2022 NWCDC Benchmarking Survey Session Covered Interesting Info
The 2022 NWCDC Benchmarking Survey provided some great insight into an internal analysis of their workers’ comp claim departments. These are my handwritten notes from the session. I may throw in a comment or link in a few locations in the articles.
If you are a Workers Comp claims leader, check out this article from last week. The annual survey providers need to hear from as many people as possible. The survey takes 15 – 20 minutes. A 10-Year report card will be released soon. Have your voice heard – anonymously.
Injured Workers Advocacy Programs
Psychosocial factors were not considered as a part of claims up to 10 years ago. Use an injured worker advocacy program.
Most medical treatment networks do not realize the importance of psychosocial factors.
Do not talk about $$ without talking about people. There is now and always has been a stigma around mental health.
Psychosocial factors are not the same as psych claims. I have heard this concern voiced many times over the years.
A claims litigation study in 2010 by WCRI showed two major factors in higher litigation rates:
- Late payments – late payments ruin claims quickly.
- Bad communication – I agree totally. The claims staff’s main task is to communicate with the employer, injured worker, and treating physician.
From the 2021 Benchmarking Study
58% of the respondents to the study said that their claims departments had improved their communication skills. That is a large number.
Get to know and establish trust with claimant attorneys. Most of the claimant attorneys that I have worked with over the years do not trust claim departments. This might be a place to improve even my own communications.
Return to Work Issues
Dedicated resources between medical providers, employers, and injured employees. Discuss what the injured employee can do, not can’t do.
70% of all workers’ comp policyholders are less than 10 people. The return to work resources may be very limited.
Medical providers will not know the complete job. Job banks are a good idea.
Claim Practices Are Changing
There are now more empathetic, customized communications that involve the injured employee in the return to work process than in the past.
Recorded statements are not as popular as they once were 20 years ago. Let the injured employee know that the recorded statement is a part of the documentation in the file.
2022 NWCDC Benchmarking Survey Session – Q&A
Medical provider incentivization – must treat using specific guidelines
Core practices work in all states including unionized ones.