It has never been more important for you to control your workplace injuries and the reasons aren’t even your fault.
A very good article by Steve Doss of CCIG looks at three signs of trouble for workers comp rates. They all have to do with national trends.
- Obama Care (the Affordable Care Act) – The Affordable Care Act and workers comp are supposed to be two separate programs with two separate purposes. The problem is that doctors may “leak” cases that should be covered by health insurance into worker’s comp. Why? Patients can avoid high deductibles by going through worker’s comp and doctors can charge more for workers comp treatment than they can under group policies. So there is an incentive for both to classify things as work-related.
- Accident Frequency – As the economy has improved since 2012, accidents have gone up, especially in construction and transportation. Two distinct problem there – more inexperienced workers entering the workforce and an aging demographic as more people delay retirement. According to Doss, “non-fatal work-related construction injuries jumped 9.5 percent from 2012 to 2013. Also, as older employees work longer, the number of accidents among those 65 and older rose 18.5 percent from 2012 to 2013.”
- Accident Severity – Fatalities are going up. For example, the government says that between 2013 to 2015, construction fatalities rose 5.6 percent and manufacturing fatalities rose 9.3 percent from 2013 to 2014. At the same time, hospital and drug costs are rising faster than inflation and those are the biggest expenses impacting workers comp.
What should you do about it? Doss says prevention is the best investment you can make; every dollar spent on prevention saves two-to-six dollars in savings.
At CORE Health Network, a leader in integrated occupational health management, the four keys to prevention are:
- Documentation – Companies that don’t monitor worker health and on-the-job injuries may have no way to determine whether an injury was really work-related and they have limited options on getting workers back to work quickly.
- Make sure the people you hire can perform their job duties safely – That is done through a network of 1300 clinics around the country that can perform drug and alcohol testing, compliance testing and functional assessments during the onboarding process.
- Keep track of worker medical conditions as their careers progress – Return-to-work assessments are a critical to preventing re-injury and helping workers return to work.
- Post-incident case management – The first minutes after an injury are critical to determining injury severity and the right level of treatment. They are also important in re-assuring workers that they will receive the proper care and that company wants them to return to work healthy. CORE’s TimeZero service addresses those concerns.
Let us know if we can help you manage your worker health needs.