Return To Work Risk Management Failure – No Job Bank

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Involving the Physician in Return To Work Risk Management 

A huge risk return to work risk management failure begins when the physician evaluates the injured employee for a light or full duty release.  

return to work risk management coal miners pic
Public Domain – US

 

One of my Six Keys to Cutting Workers Comp Costs involves return to work risk management. 

When reviewing workers’ compensation files, we see so many times the treating physician does not know the exact duties of the injured employee’s prior job duties.  

How can a physician make an exacting return to work?  Often, a physician will just write up a generic return to work statement.  The more information the Doctor is given, the more exact the return to work abilities or restrictions.  

Building a job bank whether on video or on paper or a combination of both is the best return to work risk management technique.  Over the years, we have assisted employers in building video or paper job banks. 

 A large number of employers have job descriptions for hiring employees.   Converting the job descriptions  to job duties makes the job bank task much easier. 

Paying for a Physical Therapist or Occupational Therapist to evaluate the job bank looks great if the job duties ever end up in Workers’ Compensation court.  The trouble and expense is repaid by cutting down the return to work costs.  

An optional lower cost return to work risk management options centers on having a rehabilitation nurse assist with building and updating the job bank.  Many rehabilitation companies provide that service.  Knowing which service to use is key to cutting claims costs. 

 Overall, rehabilitation nurses remain one of the best risk management techniques in existence for workers comp.   Some carriers and TPA’s have cut back on using this great risk management technique.   That choice shows up on the increased claims costs lists a few months after cutting back on rehab nurses. 

Some physicians visit larger employers to see what jobs employees work.  I am not sure if physicians will do that now. 

The physical maximum weight, repetitiveness, and other job factors need to be forwarded to the treating physician immediately – before the first visit. 

Helping the physician usually assists the adjuster reduce your workers comp costs.    Always make sure to forward a copy of your job bank to your adjuster on the claim.  

The adjuster and physician knowing the injured employees job duties from day one results in a lower reserve on your file.  Lower reserves, in turn, cuts comp costs. 

Today is the best day to start  building your job bank for great return to work risk management. 

©J&L Risk Management Inc Copyright Notice

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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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