Adapting to a Changing Workers Compensation​ Landscape

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Liberty Mutual’s National Medical Director, Dr. Will Gaines, discusses current trends affecting workers compensation and why effective claims management is so important.

The Importance of Effective Claims Management for Better Outcomes

The world of workers compensation is changing. The Affordable Care Act is transforming the health care industry, opioid abuse is a national epidemic impacting workers comp outcomes, and rising medical costs are creating incentives to move non-work-related conditions into the workers comp space.

Ensuring the very best outcomes

How can employers control workers compensation costs and ensure their employees receive appropriate care and effectively return to work? One critical way is to partner with a knowledgeable carrier that understands the evolving workers comp market and how these changes can affect the care of injured workers and claims costs.

Here are six ways to partner with your carrier and adapt to the evolving workers compensation landscape:

  1. Preventing injuries. Select a carrier with a solid history of understanding, independently researching, and successfully preventing workplace injuries.
  2. Early and accurate information. Often, a medical provider will classify an injury as work-related based solely on conversations with the injured worker. Consider a carrier with the medical and industry expertise to initiate meaningful discussions with the primary treating physician and employer, offering an objective review to assist the provider in making a valid assessment using an evidence-based approach. 
  3. Matching injuries with providers. In states where employers are able to direct care, a knowledgeable carrier can match employees with medical providers that specialize in work-related injuries, ensuring the jurisdictionally appropriate work injury treatment guidelines are followed.
  4. Return to work. Select a carrier who has a solid understanding of the employer's operation and industry to help identify temporary jobs for injured workers, to make medical providers aware of potential return-to-work opportunities within the worker's capabilities, and to identify medical or social conditions that could delay recovery.
  5. Data and analytics. A carrier who uses data to identify emerging treatment trends and shares this information with its medical experts, is better able to engage treating providers and deliver improved outcomes for both worker and employer.
  6. The right resource at the right time. A knowledgeable carrier understands which experts and resources to deploy at what time in each claim’s lifecycle.

Today, there are many opportunities for employers and their claims partner to proactively collaborate with medical providers, employers, and injured workers to achieve a timely and effective functional recovery. Be selective. Partnering with the right carrier matters.

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