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.

Best Way to Measure Return to Work Success

The Return to Work Ratio (RTW Ratio) measures how quickly employees return to work — whether in their original job or a transitional duty job. It measures the number of days an employee loses from work before returning to work and what percentage of injured employees return with in the first few days after an injury.

90 – 95% of injured employees who are injured severely enough to lose time from work should return to work within the first 0-4 days after their injury occurred. The higher the percent of employees who return to work quickly, the fewer indemnity payments are made, and the fewer medical visits are necessary for an employee to remain off work. Use the Return to Work Ratio Calculator to calculate your company's Return to Work Ratio.

In most states, a claim is not compensable until after a “waiting period” such as after the 4th day of absence. When an employee is out for the 5th day, payments are made on a retroactive basis for the first 4 days of lost time, or there might not be a retroactive period. Each state is different. Ask your adjuster the state waiting period in your state. State laws are available in Resources in clickable-map format.

Ask your TPA to prepare a summary of lost work days for you each month. Adjusters pay for lost wages according to how many days an employee loses from work so the number of lost days should be readily available to adjusters. Make sure adjusters are closely monitoring lost work days. Many carriers do not do a good job of counting lost work days, primarily because of all the "ins and outs." Make sure that "field" is "mandatory"; ask the Account Executive of your TPA or carrier to make the lost work days field mandatory! You won't get what you don't ask for! Your broker will usually coordinate this.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws are different. Consult with your corporate legal counsel before implementing any cost containment programs. ©2008 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

6 Benchmarks Help Get Management on Board

The data you provide to senior management may differ from the data that is useful to the operations side of the business. Senior management wants “big picture” data such as which division is the worst performing and what is the total incurred cost of workers’ compensation. General managers need operational data such as the return to work ratio and number of lost days for their business unit.

Once benchmarks for your units have been agree upon, the next step is to set performance goals.

There are five main measurements you should use to determine your progress:

1- Incurred Losses,
2- Number of Lost Days,
3- Return to Work Ratio,
4- Cost Per Employee,
5- Reporting Lag Time and
6- "Soft Process" Goals.

We will discuss these over the next week or so. In the meantime, calculate how much your losses cost in REAL dollars with the Cost Calculator. For more cost savings tips go to WC Cost Reduction Tips.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws are different. Consult with your corporate legal counsel before implementing any cost containment programs. ©2008 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

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