, therapy, training, job placement and rehabilitation.
 
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides free consulting services to employers. Services include one-on-one consultation about all aspects of job accommodations, including the accommodation process, accommodation ideas, product vendors, referral to other resources, and ADA compliance assistance. https://askjan.org/empl/index.htm. JAN has several on-line tools and publications to help employers accommodate employees with a disability.
 
Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regulates safety compliance in the workplace.  In some instances, OSHA safety regulations may prevent certain accommodation for an injured employee.  OSHA has a website that employers can consult for guidance.  Sometimes OSHA will publish bulletins with innovative safety accommodation ideas, e.g. how to safely accommodate employees with hearing loss injuries. http://www.osha.gov/dts/shib/shib072205.html.
 
 
5-Encourage volunteerism and partner with local employment agencies or volunteer groups to enhance workers’ options.

Often employers want to offer modified duty but do not have appropriate positions available.  Some states have Workers Compensation Funds that have partnered with charitable organizations to offer a return-to-work plan that provides modified duty for injured employees. These plans can lower claims costs, decrease workers’ compensation insurance costs and increase morale.
In addition, employers who do not have appropriate position available may want to partner with local employment agencies that may have appropriate temporary or permanent positions available for the employee.
 
 
6-Consider home-based employment
 
Telecommuting may be a reasonable accommodation under the ADA for an injured or ill worker. Have HR consult with the supervisor and the employee to see if there are any tasks that the employee can perform from home on a temporary or permanent basis.
 
 

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, Director of Operations, 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 mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

How To Get Employees Back to Work When You Do Not Have Suitable Job

 

Place Injured Workers in Modified Duty at Alternate Company
 
Third party Return to Work Providers specialize in placing injured employees in a job when the employer is unable to provide light duty / modified duty work for the employee. In most instances, the Return to Work provider places the injured employee with a light duty work release in a position with a non-profit / charitable organization.  Both the injured employee and the non-profit organization know the employee’s placement in the transitional duty position is temporary. 
 
The transitional duty position allows the employee to work in a productive manner, within the work restrictions set by the medical provider, while recovering from his/her injury.  When the employee is kept working, the employee retains the discipline needed to be in a workplace.  Also, it has been shown that employees who return to work light duty recuperate faster than employees who stay home until fully recovered.
 
While it is always the best idea for the injured employee to return to work light duty / modified duty with their own employer that is not always possible.  Some jobs which require extensive manual labor cannot be modified enough to make it worthwhile for the employer to return the employee to work before they have a full duty release.  Other jobs, for instance, long distance truck drivers, have limited need for any additional employees at their facilities making employer provided light duty work difficult or impossible. 
 
 
Charitable Organizations Are Great Option
 
These situations are ideal for a third party return to work provider.  The charitable organizations they deal with – Salvation Army, Goodwill, YMCA, food banks, etc., have a constant need for employees. Sorting donated clothes or cans of food can be done sitting down or standing up and alternating sitting  / standing as needed – whatever the medical provider prescribes.  The jobs can be completed without bending, twisting, kneeling, etc.  The lifting will be within even the strictest lifting restrictions of 5 pounds. 
 
The charitable organization will pay the employee an hourly rate for the work the employee does.  If the weekly amount earned at the charitable organization is greater than the employee’s average weekly wage, the employee will not receive any disability payments while working the transitional duty job.  If the amount earned at the charitable organization is less than the amount earned on the employee’s regular job, the employee is paid temporary partial disability (which will be significantly less than temporary total disability) in most states.
 
In some cases the charitable organization cannot afford to pay the employee any wages.  In those situations, the employer can continue to pay the employee either his /her regular wages or a reduced wage with the insurance claim paying temporary partial disability.  Whenever the employer continues any wages while the employee is working for the charitable organization, the employer is able to write-off the cost on their taxes as a charitable contribution.
 
 
Many Benefits for Employer
 
In addition to lowering or eliminating the amount of disability payments while the employee is recuperating from his/her injury, the transitional duty job will assist both the employer and the employee in several ways, including:
 
  • The employee does not get accustomed to sitting home and not working
  • The employee maintains a sense of self-esteem by working for a living
  • The transitional duty job  fosters a faster recovery, reducing the amount of medical benefits paid
  • The transitional duty job reduces the amount of deconditioning most employees experience when not working
 
As almost all employers know that a return to work program is beneficial to the both the employer and the employee, the question often becomes “How much does a third party return to work provider charge for their services?”  The answer varies.  Some third party return to work provider charge a flat fee for their services, often in the $750 to $1,000 range.  Other return to work providers will have a sliding scale of fees, with the amount of the fee being based on the number of job placements they do. 
 
