Workers’ comp remains a top priority for employers. The challenge that brokers face is the ability to assist clients when health care costs are rising. Nonetheless, brokers will have ways to support businesses by identifying opportunities to keep premiums under control.
PREMIUMS CONTINUE TO RISE
Higher premiums are a result of higher claims. This is particularly true for companies who have over 100 employees and a huge labor force as they are taking the biggest hits. Strategies to reduce risk continue to change even as health care costs steadily rise.
One strategy being used to keep medical costs on the low is working with clinics specializing in occupational medicine. Brokers should get to know the area providers and clinics.
While employers in a number of states are prohibited from mandating workers’ comp applicants go to certain clinics, creating an affiliation with a facility that focuses on job related conditions has its benefits. Joining forces with doctors who have established procedures creates a comfort level for the patients and builds support for that clinic.
HIGH TECH MEDICINE
Technology is now crossing over to the medical field by modernizing the way employees receive care and deters potential problems. It is essentially the ability to connect employees to doctors or healthcare professionals via their smartphones or tablets. These programs popular for clients who have a workforce that works non-traditional hours and require immediate access.
GETTING BACK INTO THE WORKPLACE
The culture of having employees back to work swiftly is critical to controlling claims. Eighty percent of the workers’ comp costs is attributed to five percent of the claims. Some companies are not in tune with the value of communicating with employees who aren’t at work because of workers’ comp claims. Most of these claims are happening when employees are out of their jobs for long stretches.
Employees who stay at home face increased chances of re-injuries, depression, or consider suing their employer. Having return to work plans in place can have significant benefits.
These plans can partner injured employees with jobs that they can handle physically even if they aren’t operating at full capacity. Staying connected with employees is also a worthwhile investment in getting them back to work. A quick call or hand written card can make a big difference and signals the employer genuinely cares about their well being.
Although these programs might not be anything new, they have proved to be important in controlling workers’ comp costs. Creating and promoting a culture of safety first has had a favorable impact. Employers need to remain vigilant about these safety programs. Nonetheless, brokers can play a significant part in advising employers and identifying resources to address these issues guaranteeing a win-win situation for all.
Trend or not, 2017 is the perfect time to review and consider your current workers’ compensation costs. Download our free eBook on reducing the cost of your workers’ compensation insurance rates to learn more.