The recent healthcare debacle in Washington, D.C. has left many in the industry wondering how this will effect the workers’ comp system. Although the proposed republican bill did not pass, employers can still take steps to ensure they are in the best position for either the existing state of affairs or whatever future legislation may be offered. Here are some measures to ponder:
Employee Safety & Health
Wellness programs. This is a good time to consider the idea if your company does not have one. Healthier employees are less likely to suffer workplace injuries or illnesses and more likely to recover quickly if they do. If your company has a program, look at its effectiveness.
Aging workers. Now is a good time to think about taking steps to increase safety and health among aging workers. Improve lighting, implement efforts to ensure hallways are obstacle free and look into assistive devices to reduce bodily injury.
Improve investigations. You don’t want to be struck with claims that are not work related. If and when an injury does occur, make sure you don’t skip steps to discover what really happened. Look at the timeline, talk to witnesses, review any video footage of events.
Examine bills. Make sure your providers, attorneys, and others are not trying to cushion their potential income losses at your expense. Question if anything on a bill appears dubious. Any reputable vendor should easily explain changes in billing.
Claims Management Processes
Workflow automation. Use this to better manage your performance, loss trends and reduce claims outflow. You might consider data warehousing to integrate legacy systems and multiple data sources to identify fraud and cost shifting.
Intervene early. Work with your insurer or third party administrator to identify high risk claims that could potentially deteriorate. Leverage clinical and specialty resources early in the claim cycle.
Use quality providers. Work with high quality partners to help expedite claims and get injured employees quickly back to work. Medical providers should have good track records of delivering the best care and have a comprehensive understanding of occupational health.
Updated Paperwork. Ensure that your policies and procedures relative to employee health and safety are up to date and easily available to employees.
For the time being, it seems healthcare will remain the same. However, it’s advisable for all stakeholders to remain vigilant and prepared for any proposed changes in the future.