Occasionally, there is the injured employee who just doesn’t want to return to work, period.  If the third party return to work provider arranges for the employee to work at a charitable organization, and the employee does not show up, the third party return to work provider will normally reduce their fee to half or there about.
 
Third Party Return to Work Providers Should Always be Considered
 
Third party return to work providers saves the employer money on the cost of workers’ compensation.  They also benefit the employer by getting the employee back to work faster and being productive for the employer.  The use of third party return to work providers should be considered any time the employer is unable to offer the injured employee a modified duty or light duty job.
 
 

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, Director of Operations, 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 mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Consider Using Third Party and Offsite Return to Work Options

Employers who are conscientious about the cost of the workers compensation insurance coverage know the importance of having an established Return to Work program. (See our Transitional Duty Policies and RTW programs). The employers who provide light duty or modified duty work for the injured employees lower the overall cost of workers compensation through lower claim cost.  Return to Work programs result in the reduction of the overall amount of time the employees are off work, a reduction in the overall cost of physical rehabilitation and a reduction in the overall cost of medical care. The lower claim cost results in lower workers compensation premiums.

 
 
Many employers have tried Return to Work programs, only to give up as the modification of the employee’s regular duties is often difficult to accomplish while maintaining any sense of productivity.  Employers are often reluctant to pay employees the regular wages if the employee is not accomplishing anything. The cost of wages paid to a totally unproductive employee often exceeds the increased cost of workers compensation. [WCx]
 
 
The dilemma of the unproductive injured employee who should be returned to light duty work, but the employer cannot afford the cost of doing so, has led to a whole new industry of companies that assist employers in a return to work program. There are companies, sometimes referred to as the reemployment service industry, that now specialize in placing injured employees in light duty work on a temporary basis. 
 
 
These third party return-to-work placement firms (RTW directory) often have contacts as various charitable organizations where they will arrange for the injured employee to work until the employee is able to return to his/her regular job without restrictions.
 
 
For example, consider the long-haul truck driver who injured his back unloading the truck. The medical providers advise the employee can return to work, but should not lift more than 10 pounds, should not stand for more than an hour and who should not be seated for more than an hour. The restrictions on lifting and being seated eliminate the truck driver from doing his normal job, as the job cannot be modified enough to allow the truck driver to work. The third party job placement firm arranges for the truck driver to work at a local charity sorting donated clothes. The work can be done either standing or seated, and the employee is allowed to change from standing to being seated at will.
 
 
The charity pays the employee for the hours. Often, the rate of pay is lower than what the employee would have earned in the regular job. The difference between the employee’s regular earnings and the employee’s light duty earnings is partially covered by the workers compensation insurance. For example, the employee was earning $600 per week and the temporary total disability (TTD) rate while the employee is not working is $400 per week, two-thirds of the regular wages. If the employee is working light duty for the charitable organization, and earning $300 per week, the employee would not receive TTD but temporary partial disability (TPD) which pays the employee two-thirds of the difference between the regular wages and the temporary light duty wages. In this example, the employee would be paid a TPD rate of $200 per week. [Calculated:  $600 regular pay minus $300 light duty pay results in a $300 reduction in earning capacity.  $300 X 2/3 TPD rate = $200].  This is the win-win situation every employer wants.  The employee receives $500 per week ($300 wages at the charitable organization plus $200 TPD) instead of $400 per week, while the cost of indemnity benefits for the insurer or employer is reduced from $400 per week (TTD) to $200 per week (TPD).
 
 
If the rate of pay from the charity exceeds what the employee would have made on the job, no temporary partial disability payments are owed to the employee.
 
 
The light duty placement companies do several things to ensure the success of the temporary duty process. They will interview the prospective employer to verify the job requirements are within the work restrictions given by the medical provider, prepare the employee for the job interview if one is required by the temporary employer, provide directions to the temporary employer, verify attendance, follow-up with both the temporary employer and the employee to be sure both are comfortable with the new working situation, and when necessary, review the new job with the employee’s physician.
 
