Does Your Workers’ Comp Provider Proactively Manage Claims?

Workers' compensation claims can be costly for an organization, particularly if these claims are not handled properly. Unfortunately, workplace accidents are an all too common occurrence, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating that 2.7 out of every 100 workers gets injured on the job. However, by taking proactive steps, you can not only reduce the likelihood of injuries in the workplace, but you can also reduce the cost of workers' compensation claims.

Proactively managing workers' compensation claims is a forward-thinking approach that emphasizes prevention, timely intervention, and effective management to protect employee well-being while minimizing costs. This approach not only fosters a safer work environment but also boosts employee morale and reduces the frequency and severity of workplace injuries. 

Employers can significantly lower the direct and indirect costs associated with these claims by implementing robust safety protocols, efficient incident handling, and data analysis for hazard identification. Ultimately, taking a proactive approach to workers' compensation claims aligns with the best interests of both employees and employers, resulting in an improved outcome for all parties. 

Yet, what can you do to reduce the likelihood and severity of workplace injuries and the costs associated with these incidents? Keep reading as we explore several strategies that you can implement to proactively manage workers' compensation claims.

Establish a Safety-First Culture

Perhaps the most effective way to prevent workplace accidents and reduce workers' compensation expenses would be to establish a safety-first culture at your company. This starts with developing a comprehensive safety program tailored to your specific industry and the types of jobs within your company. Once you have a safety program in place, it is essential that you routinely hold mandatory training sessions on your company's safety procedures and the process all employees should take if an accident occurs on the job. Ensuring that all employees are aware of your organization's safety procedures can significantly reduce the likelihood of on-the-job accidents

You should also make sure that you regularly review your workers' comp claim history to see if making any updates to your training schedule or workplace procedures could further improve employee safety at your company. You may also find it helpful to engage employees by encouraging them to become involved in safety committees or the development of safety protocols. Not only can this foster a culture of safety at your company, but it gives you insight into what your employees think would make their workplace safer. 

Respond Immediately to Incidents and On-The-Job Injuries

When an employee is injured on the job, ensuring that management responds quickly to the incident is essential. One of the biggest mistakes supervisors make is thinking that their employee's injury is minor and does not need to be reported; however, this mindset can cause complications later on. The fact is that the more quickly an incident is reported, the more smoothly the claims process will generally go. If an accident is immediately reported, this ensures evidence can be preserved, workers can quickly get the treatment they need, and you can avoid potential fines/penalties for failing to report a claim.  

This makes it critical that your supervisors are trained to follow the established procedure whenever an employee is injured on the job. This should include having a protocol for providing immediate medical attention to employees regardless of whether their injuries are minor or severe. Responding immediately to any accidents/incidents in the workplace can help make the claims process as simple as possible, and it can also aid in the recovery of the injured worker. 

Communicate With All Parties Frequently

You can also make the claims process as efficient as possible by ensuring that you regularly communicate with all parties involved throughout the workers' compensation process. Staying in regular contact with the injured employee, the medical provider, and the claims adjuster can help you understand the status of the employee's recovery, which can help you develop an effective return-to-work plan.

You should also regularly communicate with your employees the importance of knowing what they should do when an injury occurs on the job. Regularly educating your employees about the workers' compensation process, benefits, and their responsibilities if injured on the job can help streamline the claims process should an incident occur.     

Implement Return-to-Work Programs For Injured Employees

Companies that develop comprehensive return-to-work (RTW) programs can minimize the total cost of workers' compensation claims by bringing an injured employee back to work sooner, even if only for light or modified duty. Not only can this reduce the costs associated with a workers' compensation claim, but it can also help the worker maintain their connection to the organization. They will also feel valued by their employer who will have taken the time to work with them to find ways to maintain their employment as they recover from their injuries.  

To develop an RTW plan for an injured employee, work with their medical providers to understand where the employee is at in their recovery process and what their capabilities and restrictions are. You can then identify activities that the injured worker can do within your organization and tailor a return-to-work plan that suits both the employee and the employer.  

Investigate Workers’ Comp Claims thoroughly

Your company should immediately investigate any workplace injury claims as soon as possible after an incident occurs to determine if they are legitimate. This process will include obtaining facts about the incident, identifying and talking to witnesses, and compiling evidence that the claimant was hurt while working. By properly investigating the evidence, you can reconstruct the chain of events to understand what went wrong and whether the accident could have been prevented. This can be vital in helping you identify trends or areas of concern within your operations that may require additional training or safety improvements to prevent future accidents. 

Alternatively, your investigation may uncover that the claim was fraudulent. However, even if you suspect from the beginning that a workers' compensation claim may be dubious, do not immediately decline the claim. You must investigate all claims as if they are legitimate, as you could find yourself faced with a costly lawsuit if you try to dismiss a valid claim as fraudulent.       

Utilize Data and Technology

By using claims management software, your company can leverage technology to track workers' compensation claims, monitor costs, and analyze data for trends that could indicate potential areas for improvement in safety and training. This software can also analyze claims data to identify patterns or trends that are causing workplace accidents, which could help you create targeted interventions to reduce workplace hazards and prevent future injuries. By taking advantage of the latest technology, you can streamline the workers' compensation claims process and identify ways to improve safety within your organization, which can potentially lead to a reduction in workers' compensation expenses. 

Proactively Managing Workers Compensation Claims With Alloy Employer Services

Proactively managing workers' compensation claims requires a multifaceted approach focused on prevention, an immediate and effective response to injuries, and active management of claims. Employers who invest in these areas can significantly reduce the impact of workplace injuries on their operations while supporting the health and safety of their employees. 

This makes it essential that you work with a claims administrator who takes a proactive approach to workers' compensation management, as failing to do so can potentially result in costly workers' compensation claims. If your current administrator is not managing claims proactively, it may be time to consider switching providers. 

Feel free to contact us to learn more about the importance of proactive workers' compensation claims management as well as to get a zero commitment-free claims assessment. We will provide you with an absolutely free analysis of your company's workers' compensation program, including rates and claims management performance.



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