The influx of rate increases in the workers’ comp market has left employers searching for ways to control their spending. One of the most effective ways that employers can help keep their workers’ comp spending down is through properly managing their workers’ comp claims. Staying vigilant when it comes to active workers’ comp claims can result in a less severity, lower claim amounts, and improved outcomes. Below are some of the ways that employers can better manage their workers’ comp claims.
Effective workers’ compensation claim management begins at the time of the injury. According to a report by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), delays in reporting work-related injuries can increase workers compensation claim costs by up to 51%. Their studies show that injuries reported between one day and two weeks from the time of the accident have a significantly lower average claim cost than those reported after two weeks.
Interestingly enough, injuries reported on the day of the injury (day zero) also have a higher average claim cost than those reported between day one and day 14, but this is likely due to the severity of the injury. For example, if a worker falls and is knocked unconscious, they’ll likely be transported to the hospital via an ambulance, and the claim will be immediately opened.
The NCCI report also notes that medical cost decreases exponentially each week following an injury, indicating that indemnity cost rises faster than medical costs for delayed claims. One reason for this may be that it takes longer for an employee to return to work when the claim is delayed, resulting in a longer period of wage replacement benefits. Additionally, the study found that claims reported immediately only involve an attorney 13% of the time, while the percentage of attorney involvement for claims reported after four weeks increases to 32%.
Early reporting can help employers effectively investigate a workplace injury and allow them to collect any helpful evidence as well as interview any witnesses before too much time has passed. It can also reduce the frustration an employee has when going through the process of filing a claim, decreasing the likelihood of the employee escalating the claim further.
Monitor Employee Recovery and Encourage Return-to-Work Efforts
During the recovery process, it is important for employers to maintain frequent contact with the employee and ensure they are following the physician recommendations not only to ensure optimal recovery, but also to keep claim costs down. Traditionally, employers will give the injured employee time to completely heal from their injuries before returning to work. However, implementing a transitional work program can enable the injured employee to perform valuable work during their recovery, lessening the cost of the claim entirely while increasing overall morale for the employee as well as their peers.
The longer an injured worker is away from work, the harder it becomes for them to return. Allowing injured workers to perform comparable duties while they transition back into their position lets them retain their experience and skills while injured and also lessens the rate of turnover, lowering the potential cost of having to hire and train additional workers.
Partner With Experts
Partnering with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) that has a proven track record of effective workers’ comp claims management can relieve the burden on the employer. Emplicity’s Workers’ Comp Program helps clients better manage their workers’ comp claims and return employees to work as quickly and safely as possible, reducing the overall cost of workers’ comp spending.
Since 1995, Emplicity has provided a smarter, more secure, and integrated platform of employer services to its 300 business clients and their 8,500 employees. As a Professional Employer Organization, or PEO, the California-based HR outsourcing firm simplifies the compliance, administration, and support businesses need in the areas of employee benefits, payroll, and human resources technology.
NOTICE: Emplicity provides HR advice and recommendations. Information provided by Emplicity is not intended as a substitute for employment law counsel. At no time will Emplicity have the authority or right to make decisions on behalf of its clients.