5 Tips To Reduce Your Stress and Be More Productive

 

I think it is an understatement to say that claims professionals are under a lot of stress.  Nowadays adjusters are forced to do more with less, so in addition to the normal claim investigations they also have to do a billion other things along the course of a normal day.  Add in to that rigid auditing standards, service promises, increased claim counts, and the list goes on and on.

 

Below we talk about some easy ways to take some of the stress out of your life in order to improve your work-life balance.

 

 

  1. Don’t Get Intertwined in Social Media

 

In today’s world, everyone is a mouse click away.  Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on have made it possible that you can be connected to everyone, at all times, and the stresses of other people can become your stressors as well.  In fact people can reach out to you and vent about their own problems, which can take time away from whatever project you are working on.  So limit your social media interaction during work hours, and focus on the task at hand.  If you choose to get involved in a Facebook discussion about some hot political topic, do it away from work on your own time when it will not distract you as much.

 

  1. Leave Your Desk For A While

 

I know plenty of adjusters that work 10-11 hour days, and they rarely leave their desk except to go to the printer or to hit the bathroom.  Not only is this crazy, but it is also not healthy.  Getting up and walking around for a bit can be relaxing, especially if you can head outside for a while and get some fresh air.  Maybe go out to lunch every now and then and get away from that office atmosphere.  You don’t have to do it every day, even one or two days a week can make a difference.  The world is not going to fall apart just because you snuck out and got a piece of pizza on your lunch break.

 

 

  1. Decrease Your Social Engagements If Possible

 

Don’t get me wrong, heading to seminars or after work engagements can be a great way to network and share some down time with your friends or work peers.  But you have to keep your events in check.  If you have a crazy week and need the time to focus on other things, don’t be afraid to skip out on an engagement or two.

 

This can especially be true if you have kids that are active in sports or other things that can occur after your work hours during the work week.  Maybe the thing to decrease is the amount of activities they are involved in, since you have to be the one to pick them up and drive them to basketball practice.  Your kid doesn’t have to be on 3 basketball teams during the summer, and in doing this you can decrease their own time stressors as well. Or let them skip a few practices and go out for dinner, or go to a movie and spend some quality time with your children.  If they miss a practice or two I doubt that their ability to hit free throws will decrease.

 

 

  1. Put a Cap on the Hours You Spend at Home Working

 

Many adjusters and other professionals have the ability to access their work from any computer at any time.  This is a great thing to have when you need it, but it shouldn’t be something that you have to engage in all of the time, every single night, and every single week. If you fail to complete a few diary items, your employer is not going to go out of business and lay everyone off.  You have to prioritize what you HAVE to do at home after work hours, and what you COULD do.

 

The hard part here is that the life of a claims adjuster is never caught up.  Rarely can any adjuster be totally done with everything on every file at any given day. It’s like a constantly spinning wheel.  But there are plenty of things that can wait until tomorrow.  Your time after work is just that—your time.  If you choose to spend it plowing through countless medical records for a file then fine, but ask yourself if this is something that has to 100% be done right now and cannot wait until the following day back at the office.

 

 

  1. Take Time to Enjoy Your Hobbies, or Start a New One

 

If you love to golf, and you have had to skip your golf league the last few times because of working late, you need to make sure your time is a priority.  Working late can sometimes be unavoidable, but that doesn’t you can’t hit the driving range after you are done.  Whether it be hitting golf balls, hiking at the park, bowling, or going for a run, take the time to enjoy your hobby of choice.  Don’t put off that time and spending it in front of a computer.

 

These sports and hobbies are things you do to unwind and take your mind off the daily stress.  Not only will doing this reenergize yourself, but it will give you that quality “Me” time that everyone needs. Pencil that time in the calendar, and be sure to stick to it.  Make that a priority for once, instead of pushing it back time and time again.

 

 

Summary

 

In this profession we are all faced with a lot of different stressors, and they come at you from all angles.  Injured workers are stressed out because their balance of life is off due to an injury.  They are no longer working, no longer being productive, and they are worried about getting their own lives back in order.  So we not only have to deal with our own life stressors, but we have to figure out a way to try and solve the stressors of our claimants day in and day out.

 

Most of the adjusters use the excuse that “If I take some vacation time away from the office my workload only gets worse, which puts me farther and farther behind.” Part or all of this may be true, but you get vacation time or paid time off for a reason.  Nobody can work 365 days a year without going insane.  Pencil that time off in your calendar and stick to it.

 

 

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.

