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First Reports Of Injury – File Them Online Now Or Pay 400% Later

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First Reports Of Injury Should Be Filed ASAP – No Excuses

Workers Compensation First Reports of Injury (FROI) are an employer’s first step in Loss Control.  Loss Control is not the same as Loss Prevention.  Loss Control to me is defined as the prevention of future losses AFTER an occurrence of a claim.

Picture of First Reports Work Injury
(c) 123rf.com

In fact, immediate filing of the first report of injury is one of my Five Keys To Cutting Workers Comp Costs.  In  a study of two different large collections of claims, I found that not filing a FROI quickly will increase claim costs by 400% on the average.  *** Thanks to Frank Pennachio of The WorkComp Advisory Group for pointing out the mistake I made on the original post of this article.   

Involving your claims adjuster very early in the process will always cut workers comp costs.  In fact, the adjuster can rarely proceed without the filing of the FROI.  One can look at the FROI as giving the adjuster permission to proceed on the claim.

One of the most important aspects of  an employer that files FROI’s quickly is the impression that the employer is on top of their claims.  Remember that this is the same person that will be setting reserves on this file and on files in the future.  The FROI is the first impression that the adjuster has on the claim for your company.

Picture of First Reports Work Injury Claim Form Bandage and pen on top
123RF

Laggard companies (insurance company lingo) will always have higher reserves on their files, plain and simple.  If your company does not care enough to file an injury report timely, it is seen as a negative connotation on the file.

Electronic/online FROI filing has been around for quite some time.  This is an example of an insurance carrier’s online filing page.   In fact, some companies charge extra to input a claim off paper.  Filing a paper FROI when online filing is available is seen by the clams staff as a negative connotation similar to late reporting of injuries.

Your company is almost guaranteed higher reserves than normal when the first time your claims staff or adjuster hears about the claim from a medical provider.  What can the Workers Comp claims staff do when the medical provider is the first one to report the claim?   They are going to refer them back to the employer as the FROI has not been filed.

Picture Xraymachine First Reports Injury
Wikipedia – Thomas Bjørkan

Once again, this is the same person that will be setting the reserves on the file that figure directly and are the most important variables in your E-Mod (X-Mod) or Loss Development Factor if you are self-insured.   First impressions do count.

Insurance companies and TPA’s all keep very close track of the time it takes to file the FROI.  The term is called “lag time.”  It is measured from the time the claim occurs until an employer files the claim.  If you mail it in, the days it takes for the FROI to be processed by the employer, mailing time, and for the carrier to process the mail all are figured into your lag time.

The easiest way to avoid all this is to file your claims online.  If for some reason, your carrier or TPA does not have an online claim filing system, you should fax them.  If a carrier or TPA does not allow for online claims filing, their claims processes should be viewed  as antiquated at best.

Companies often contact us concerning their high E-Mods and ask us to help reduce them quickly. This is one of the areas we examine upfront in our E-Mod reduction programs.

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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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