 
If the employer can return the injured employee to work at the old job on a modified basis, that is the best return to work program. If the employer cannot return the injured employee to work on a modified duty basis, the placement of the employee in a temporary light duty job for another employer is always preferable to the injured employee not working. [WCx]
 
 
If you have questions about the return-to-work through a light duty job placement firm, please contact us for assistance and refer to our resource directory.

 

 

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.

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

noprescriptionrxbuyonline.com/female_viagra.html
rxbuywithoutprescriptiononline.com/lasix.html
rxbuywithoutprescriptiononline.org/fucidin.html

New Times for Transitional Duty, Modified Duty in New York

Things are changing in workers comp. Lost time has become something to be limited, a concern that did not always receive the highest priority in the past.

 
 
The reasons are clear: a less than powerful economy and a rising cost of living.  Return to work, for decades in NY comp, has been viewed as a way to deprive a worker of a settlement and a way to deprive a lawyer of a substantial fee. But a mounting sense of uncertainty has changed that.[WCx]
 
 
For the employer, having a plan, not necessarily firm written guidelines, for returning employees to have some form of useful activity will have large benefits, and will not meet with the forms of resistance encountered in the past. A lawyer who ignores a return to work offer made to a client is playing a dangerous game, as recent court decisions have shown.
 
 
Employers who are not large enough to warrant an ongoing RTW program have traditionally stated, “We have no light work”, but that misses opportunities. Naturally, prior to most accidents, the mid-size or smaller employers probably do not have a firm plan in place, but that does not mean that something, somewhere, somehow cannot be done.
 
 
Doing something without having a prior plan in place has certain advantages. It means that whatever is tried is more likely to be a good fit with the circumstances than a prior plan. What is planned when nothing has yet happened is built on assumptions, not facts.
 
 
The first, and strongest gain from an employer meeting with an employee and exploring a RTW plan is to shift the relationship for both from passivity to active measures. And that means a rise in morale for both.
 
 
If the employer cannot think of useful work within the limits on activity imposed by an injury, then both the employer and employee should consider a joint search for light, but temporary, work in the general area. The advantage to this effort is that the employee, and the employee’s doctor, will also start thinking in terms of return to work.
 
 
In all of this, the comp board, the carrier/TPAs and the lawyers have been set aside. The comp law, at least in NY, does not give any of those the power to direct, or prohibit, return to work efforts.[WCx]
 
 
RTW efforts encounter many problems, both small and large, which will be discussed in the next piece.
 


Author: Attorney Theodore Ronca
is a practicing lawyer from Aquebogue, NY. He is a frequent writer and speaker, and has represented employers in the areas of workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, employee disability plans and subrogation for over 30 years. Attorney Ronca can be reached at 631-722-2100. medsearch7@optonline.net

 


MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Strattera no prescription
buy levitra online
Sertraline no prescription

New York Workers Compensation Cost Containment Starts with Employers

In NY workers comp, “return to work” measures (RTW) can achieve unprecedented savings – for the employer and the employee but only if the employer takes the initiative.  Employer involvement is many times more effective than what a carrier, TPA, consultant, etc. can provide especially with restoring a worker to employment.

 
 
Recently in NY, new court decisions point to a recognition that a worker collecting wage loss benefits cannot lightly refuse a job offer without risking reduction of benefits. But the cases involve claims where the original employers made the offers. Those employers, of course, were in a far better position to know what offer would be within the capabilities of one of their employees. (WCxKit)
 
 
Many employers have ignored the advantages of proactive job offers. The reasons lie in the fact that any program will fail sometime, in someplace, for many reasons. But that is no reason to balk. What is not tried will ALWAYS fail. If the employer will not make the effort, who will?
 
 
This will be the opening of a series which will outline the steps for an employer-initiated return to work program. A series has to begin somewhere and the starting point must be to stress that the employer’s role is central and cannot be delegated. The employer alone has the knowledge of the person, the job, the requirements and the ability to make essential modifications often necessary for success.
 
 
Editor's Note: The next part of our Tips from Ted, will deal with pre-incident planning.