 

©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 Plan, Prepare, and Negotiate Claim Settlement

 

Claim Resolution Should Start Immediately

 

Self-insured employers who utilize their own in-house adjusters often ask questions about how to arrive at a fair and equitable settlement of the workers’ compensation claims, especially claims where the employee is represented by an attorney.  The reasonable resolution of a workers’ compensation claims does not start when the employee’s attorney sends a demand letter toward the end of the claim, the proper resolution of the claim starts immediately upon notice the employee has been injured in an accident.

 

The first thing an employer can do to move a workers’ compensation claim toward a fair settlement is to provide immediate medical care following an injury.  In the states where the employer selects the medical provider, the employee should be directed to the nearby industrial clinic previously chosen (with the name/address of the industrial clinic posted on the employee’s bulletin board).  In the states where the employer cannot mandate the medical provider, a short listed of recommended doctors should be posted on the bulletin board.

 

The first phone call the employer should make following an injury is to the medical provider’s office notifying them that the injury just occurred and advising them the employee is on the way to their office.  This will streamline the admittance process for the injured employee and will reduce the amount of time between injury and medical treatment.  When the injury to the employee does not appear to be severe, the initial phone call to the medical provider will also allow you to remind the medical provider of your company’s light duty program for injured employees.

 

The second phone call immediately following the first phone call should be to the claims office/adjuster advising of the new workers’ compensation claim.  The protocol for your in-house adjusters should be to contact their fellow employee the same day to discuss their injury and the claim handling process.  By taking control of the workers’ compensation claim the first day, you start laying the ground work for the claim settlement.

 

 

On-Going Contact is Essential

 

During the course of the employee’s recovery is essential to have on-going contact with the injured employee by the employee’s supervisor or department manager or workers’ compensation coordinator or adjuster (whoever is delegated the responsibility).  By simply asking the employee to keep you abreast after each doctor’s visit of what the doctor had to say, will keep the lines of communication open and assist in getting the employee back to work on modified duty sooner.  It will also make settling the claim easier as the employee sees the employer less as ‘the other side’ and more as a partner in the recovery process.

 

In states where the employee selects his own medical provider, often the employee’s attorney will send the employee to a doctor the attorney knows will keep the employee off work for as long as the plaintiff attorney wants the employee to be off work. [In these cases the employee’s release from medical care will coincidentally occur when the employee begins to complain to the plaintiff attorney that they are having financial issues, as they have not adjusted their life style to live on the workers’ compensation disability payments].  When the medical provider is non-cooperative about returning the employee to modified duty work, the in-house adjuster can arrange for a peer review of the medical treatment being provided or arrange for an independent medical examination to show the employee is capable of modified duty work.

 

If the injury is severe, a nurse case manager should be assigned to the claim to manage and direct the medical care as much as possible.  By facilitating the medical care through a nurse case manager, the employee will make a quicker and better recovery with a lower overall impairment rating.  This will impact the settlement negotiations favorably.

 

 

Seek Settlement When Reach Maximum Medical Improvement

 

As soon as the medical provider indicates the employee has reached maximum medical improvement, an effort should be made to immediately move forward with settling any compensation owed for a permanent partial impairment. A few states still use the impairment rating combined with the employee’s disability compensation rate to establish the claim’s settlement value.  Most states however have gone to what amounts to a negotiated settlement of the workers’ compensation claim.

 

All the steps above are designed to manage and control the claim resulting in a lower initial settlement demand by the employee or the employee’s attorney.

 

Once the employee has reached maximum medical improvement and has been assigned an impairment rating, the in-house adjuster should thoroughly review the file and the medical facts of the injury to establish a settlement range for the claim. Once the settlement range has been determined, the adjuster should develop a negotiations strategy on how the adjuster plans to reach a value within the settlement range.

 

If any part of the settlement range exceeds the adjuster’s settlement authority, the adjuster should contact the person who can grant additional settlement authority with a detailed explanation as to why settlement authority over the adjuster’s settlement authority level is needed.

 

 

Employee Attorney Should Make Initial Offer

 

The in-house adjuster should not make the initial settlement offer until after the employee’s attorney has made their initial settlement demand.  If the adjuster makes the initial offer, the employee’s attorney will negotiate up from that point.  Better results are normally obtained by letting the employee’s attorney make the initial demand and negotiating down from the attorney’s settlement demand.

 

Once the adjuster has the demand from the employee’s attorney, the adjuster should review the attorney’s demand to determine how reasonable, or unreasonable, it is.  The adjuster should evaluate the key points the attorney uses to support his/her demand and determine if there is any justifiable reason to reevaluate the adjuster’s settlement range.

