Who’s on Your Workers’ Compensation “A” Team?

Published on Tue, 09/23/2014 - 19:05

Let’s face it – sports teams don’t win championships because of the actions of a few good players. They win with teamwork. That same kind of teamwork is needed to successfully manage your workers’ compensation program. Long before a claim is filed, you need to assemble a winning team and formulate a strong game plan so you can knock your goals out of the park.

Who do you need on your team?

The players you choose for your team can have a dramatic impact on your workers’ compensation experience and results. Here are some tips on recruiting and grooming superstars:

  • Management. Your team is only as good as its leaders, so make sure management is onboard with making workers’ comp a priority, setting realistic goals, and building safety and injury management into every aspect of your operations
  • Employees. Don’t just make safety another regulation to comply with. Help your employees take ownership in the team by providing a safe workplace, easy access to training resources, and ongoing instruction on how to work safe. Showing them you’re serious about their health and well-being is the best way to get them to play their best game.
  • Medical providers. Medical treatment accounts for almost 60 percent of your overall workers’ compensation costs, so you need solid players here. Know the rules in your state and determine if you can direct injured workers to treat with medical providers that you select. If so, select providers now, before you have a claim. Develop relationships with quality medical providers who have experience with workers’ compensation, and who adhere to ACOEM (American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine) guidelines. Likewise, choose physical therapists that have experience in the workers’ compensation arena. Make sure the agency is pre-screened and recognized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as a CRA (Certified Rehabilitation Specialist Agency).
  • Claims examiners. If you have a claim, make proactive contact with your claims examiner and offer to provide any information needed to investigate the claim and move treatment forward. Introduce yourself and make sure your claims examiner knows your established medical providers and whether or not you provide light duty. If the injured worker has work restrictions, provide a copy of the employee’s job description as well as job descriptions for any light duty positions you can offer. When it comes to workers’ compensation claims, proactive communication makes a huge difference.
  • Legal counsel. It’s inevitable that you’ll need legal counsel, so choose someone with plenty of expertise in workers’ comp cases to help you comply with the multitude of rules and regulations, keep claims rolling along, facilitate settlement negotiations, and keep you out of hot water.
  • Score keeper. Of course, you’ll want to measure and track your results. How else will you know if you’re winning? Designate someone on your team to keep track of statistics such as cost of losses per hundred dollars of payroll, total cost of losses per full-time employee, days lost due to injury for every 200,000 hours worked (OSHA Severity Rate), and other data.

Workers' compensation is largely a controllable expense if you have the right team in place. Heffernan Insurance has the expertise and industry clout to be a high-scoring member of your workers’ compensation insurance “A” team. Let us know how we can help.