Author: Attorney Theodore Ronca is a practicing lawyer from Aquebogue, NY. He is a frequent writer and speaker, and has represented employers in the areas of workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, employee disability plans and subrogation for over 30 years. Attorney Ronca can be reached at 631-722-2100. medsearch7@optonline.net
 

 
WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT GUIDEBOOK:  www.WCManual.com
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

7 Ways to STOP Those Minor Workers Comp Lost-Time Claims

 
Many companies simply don’t offer light duty. Instead, they say to their injured workers, “If you are not 100 percent then you are no good to me.” These same employers then complain when they go over their loss run about how much they are spending on shorter (10-30 days) lost time claims.
 
 
Typically wage expense on these claims is an employer’s biggest expense. Some higher wage earners can rack up a hefty wage cost in a short amount of time. Meanwhile, the medical cost for their claims may be a few thousand dollars, tops. (WCxKit)
 
 
Here are seven ways to keep those little lost-time claims from adding up in the long run.
 
 
1. Create Light Duty Work for All Restrictions
Depending on company size, there are a lot of easy jobs a person with restrictions can do — freeing up a healthy employee to do non-restrictive tasks. Light cleaning, inventory, answering the phone, ordering parts and supplies — all of these are necessary tasks in every company. A person with short-time, restricted duty may be assigned to help on these jobs or other light work until they are able to return to full duty, always dependent on the restrictions. Light duty keeps the employee working, and makes it easier to transition back to full-duty work.
 
 
2. Make Detailed Job Descriptions for All Available Light Duty Positions
Physicians usually ask for a job description before they release an injured worker back to work. If you have a good breakdown of what the various job tasks are, it makes it easier for the doctor to decide if the employee can do those jobs. Pay attention to the details of these jobs as well, you don not want an injured employee making the injury worse through their light-duty assignment.
 
 
3. Make Sure the Employer Contacts the Clinic to Say Light Duty is Available
Who knows what the employee is telling the doctor about the day-to-day job duties? Some claimants wanting to remain off work inflate their job duties to make it sound like there is no way they could return to work until they are at full ability.
 
 
If the employer calls or faxes over a job description the doctor may feel more at ease about releasing an injured worker back to light duty. Also, some doctors flat out ask the employee if there is light duty available and most the time the employee will say no, even when it is known there is light duty, in an effort to remain out of work longer and collect a check before returning to full duty. Employers must follow up and make sure they talk to the right person at the clinic about getting the employee back to work in an assignment consistent with their medical restrictions.
 
 
4. Offer Full Pay for Light Duty Work Instead of Partial/Reduced Pay
A common deterrent to an employee not wanting to come back on light duty is the employer drops the wage rates to coincide with the light-duty job tasks. This action defeats the purpose of bringing the employee back to work on light duty. Even though the tasks are below the employee’s experience level, think of light-duty assignments in the short-term, and be flexible with the pay. The injured worker is not going to be on light-duty work forever and getting the worker back to work is the important thing.
 
 
5. Talk to the Clinic/Physician About Your Workplace and the Work it Performs
In addition to faxing a job description, ask to talk directly to the physician. This will surely make the doctor feel better about releasing an employee back to work. Talking to the employer reassures the doctor the tasks assigned will be performed properly within the medical restrictions, and that the employer will provide help on certain jobs if the injured worker needs it. In addition, most physicians can provide work restrictions over the phone instead of waiting until the next appointment to release the worker back to light duty.
 
 
If you cannot reach the doctor ask for the office manager or medical/nurse assistance. Tell them a job description was faxed and that you want the doctor to address whether or not the employee is able to perform the light duty tasks; and if not, why. The more persistent you are, the quicker the doctor will be to provide restrictions. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
 
 
6. Light Duty Work Tasks Can Motivate Workers to Get Back to Full Duty
Most people don’t like cleaning, phone work, or simple mundane tasks for very long. If workers know these tasks are a consequence of injury, they are less likely to milk their claim. Good workers hate being hurt and want to return to normal as soon as possible. If they know they will not be sitting at home idle, and instead will be answering the phone at work, it will shave time off of their claim and motivate them to be released from the doctor to full duty.
 