 

The adjuster’s initial offer to settle the claim should be as far below the mid-point of the adjuster’s settlement range as the employee’s attorney initial demand is above the mid-point of the adjuster’s settlement range.  The adjuster’s initial offer should include some of the key points on which the adjuster based the settlement range.

 

When the employee’s attorney makes a jester toward settling the claim by lowering their demand, the adjuster can mirror the attorney’s step toward claim settlement by raising the settlement offer a similar amount.  By mirroring the attorney’s settlement demand reduction with an increase in the settlement offer of the same size, the adjuster signals to the plaintiff attorney what the settlement amount will be without committing to anything.

 

 

Be Aware of Attorney Negotiating Tactics

 

A favor ploy of plaintiff attorney’s is to stop negotiating and state they have reached their bottom line.  This is an effort on the attorney’s part to get the adjuster to bid against him/herself and to raise the settlement offer multiple times without the attorney lowering the settlement demand any.  This pushes the adjuster to the high end of the settlement range if the adjuster falls for the ploy.  It also creates a situation where the adjuster will have to overpay to settle the claim, or enter into an extended defense of the claim.  The adjuster’s best response to the attorney stating they have reached their bottom line, is a simple, “yeah, me too.  I was hoping to settle the claim, but I have reached my settlement authority.  If your client decides to lower their demand any, please let me know and I will pass it along to the higher ups”.

 

A tactic used by some attorneys to try to force a higher than justifiable settlement is to claim the employee has had a relapse.  The attorney tells the employee to go back to the doctor and emphasis how much pain they are having, the difficulties they are incurring due to their impairment, and to start treatment with the doctor in an effort to get a higher impairment rating.  This tactic should be countered with an independent medical evaluation to verify or disprove the worsening of condition claim.

 

By preparing for settlement negotiations from the start of the claim, and by planning and managing the settlement negotiations, the in-house adjuster can obtain a fair and reasonable settlement.  While it takes a level of high quality claims handling to obtain an equitable settlement of the workers’ compensation claim, it is well worth the effort to obtain a proper negotiated settlement.

 

 

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.

Workers Comp Guidebook Helps Employers, Agents and Insurers Slash Costs

 

Program Proven to Cut Costs 20 to 50 Percent

 

The 2013 version of Workers' Compensation Management Program is an expanded guidebook offering detailed steps on how to develop a workers' compensation cost-containment program proven to cut costs 20 percent to 50 percent.
 
Written by Amaxx Risk Solutions, the 200-page guidebook (www.WCManual.com) is based on years of field research and implementation. Its step-by-step guidelines show how any employer can develop and run a successful workers' compensation cost-containment program. Dozens of cost-reduction techniques are covered along with details for implementation.
 
Employers, TPAs, insurance brokers, consultants and insurers will find the book to be an information goldmine.
 
 
Over 80 New Topics Covered
 
New topics include Defenses to Workers’ Compensation Claims, Waiting Periods, Claims Leakage, Claims Reserving, Claim Plans of Action, How to Select a TPA and Evaluate a TPA, Alternative Markets, Monitoring the Workplace, Social Media and Medical Records, Reducing Worker Dependence on Opioids, Wellness Programs, Drug Testing, Structured Settlements, Social Security Disability Offsets, Pre-employment Screening, Federal Employee Compensation Act, and Glossary of Abbreviations.    
 
The Facilitator's Agenda has been newly customized to be used with the book as a training program.
 
A single copy costs $249 at http://corner.advisen.com/wcbooks. Bulk pricing and customized covers for agents, brokers and associations are available for as low as $49.
 
For 25 years, Amaxx has helped companies in all industries reduce workers' compensation costs. Companies working with Amaxx consultants have consistently cut workers’ comp costs from 20% to 50%.
 
 
Available Through Advisen
 
Advisen manages business information and market data for the commercial insurance industry and maintains critical risk analytics and timesaving workflow tools for over 530 industry-leading firms and is the technology partner of Amaxx Risk Solutions. Advisen (www.advisen.com) is headquartered in New York. Media Contacts: 
 
 
Michael Stack, Director of Operations, Amaxx, LLC, MStack@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com
 

   

  

  


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.

