Workers Compensation Program Medical Networks Critical
Does your company have a solid Workers Compensation program? This would apply to all employers regardless of size, type of insurance program, or state. California has shown that MPNs (Medical Provider Networks) are a way to reduce premiums very quickly. Designing your provider network is a task that will pay your company back with a large amount of savings.
Does your company’s Workers Compensation program have a medical network in place? If not, you are very likely spending 400% more on your premiums. I performed a study ten and again two years ago on a set of public entity files that indicated that very fact. The 400% is a conservative figure. How do you set up a network of doctors and other medical providers for your company? The first step is to take some type of action.
- The first step is always the most difficult. Your medical bill processing company – which is sometimes your insurance carrier – has a list of doctors in their network. You can usually save about 15% on your medical bills just by using these medical providers. Find the ones in your area and direct your employees to use them.
- Find the doctors that are industrial-minded inside of the network. This is a double saving as your company gets the network discount from your carrier/TPA. Your company will also save as industrial-minded doctors and providers tend to return the injured employees to work earlier.
If you do not like the providers that are in your carrier’s/TPA’s medical network, then explore your local area for industrial clinics. We have seen great results from Concentra Medical Centers. Certain state laws may prevent you from going outside of your medical network such as the MPNs in California. We have found that medical walk-in clinics are great for minor injuries.
- Once your network is in place, communicate with the medical providers. I will cover the communication to the medical providers in the next one or two posts. This relates to my last post on return to work.
- Monitor the network for changes in medical providers. Quite a few of the pharmaceutical networks have changed over the last few years. The network that you originally built may not be the same even after one year.
- Communicate the network to your employees. We have advised companies to place the medical provider list with the employees’ paychecks once per year or send out a memo to all employees yearly on who is the required or recommend physicians and other medical providers in the network. The procedures for reporting workers comp claims that I covered in the last few posts are very important. That is where the employer has the initial control of their claims.
One of the other areas that I recommend to cut workers comp costs is how the employee is treated after the accident. The employees see the medical providers as impartial and so do the Workers Compensation Industrial Boards and Courts. Medical treatment is the make or break area for your workers compensation program other than safety.
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