Workers' Compensation: The Survival Guide for Business

 

Library of Congress Card Number:  2002028644

 

ISBN 0-327-16194-9

 

Published by LexisNexis, this new edition will give you practical advise that you can take and use to control your workers' compensation costs.  It helps you take control of your own destiny.  It gives advice on how to prevent accidents and then once an accident occurs, how to provide quality medical care for your employees, get them well and back to work as soon as possible and thus save you, your employees and your customers money.  For this reason, we have renamed the book to simply Workers' Compensation: The Survival Guide for Business, since the focus of the book is on best practices, and not just on procuring insurance.

 

Forward

In the mid 1990’s the most common word used to describe the workers’ compensation system in this country was ‘crisis’. Due to statute reform, rate increases and a national economy that was on the rise, workers’ compensation became a profitable line of insurance for property and casualty insurance companies. Consequently a feverish pace of competition drove the cost of workers’ compensation down to nearly an all time low.

Former self-insured employers could purchase coverage cheaper than they could conduct a self-insured program. There were options ranging from fully insured to retrospectively rated programs with high self-insured retentions to deductible policies with all sizes of deductible and alternative programs written by accidental death and dismemberment or life insurance companies.

After September 11, 2001 and the hardening of the reinsurance market, workers’ compensation premiums are on the rise again. There is little relief by qualifying for self- insurance since the surety bond and excess insurance market has risen at a higher rate than traditional dollar one policies.

Once again insurance carriers, legislators, regulators and most importantly, employers are starting to talk about workers’ compensation being in a crisis. The Chinese have no character in their writing to depict crisis. They use two characters. One depicts danger and the other opportunity. We are at a crossroads again in workers’ compensation. One way leads to danger yet the other leads to opportunity.

The fact of the matter is workers’ compensation costs play an integral part of our national, state and corporate economy. It can make the difference as we compete on a global market or if we are just trying to bring our goods or services to market in the town in which we live. Every thing we use or buy in this country, all goods and services have a certain percentage built into the cost for workers’ compensation.

When governors or chambers of commerce attempt to attract new business to move their state, one of the key factors for the company is the workers’ compensation climate in that state. There is a delicate balance of building the economy while not ignoring the needs of the workers of the state.

This book will help you look away from danger and lead you to opportunity. It will give you practical advice that you can take and use to control your workers’ compensation costs. It helps you take control of your own destiny. It gives advise on how to prevent accidents and then once an accident occurs, how to provide quality medical care for your employees, get them well and back to work as soon as possible saving you, your employees and your customers money.

The basic framework for this book was written by the late Joseph P. Bacarro, President and CEO of Action Takers, Inc. a management consulting firm that specialized in productivity improvement and human resource management. Joseph worked primarily with small to medium sized companies.

I have had the privilege of taking his framework and redesigning his principles to make them applicable for all sizes of business while adding a perspective of a claim management consultant with over thirty years experience working with insurance companies, third party administrators, service providers and businesses of all sizes throughout the United States and Internationally.

Employer Best Practices for claim management will help you whether you have three employees and buy your insurance through your local agent or if you have 100,000 employees or more with multiple state locations and are self insured for your workers’ compensation exposure.   No matter how large or how small every dollar you make still has 100 pennies, not one more or one less. If you learn how to take care of the pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves.

This book can be used as a desk reference manual for safety personnel, risk managers, claim adjusters, line supervisors or anyone that may interface with employees that may have or have had injuries while on the job.   It is a perfect tool for training of key personnel in your organization.

 

Scope of Manual 

Chapter 1   Basic Facts on Workers’ Compensation; Accident Prevention

This chapter will give the reader a perspective of how we got to the place we are today in workers’ compensation. It outlines all the players in the workers’ compensation system and what employers can do to reduce their workers’ compensation costs. In addition, the second part of this chapter discusses the importance of reducing on the job accidents and gives some tips on how to establish a successful safety program.

Chapter 2   Employees and Workers Compensation

This chapter focuses on your employees and how to work with them to reduce your workers’ compensation costs. Your employees hold the key to accident prevention. You will learn steps to take before an accident occurs so you can begin to control the costs from the moment of an injury. The chapter outlines practical steps you can take to work with your injured employees that will want them to return to work as soon as possible.

Chapter 3   Post Accident Activities: Role of supervisors and accident investigation

Many times the most critical member of your management team is not adequately prepared to assist you in loss cost reduction. Your line supervisors are the first line of defense in the battle of rising workers’ compensation costs. This chapter gives you practical steps to involve your supervisors in the process resulting in lower workers’ compensation loss costs.

Chapter 4   Medical Management and Disability Management

The direct costs for workers’ compensation are medical and indemnity (wage replacement) benefits plus expenses for claim management. We will discuss the ways to control expenses cost in Chapter 5 but this chapter will help you discover ways to reduce the cost of medical care while obtaining the finest quality treatment for your injured employees. It also discusses way to get the employee back to productive employment ceasing wage replacement benefits and helping your company produce you goods and services.

Chapter 5   Insurance, Self-Insurance and Other Options

What is the best solution for you? This chapter will help you decide what option is best for you and then how to stay involved with the process making sure you are paying the lowest possible premium or premium equivalent for the highest quality service.

Chapter 6  Checklists and Glossary

Chapter 7  Sample Letters and Memos

Chapter 8  State Survey: Rank, Statistics, Data

Chapter 9  Tables:  Benefits, Offsets, etc.

Chapter 10  Workers' Compensation Legislation