The Best Tidbits of News From the Workers Comp Community

 

 
Date: August 21, 2012
Time: 11:00 am CST
Duration: 1 hour
 
Employers often think that there is nothing that they can do to control workers’ compensation costs. Many times they don’t know where to start, don’t have the resources to get the job done, don’t have the time to do it themselves or don’t have the staff to support the cost-reduction efforts.  Register Here
 
 
 
The 67th Annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference and the 24th Annual Safety and Health Conference are just around the corner. Set for August 19 through 23, 2012 at the Orlando World Marriott, the conference will again focus on the national workers’ compensation and safety industries, serving… Read the Full Post »
 
 
 
Published in Business Insurance, Author Mark Walls, Safety National, mark.walls@safetynational.com
 
One of the biggest cost drivers in Workers Compensation is seemingly “average” claims that take a turn for the worst and result in several years of medical treatment and disability.   Mark Walls, vp of claims for Safety National Casualty Corp discusses the common threads of “creeping catastrophic” claims.  Read Full Article…
 
 
 
Posted by Marianne Cloeren, MD, MPH, FACOEM – Managed Care Advisors
 
The organization Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) filed a petition with the FDA to change the labeling for opioid analgesics so that it does not include use for chronic non-cancer pain. They make the excellent point that research is showing lack of effectiveness and high risk. 

Here is more information from the president of PROP, Dr. Andrew Kolodny about this effort:

"I’m writing in the hope that you’ll submit comments to FDA supporting the citizen petition for label changes on opioid analgesics. 

As you may have heard, a couple of weeks ago PROP filed this petition with FDA. This request has received support from members of Congress, including Rep. Mary Bono Mack and Hal Rogers, so we believe that FDA is paying close attention. 

Here’s the link where you can submit Comments:
 
 
 http://www.citizen.org/documents/2048.pdf 

And here’s a press release about the petition that was issued by Public Citizen:
 
 
If FDA implements our request, opioid manufacturers will be prohibited from promoting long-term use of opioids for chronic non-cancer pain and the medical community will be informed that this practice has not been proven safe and effective. We believe that this will help reduce overprescribing of opioids. And since it’s overprescribing that’s harming pain patients and fueling the opioid addiction epidemic, the label change could help bring this public health crisis under control
 
 

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

 

 


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.

Workers Comp Resource and Cost Cutting Areas

Workers Comp: Ripe For Cost-Cutting – Two Places To Check

 

Despite devotion to corporate cost cutting, there is one expense that still gets very little attention: workers compensation.

 

And the cost is very high.

 

According to the 2010 RIMS Benchmark Survey, the average Cost Per Full-time Equivalent Employee for all industries combined is $701 Cost Per FTE for workers compensation. The Cost Per Employee is normally lower for companies with greater than 1 Billion in revenue and higher for companies with less than 1Billion in revenue. The 2010 RIMS Benchmark Survey contains tons of useful information. It’s definitely an excellent resource — either online or in print and companies that contribute their data get a huge discount, so that’s something to consider. The 2011 RIMS Benchmark Survey should be published soon. I get the print version, and keep it handy, on my desk, from the past 8 years.

 

Both the 2009 and 2010 RIMS Benchmark Surveys contain workers compensation best practices, indicating which best practices employers have implemented. This is excellent information to compare your company’s performance and build management committment for programs such as transtitional duty, employee communication, cost allocation, post injury response procedures and many more operational best practices. It’s well worth spending some time reviewing this information to see what your company can do better. For example, the RTW Ratio is closely tied to the mod and how much a company pays for their workers compensation, a fact that we have been waiting years to learn.

 

Many signs point to larger workers compensation tabs in the future. A good cost reduction goal for companies is half national average or half industry average.

 

As with other outlays, employers can trim with some thought and effort.

 

Costs need not be this high. Insurers, unions, workers, lawyers and doctors are all contributing to the current waste and the employers who finance workers compensation must bear much of the fault, too.

 

Why is this?

 

Employers are unwittingly encouraging employees to remain on workers compensation much longer than necessary.

 

When executives at a large publishing company were pondering their burgeoning workers compensation costs last year for example, they found a fairly convincing explanation.

 

Their employees who were getting such compensation were effectively receiving 10% of their salaries.

 

This company is not alone.

 

Here are some of the main reasons why workers compensation is often needlessly expensive:

 

Double Dipping

Like many other employers, a national construction company had a group disability insurance policy. Thus, one employee was receiving workers compensation following back surgery and, after 26 weeks, began receiving disability payments too.

 

Combined with some personal insurance policies, this double income meant the worker’s at-home pay exceeded his at-work pay. Naturally, in 1993, when the company offered him a job with light duties but at his full salary during his recuperation, he turned it down

 

The lesson: Eliminate double dipping. While workers personal insurance is their own, employers should deduct workers compensation from other duplicative company payments. To do otherwise encourages malingering.

