Are Nurse Practitioners Better For Workers Comp?

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Nurse Practitioners For WC Can Be A Cost Saver

In my last post, I covered how plant nurses can save employers $$. I mentioned Nurse Practitioners (NP’s) as one of the recommended types of plant nurses. I received a few inquiries on exactly who are NP’s. Nurse Practitioners do have their place as plant nurses even though the upfront cost for NP’s are usually more than RN’s.

Woman Nurse Practitioners explaining to woman patient
Wikimedia Commons – Bill Branson

The NP website is here. The services they provide are:

  • Order, perform and interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and x-rays
  • Diagnose and treat acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infections and injuries
  • Prescribe medications and other treatments
  • Manage patients’ overall care
  • Spend time counseling patients
  • Help patients learn how their actions affect their health and well-being

The first time that I had come across an NP was as a plant nurse for a home builder in NC. The company’s E-Mod was almost 2.0 and rising every year. The owner of the home builder made a great risk management move by hiring in a Nurse Practitioner. The home builder’s Mod dropped from 2.0 to 1.3 in four years. The company closed in the late 90’s.

Graphic Of Three Nurse Practitioners For Workers Comp
(c) 123rf.com

NP’s can be a very expensive plant nurse option. There are three instances where NP’s would be recommended in a company with:

  1. An E-Mod of 1.8 or higher
  2. A large payroll
  3. Centralized operations (one plant or many plants with a central location)

The cost of an NP would be more easily absorbed by a company that is paying a large premium or a self insured. I would estimate the breakeven point for having an NP on staff would be approximately $350,000 or more in premiums.

I have not really pointed out how NP’s are different from RN’s or LPN’s. The link above will explain the difference in detail. The one advantage that I see is the ability to prescribe medications. NP’s can also treat injuries to a further degree than an RN. There are many websites that cover NP’s including Wikipedia.

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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