Employer doesn't buy into Recovery at Work

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    • #2608

      One of the most important parts of managing injuries is establishing a recovery at work program.

      Recovery at work is essential to keep any injury as medical only. But what if your client doesn't want to bring injured workers back?

      What are some ways/ideas/methods you have used to get clients to buy into the process? Can you still achieve results without a recovery at work program being in place?

      Do you walk away from the account?


    • #2610
      George Lucas

      Joe, I think it makes it very difficult to keep the account happy when the claims start escalating. Like Don Phin has said the corporate culture needs to change from the top down. When the claims get settled at amounts that the employer thinks are obscene, and the mod starts blowing up the employer will blame everyone but himself. I would use whatever tools you have to show him the cost of the impact of claims and show him the medical cost versus a full blown lost time claim with TD paid out.


    • #2611

      I've found that many employers do not know about the 70% reduction of a med only claim in the mod calculation - assuming they are in an ERA state - and the impact this can have on the experience mod across only a few claims. So they're often considering just the immediate cost to their bottom line (payroll for recovery @ work) and not the medium & long term cost savings afforded by a reduced experience mod.

      I break down the financial impact keeping claims to medical only has on the mod with the 70% reduction. If they actually have claims, this is more impactful to show the actual impact on the mod RTW would have had if they were able to keep the claims to med only. Then, I compare their out of pocket cost of RTW (assuming they are paying wages on the actual claims & getting zero productivity from the employee) to the impact on the 1 and 3-year experience mod & resulting premium savings. Typically the 3-year cost savings of RTW will far eclipse the couple thousand dollars they would have spent paying an injured employee on light duty. This all assumes that there is zero productivity from the employee & hopefully shows an improved bottom line.

      I've also found that employers are more willing to implement an RTW program if they know that they're not beholden to keeping the employee in a light duty position longer than would be 'business practicable'. If the employers knows that they can provide light duty for a set period (one or two weeks), then if the employee is not better, can turn over lost time payments to the insurance carrier, they're more likely to agree to the light duty program. If the employee is out more than a couple weeks anyway, there is likely going to be some disability payment on the claim & they'll lose their ERA 70% discount anyway.

      If we can show cost savings in the medium & long term on work comp premiums by implementing RTW, and they still don't want to do it, then I'd say they don't value anything other than the immediate bottom dollar & wouldn't be a fit for our agency.

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