Mitigating Worker’s Comp Claims Impact
Almost every business owner I speak with loathes worker’s comp insurance. Worker’s comp insurance costs are high and can go up significantly in the event of a claim or multiple claims. Also, workers comp can be a cost center that is heavily impacted by fraud and abuse.
As a captive manager serving small and mid-market businesses, we work with business owners who often choose to self-insure a portion of their workers comp. Some are members in group captive insurance programs and others often choose to insure their workers comp deductibles in their own captive insurance company. If they can control the number and severity of claims and raise their workers comp deductible, they can lower workers comp costs so they can put that money to better uses.
One of the challenges with a workers comp incident is that time is usually not on the business owner’s side. If an employee has a non-emergency workplace injury and follows a normal progression of informing their supervisor and leaving work to seek medical attention, the costs rapidly escalate. Remember, time is not on the business owner’s side and during this process the employee may conclude his or her injury is worse than it really is. And, this conclusion may be real (caused by lag in treatment) or perceived (built up in the mind). One of the keys to lowering the cost for workers comp incidents is to significantly shorten the time window from the event to the first conversation with a medical professional.
At the Risk Management Society Conference (RIMS) this year, CIC Services encountered a rapid response tele-medicine approach that shortens the incidence to medical response window and lowers the cost of workers comp claims. The approach is called Workers 1st Call. The program excels in 3 areas: Work place injuries, Ergonomic injuries and Behavioral health. One of the keys to success is providing 24/7/365 access to medical professionals by phone or videoconference.
Employees with non-emergency injuries talk with a healthcare professional before leaving the workplace. Often, their injuries can be treated without a costly trip to the local Emergency Room or healthcare provider. Tele-medicine professionals can write prescriptions when appropriate. Also, many injured employees can receive on-going consultation via a virtual clinic. As a result, the cost of workers comp claims and time out of work are both significantly reduced. In fact, the program has been proven to lower E-MOD scores and to decrease workers comp claims and costs by 45%. This makes a big difference for business owners that insure all or part of their workers comp in a captive insurance program.
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