 
7. Think Of The Bigger Picture
Even if you do not have a lot of claims at your workplace, think about the cost in the big picture. Think quarterly and/or annually about the savings you will realize come the end of the year. As mentioned, wages are the biggest cost in short-term, lost-time claims. By keeping the injured employee working so they do not lose any time at all, you provide them with a job while they are injured, and also provide a service to the company. Before you know it they will be full duty without incurring any further lost time from their normal work duties. (WCxKit)
 
 
A good light-duty work program has a ton of benefits and you can get injured workers back to work utilizing the tips outlined above. This will not only save costs, but will also make the workplace more functional for injured workers. It is important to create and have on-hand, up-to-date, detailed job descriptions, as well as someone at your workplace following up with clinics to make sure they have the correct information regarding your light-duty work program. Once everyone is on the same page, your workers and your assigned occupational clinic will know what is expected of them when workers have a minor injury.
 

Author Rebecca Shafer
, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website 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. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 

 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

Navigating the Return to Work Maze with Transitional Duty

Many companies use transitional work programs to return temporarily injured employees to the workforce in a limited capacity until they are physically able to resume their original, full-time duties.

 
This is a good idea because the longer an employee is out of work, the less likely they are to return EVER. (WCxKit)
 
No one is suggesting cheating employees out of benefits, rather, keep your company’s financial health and your employees’ mental health in mind.
 
Sitting around on a couch and receiving partial payment really isn’t good for anyone. Most people do better if they have a destination to go to each day.
 
Perhaps one department needs inventory taken, or another department requires a card filing system or someone to answer telephones. Companies can have recuperating employees perform these tasks, thus helping to boost productivity.
 
While employers have traditionally used transitional duty programs only for work injuries, many companies are adopting them for non-occupational injuries as well.
 
If an employee can come back at half-capacity or perform duties related to his or her job, though not the entire job, this benefits both the company and the employee.
 
Transitional work positions can be located in the same or a different department, or even in another company or operating division. Some employees perform transitional work program duties in the community as a volunteer in an employer-sponsored volunteer activity, or in a commercial vocational rehabilitation return-to-work center. In these instances, employers should provide transportation for the employee to the work facility to demonstrate continued involvement and concern for his or her recovery.
 
Forward-thinking companies may use transitional duty for maternity leave, bereavement, mental illness, addiction and some types of sick time. These companies are taking a comprehensive approach to “absence management.”
 
Transitional work programs have the advantage of allowing injured employees to regard themselves as “actively employed” and thus productive and valuable members of the workforce.
 
This is good for your employee.
 
When a worker is injured, the employer must maintain contact with the employee throughout the recovery period so he or she does not become “psychologically disemployed.” The phenomenon of “psychological disemployment” occurs when employees are away from the work environment for an extended period. During this period, employees begin to perceive themselves as having become “distanced” from the company — that is, the same company paying their workers compensation benefits.
 
These programs are also financially beneficial for the company because by keeping the employee at work, the employer realizes significant workers compensation cost reductions.
 
Transitional work programs also help decrease short- and long-term disability insurance or wage continuation costs for non-occupational injuries.
 
And although employees in a transitional work program assignment may be less than 100% productive, having an injured employee working part-time in a limited capacity is more cost-effective than having one who does not work at all.
 
Many companies, however, are reluctant to initiate transitional work programs. Some employers believe worker unions will not accept these programs, or the programs themselves will not be time- or cost-effective.
 
But evidence proves transitional work programs can be very cost-effective.
 
A well-managed transitional work program can result in a return-to-work rate of up to 90% for injured employees returning to the job within four days after the injury.
 
Significantly shortened workers compensation claims in turn result in lowered indemnity costs as the companys workers compensation loss experiences shows overall improvement.
 
Concerns suggest the primary barriers to setting up transitional work programs are attitudinal in nature.(WCxKit)
 
Therefore, to implement successfully transitional work programs, risk managers must help convince their companies, company employees and treating physicians that transitional work programs are beneficial for all concerned.
 
You need transitional work duties available in your workers compensation program. Find out why #WorkersComp.
 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website 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.  See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:  RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: 
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Professional Development Resource

Learn How to Reduce Workers Comp Costs 20% to 50%"Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%"
Lower your workers compensation expense by using the
guidebook from Advisen and the Workers Comp Resource Center.
Perfect for promotional distribution by brokers and agents!
Learn More

Please don't print this Website

Unnecessary printing not only means unnecessary cost of paper and inks, but also avoidable environmental impact on producing and shipping these supplies. Reducing printing can make a small but a significant impact.

Instead use the PDF download option, provided on the page you tried to print.

Powered by "Unprintable Blog" for Wordpress - www.greencp.de