Recent industry studies have shown that the medical costs for Worker’s Compensation (WC) claims are growing at a faster rate than the lost wage portion of the claims. Insurance industry professionals have seen a dramatic increase in both the utilization of medical treatment and a rise in the medication component of claims. Increased medical costs generally go hand-in-hand with missed time from work.
How does an employer make an impact on these costs? In states where employers/insurance carriers have the right to direct medical treatment, make sure you’re taking advantage of it. Furthermore, develop a positive working relationship with the local physicians treating your employees.
We suggest that you take the following steps when interacting with your local WC physicians:
- Create an expectation that they’ll communicate promptly with you about the care that is provided to your employees and their return-to-work capabilities
- Make them aware of your willingness to bring employees back to modified duty jobs
- Have them visit your plant/operation/office so they understand the job tasks in your organization
- Challenge them to provide quality care with a focus on returning employees back to work.
Author: Stephen P. Friend, CPCU, AIC, Vice President