As an employer, you want to make sure that you have adequate workers’ compensation insurance; however, you also want to make sure that you aren’t paying too much for it.
If you aren’t properly managing your workers compensation program, there’s a good chance that you are indeed paying too much.
If you want to change that, here are 5 workers’ compensation cost control systems to implement.
1. A Return to Work Program
While an injured employee may not be capable of returning to his regular job and performing all of his regular duties, he may be able to come back to work on “modified duty,” “transitional duty,” or “light duty.” For example, a worker with an injured back may not be able to return to a job that requires frequent lifting, but he may be able to perform modified duties such as answering phones or counting inventory. Modified duty reuces disability costs, which in turn lowers your cost of the workers’ compensation claim. Plus, several studies have shown that injured employees who come back to work for modified duty recover more quickly.
2. A Safety Program
Frequency and severity of claims are two of the biggest causes of higher workers’ compensation insurance premiums. A good safety program can decrease both the frequency and the severity of injuries. A good safety program identifies all of the potential job hazards and teaches employees how to work more safely and avoid injuries. An effective safety program requires a concerted effort to eliminate or reduce all job hazards that are identified and should include a safety specialist or committee that keeps on top of those (and new) hazards.
3. Medical Management Cost Control
In 2017, health care costs are expected to grow 6.5%. This means that controlling the cost of medical care provided to an injured employee is necessary to help control the cost of workers’ compensation premiums. Employers can do this by 1) having a worksite nurse who is available to evaluate and ensure that injured employees receive the proper level of medical care, 2) involving a nurse case manager in the claim, so she can coordinate and facilitate the medical care and assist the employer and employee in compliance and return to work options, and 3) having cost control services in place for medical fee schedule reviews, utilization reviews, and peer reviews.
4. Fraud Prevention Program
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, up to 25 percent of all workers’ compensation claims contain some element of fraud, and this fraud can add 10 to 20 percent to your overall cost of workers’ compensation. If you turn a blind eye to fraud, you’re encouraging other employees to commit fraud. You should have a fraud prevention program in place and make sure that every employee understands that fraud is a serious crime and that the cost of fraud could directly affect them in lower raises or bonuses.
5. Control Medical Provider Selection
You may be surprised by how much this can affect the cost of medical care, but research has shown a strong correlation between the states with the highest cost of workers’ compensation and the states that allow injured employees to select their medical provider. First, you should understand how much you can and can’t control this selection. In Pennsylvania, employers can (and should) provide a list of acceptable medical providers that employees can use in a workers’ compensation claim. Employees are required to use one of those medical providers for 90 days. If you don’t provide a list, the injured employee can select his own medical provider during those first 90 days and many employees will find a doctor who will keep them off work longer.
Call Us to Lower Your Workers Comp Insurance Costs!
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