From keeping up with ever-changing compliance issues and rising medical costs to managing the use of opioids and medical marijuana as potential treatments for injured employees, today’s employers face a wide range of workers compensation challenges.
How can employers control workers compensation costs and help ensure their employees receive appropriate care? By partnering with an insurance company that understands the evolving workers comp market and how changes may affect the care of injured workers and claims costs.
Consider these six areas when selecting your workers compensation insurance partner, so your company and employees get the best possible outcomes. Ideally, you’ll want a partner that:
- Knows your industry’s specific risks and top causes of injuries. An insurer with a deep understanding and history of successfully preventing injuries can help a company improve workplace safety through:
- Experienced risk control professionals who are actively engaged with industry associations and safety and health standards’ committees
- The latest research from professional organizations, government agencies, and academic institutions
By sharing this knowledge and expertise, the insurer can help a company identify risks and implement solutions to protect employees.
- Has medical and workplace injury expertise. In general, partner with the insurer with the “deepest bench” regarding medical resources. An insurer with both medical and industry expertise can:
- Initiate meaningful discussions between the primary treating physician and employer about treatment and return-to-work plans
- Engage in public affairs initiatives by participating on state medical advisory committees to review and help influence treatment guidelines, or by presenting on important issues, such as medical marijuana
This expertise and collaboration help ensure that throughout the claim process, an injured employee receives the most appropriate care and resources for a successful recovery.
- Proactively addresses return-to-work efforts. An insurer that understands the business’s operation can work with the employer to help ensure the injured employee returns to work in the most effective manner. This can include:
- Working together to identify temporary jobs for injured workers
- Making medical providers aware of opportunities for injured employees to return to work in less physically demanding roles
- Helping identify and address medical or social conditions that could delay an injured worker’s recovery
- Has the right resources at the right time. Partnering with an insurer that understands which experts and resources to use at what time in a claim’s life cycle is critical to delivering better outcomes. For example, the insurer can help:
- Facilitate peer-to-peer conversations between a medical director and the treating physician when treatment appears not to be evidence-based, such as when opioid prescribing is inappropriate, or if there are questions regarding causality
- Determine whether additional support, such as the involvement of a nurse case manager or vocational rehabilitation specialist, would be effective in promoting recovery
- Match injuries with the right providers. In states where employers can direct care, a knowledgeable insurer can be the ideal partner to best match employees with medical providers specializing in work-related injuries, to help ensure that appropriate work-injury treatment guidelines are followed. This includes using a data-based approach to:
- Evaluate medical providers and identify those who can deliver the best outcomes
- Create networks of the most effective providers
- Tailor those networks to match injured workers’ home or work locations
- Know how to use the data. Big data is everywhere, and workers comp is no exception. An insurer that uses data analytics can, for example, help identify:
- If an injured employee’s medical treatment has veered off course, so the claims team can get it back on track
- Emerging trends that impact care and engage treating providers to deliver better outcomes for injured workers and employers
Managing costs in today’s rapidly changing workers compensation environment can be complex. By partnering with an insurer that has the right resources and expertise, and proactively collaborating with treating providers and injured employees, a company can support its workforce and achieve quality claims outcomes.
This website is general in nature, and is provided as a courtesy to you. Information is accurate to the best of Liberty Mutual’s knowledge, but companies and individuals should not rely on it to prevent and mitigate all risks as an explanation of coverage or benefits under an insurance policy. Consult your professional advisor regarding your particular facts and circumstance. By citing external authorities or linking to other websites, Liberty Mutual is not endorsing them.