 

Idle Income

In Massachusetts and a few other states, employees on workers compensation can qualify for unemployment benefits under certain circumstances.(WCxKit)

 

To prevent this outrageous form of double dipping, companies should offer all injured workers transitional jobs they can perform even with their physical restrictions. Under the eligibility rules, workers who refuse such offers will not be deemed unemployed.

 

Double Dipping and Idle Income are two ways your out-of-work employees may be milking the system. Find out more #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.
 

WC IQ TEST:  http://www.workerscompkit.com/intro/

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php

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

 

Are Your Out of Work Employees Making More At Home Than On the Job

As with other outlays, employers can trim workers compensation costs with thought and effort.
Costs need not be so high. Insurers, unions, workers, lawyers and doctors are all contributing to the current waste and the employers who finance workers compensation must bear much of the fault, too.(WCxKit)

 

Why is this?

 

Employers are unwittingly encouraging employees to remain on workers compensation much longer than necessary.

 

Lucrative Lawsuits

While workers compensation statutes prevent workers injured on the job from suing their employers, they can still sue others. Someone hurt while using a lathe, for example, can sue the lathe maker.

 

Better that the employer files a subrogation action against the equipment manufacturer to offset their payment of workers compensation benefits.

 

If such a worker receives a court award or settlement, he gets paid twice for the same injury.

 

In such cases, most states allow employers to seek reimbursement for sums already spent on workers compensation.

 

But, companies must pursue this payment during the court case; afterward is usually too late.

 

Pension Pay

Older workers who receive workers compensation benefits may retire during their convalescence.

 

The crafty among them will collect their pensions and continue to receive workers compensation

 

A Sweetened Pot

Some employers offer “occupational injury supplements,” which can raise workers compensation benefits from two-thirds to full salary.

 

Given that workers compensation is tax fee and employees at home save on commuting and other work-related costs, a full salary is more lucrative for workers on leave than for workers at work.

 

Thus, companies must carefully design any programs for supplemental pay to avoid any disincentives to working.

 

Accidental Profits

In New York, Hawaii and other states, employees who are injured when driving a car on company business may receive both workers compensation and medical benefits from their no-fault auto insurance policies.

 

To prevent this redundancy, no-fault benefits should be deducted from workers compensation benefits, if permitted by state law.

 

Employers follow many other policies that dampen the enthusiasm of those on workers compensation to return to work. Many companies keep jobs open indefinitely, for example. And others allow employees on workers compensation to accrue sick time. How can workers who are sick accumulate sick days?

 

Keep these benefits in mind when reducing your WC costs – when they overlap, they encourage our of work employees (OOW) employees not to come back.(WCxKit)

 

And coming back to work is good for the company and the employee.

 

Check where your pension, lawsuit and injury benefits overlap – you could be bleeding money. Find out more #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.
 

WC IQ TEST:  http://www.workerscompkit.com/intro/

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php

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

 

Learn the 13 Hidden Costs of Workers Compensation Claims

The true cost of workers' compensation includes a lot of hidden cost and is much higher than the insurance premiums or benefits paid. This is often referred to as the "iceberg" concept.

Each and every workers’ comp accident incurs additional hidden cost to the employer having significant and sometimes devastating effect on the employer.   Unlike the payment of doctor bills, prescriptions and indemnity benefits, the hidden cost of the workers’ comp claim are much more difficult to quantify, but are very real. The hidden cost of a workers’ comp claim are not covered by the workers' compensation insurance, but are absorbed by the employer. (WCxKitz)

Each workers’ comp accident results in the reduction of profits due to the various hidden cost paid by the employer. This can include: 

1.     The time lost and the productivity lost by the employee's supervisor and co-workers responding to the  accident and providing immediate aid.
2.     The time lost by co-workers' distraction—watching the emergency response and/or standing  around discussing the accident after the employee is transported to the medical provider.
3.     The time lost by the employee for the remainder of the workday, which is normally paid by the employer.
4.     A reduction in morale as co-workers realize and think about the risk related to the job.
5.     The continuation of the employee's benefits while the employee is off work due to the accident. (WCxKitz)
6.     The supervisor's time, management's time and co-worker's (witnesses) time in the reporting and paperwork.
7.     The time spent handling the accident investigation.
8.     The time spent handling the workers’ comp claim.
9.     The loss of production from the injured employee.
10.  The  expense of rescheduling the work the employee would have performed.
11.  The cost of overtime pay to other employees to do the work the injured employee, or
12.  The cost of hiring and training either a temporary or a permanent employee to replace the injured employee.
13.  The lower productivity of the replacement employee until the replacement employee is up to speed or the  injured employee returns to work.

