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A Closer Look at Limiting Work Comp Costs - II

As an employer, you want to do everything you can to keep costs low and maximize productivity. However, serious work injuries to employees, while often inevitable, can greatly jeopardize these efforts, resulting in decreased production and even the incurrence of legal fees.

Interestingly, Andrew Muller, a senior account executive with insurance giant Neace Lukens, has recently spoken about how employers can face serious losses if they don't take the time to adequately inform injured workers about the work comp process, including their rights and their expectations.

One of the approaches advocated by Muller to cut back on costs associated with work comp claims is the creation of a packet to be administered to employees immediately after a work injury.

Please see the previous post, "A Closer Look at Limiting Work Comp Costs - I," for more information.

Post continued ...

In addition to the one or two page letter from an executive, Muller also recommends that both a prescription information sheet and an Authorization for Release of Medical Information be included in the packet.

The prescription information sheet will identify in-network pharmacies that the injured worker can use to keep prescription costs low, while the Authorization for Release of Medical Information form - as explained in the letter from the executive - will assist medical providers in identifying the appropriate level of care for the injured worker.

Muller also recommends including the following in the packet: an injury report (to be completed by the supervisor, injured worker and witnesses), a questionnaire to gather feedback on the entire process and, somewhat surprisingly, and a notice/reminder to the injured worker that they may be reimbursed for mileage.

"A lot of people don't realize that but find out a month later ... We not only tell them but give them a log to keep track of mileage - anytime they go to the doctor, the therapist, anything related to the injury we say, 'keep track of it to get reimbursed.'"

Lastly, Muller suggests including certain language in the aforementioned one or two page letter from an executive indicating that the employer will be monitoring the injured workers' treatment/recovery to ensure that their health and ability to return to work is progressing, but also to monitor compliance with the instructions of medical providers.

"It needs to be defined in the letter that 'you'll be expected to fulfill RTW requirements,'" said Muller. "If there's a noncompliance with the expectations, it could result in a suspension of benefits."

Stay tuned for further developments in the area of workers' compensation defense ...  

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Related Resources:

Outlining Expectations for Injured Workers Upfront Can Save Comp Dollars (Risk & Insurance)

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