The employer in addition to the cost associated with the loss of production also incurs other cost including: (WCxKitz)

  1. An increase in the experience modification factor when calculating the workers’ comp premium.
  2. For publicly traded companies, lower profits which result in lower stock value.
  3. Damage to equipment, tools, machinery or vehicles being used by the employee at the time of the accident.
  4. Spoiled work that has to be replaced.
  5. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or state imposed penalties and/or fines.
  6. Delays in purchasing new equipment or delays in expansion plans due to the lost profits.
  7. Missed delivery dates due to the disruption in the workflow.
  8. Missed sales if the injured employee is a salesperson.
  9. Legal expenses.

According to a study by OSHA, the hidden cost of a workers’ comp claim is 4.5 times the direct cost (the medical and indemnity benefits). Other studies place the hidden cost as low as 3 times the direct cost and as high as 10 times the direct cost.

If the employee is easily replaced or returns to work shortly after the accident, without a disruption in the business, then the low end of the range [with hidden cost being 3 times the direct cost] would be accurate. If the employee is difficult to replace and the replacement employee then needs extensive training, the high end of the range [with hidden cost being 10 times the direct cost] would be accurate.

While the hidden cost of a workers’ comp claim cannot be eliminated, they can be significantly reduced through a safety program. A properly structured safety program reduces the number of work place injuries and all the hidden cost the employer would incur. This will result in higher production/productivity for the employer creating higher profits. (WCxKitz)

And, remember the mantra: “Every effective workers’ compensation program rides in tandem with a fully functional safety program.” If you want to reduce the number of workers’ comp claims and all the associated hidden costs absorbed by the employer, look closely at your safety program.

Author Rebecca Shafer,  Attorney/Risk Consultant, President, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers’ Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, manufacturing, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing.  Contact:  RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com  or 860-553-6604.

FREE WC IQ Test:  http://www.workerscompkit.com/intro/
WC Books:  
http://www.LowerWC.com/workers-comp-books-manuals.php
WC Calculator:  http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
TD Calculator:  http://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.

 

 

©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

 

12 Key Essentials to Cost Management for Workers Compensation

"All Employers Need to Know and Are UNAFRAID to Ask" Everyone agrees  to attain effective cost management in workers' compensation employers need to develop and implement a workers' compensation program, covering EVERY aspect of this very complicated issue.   Common sense  also tells employers it is not necessary to figure it all out themselves.  Rather, astute employers look for plans and programs designed and tested by trustworthy and knowledgeable individuals and tailor a plan fitting their particular industry, workplace environment, and employee culture. Sounds good.  Sounds easy!  — a little like putting a recipe together?  But, as is known, just leave one essential element out of the recipe and the resulting food dish goes south. An effective  cost management workers' compensation program needs, at minimum these TWELVE (12) KEYS 1. Management Basics: knowing best practices, involving management at all levels. 2. Knowledge of Adjusters (TPA)* who and what they are and how they function. 3. Management of Injuries: best practices, roles and responsibilities. 4. Employee Communication so they know what policy is, what to do, where to go when injury occurs and after. 5. Procedure for Reporting Injury at the time the injury occurs. 6. Procedure for Post Injury Follow Up: keeping track of the injured worker, healing progress, RTW* status. 7. Medical Care Direction: working with medical providers; looking at injuries from diagnosis to RTW* recommendations; learn medical terms. 8. Return-to-Work Procedure: transitional duty; state and federal leave laws. 9. Indemnity Cost Containment Services such as independent medical evaluations and work hardening. 10. Medical Cost Containment: using nurse case managers; peer and utilization review. 11. Plan to Fight Fraud and Abuse: knowing when to investigate and what type of investigation to use. 12. Training and Building Commitment involving both management and employees. Learn more at:  Workers Compensation ToolKit Author:  Robert Elliott, J.D.

 Our links are now updated.  Try them out. Visit Our Websites:  ReduceYourWorkersComp and WorkersCompKit Try Our FREE  Workers' Comp Best Practices Quick Check

You can still find and use WC Calculator, TD Calculator and WC101 at ReduceYourWorkersComp.  Click on the link above. 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

Professional Development Resource

Learn How to Reduce Workers Comp Costs 20% to 50%"Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%"
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