Phase 1: Assessment & Recommendation

Workers’ Compensation
Improvement Plan Steps

  1. Assessment & Recommendation
  2. Design & Development
  3. Training & Implementation
  4. Monitoring & Management

Workers’ Comp Improvement Plan – Phase One

Team Selection and Information Gathering

1  Phase One – Steps 1 through 9

The steps in the Assessment & Recommendation Phase involve selecting a team and gathering information about your current program, including vendor partners, associated claims, and reported losses.

STEP 1: ASSEMBLE PROJECT TEAM

The Injury Management Planning Team should include:

  • Risk Manager or Workers’ Compensation Manager
  • General Manager or Plant Manager
  • Director of Personnel or Human Resources
  • Labor Relations and others as warranted
  • External Consultants provide industry expertise (optional)

This Planning Team will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Analyze the frequency and severity of lost time injuries
  • Inventory and briefly analyze the open lost time claims
  • Review the company’s current procedures for claim handling, injury management, transitional duty and steps which take place when an injury occurs
  • Review loss trends with appropriate benchmarks

STEP 2: SELECT TEAM LEAD

  • Select a strong Team Leader who has sufficient time to dedicate to the project
  • The Team Lead should be expected to devote 90% of his time to this project

STEP 3: GET YOUR NATIONAL WORKERS’ COMPENSATION MANAGEMENT SCORE™

  • To get your company’s National Workers’ Compensation Management Score™, the Planning Team should, as a team, answer and discuss the questions in Workers’ Comp Kit® Level One – Assessing Your Program
  • You will then get a personalized National Workers’ Compensation Management Score™ and customized recommendations for improvement

Note: To ensure validity of the score it is important to discuss the questions as a team. Members will have their own experiences and views regarding personnel, policies and procedures.

STEP 4: REVIEW RECOMMENDATIONS

  • With the team, review the recommendations; discuss priority of recommendations and potential challenges, and ways to overcome obstacles
    • Make this a formal meeting
    • Team Lead will serve as facilitator and appoint a team member to record action items, responsible party and completion dates on the timetable for each recommendation
    • Include a consultant from the broker in the meeting to offer insight into ways to overcome obstacles

STEP 5: ANALYZE BENCHMARKS & DEVELOP PROGRAM GOALS

One person from the Planning Team should complete Workers’ Comp Kit® Level Two – Benchmarks.

  • Once the data is entered in the questionnaire, the benchmarks will be automatically calculated
  • Print all benchmarks and bring copies to team meeting
  • As a team, discuss and compare the benchmarks to your company’s current baselines
  • Based on these comparisons establish goals for performance and improvement by setting preliminary injury rates, return to work ratios, and lost workday goals
  • Even if injury rates are consistent with industry benchmarks, your goal is to beat the industry average to become Best-In-Class

STEP 6: USE WEEKLY TIMETABLE

The Team Lead should maintain a timetable (i.e. project plan) to organize all activities and hold each team member accountable for completing his assigned tasks in a timely manner.

  • This will help ensure consistent project progress and keep focus on milestones.
  • This timetable should be distributed to all team members weekly.

VIEW SAMPLE ACTION PLAN (PDF)
(opens in new window)

STEP 7: DETERMINE PROGRAM NAME

  • As a team determine an appropriate name for the program, such as Claims & Transitional Duty Program, abbreviated “CAT Program” or Injury Management & Prevention Plan, abbreviate “IMP Plan,” etc.
  • This gives the program an identity and it can easily be referenced via multiple parties
  • It also catches people’s attention

STEP 8: SELECT INJURY COORDINATOR

One member of your company will be responsible for managing daily claims and corresponding with the claims adjuster to develop strategies for each claim in the program. This person will be given a title of Injury Coordinator (IC) or Return to Work Coordinator (RTWC).

  • The IC or RTWC must be a “get-things-done” type of person who is already familiar with the workers’ compensation process
  • Ideally, this person should have experience with your company’s policies and procedures so that changes are consistent with your corporate culture. This is also very important with regard to implementation

The claims management component of your new program provides an organized and pre-planned process through which the employee passes from the time they are injured until the employee is back to work full duty.

This varies from the way claims are handled in many companies in which the employee is on his own and at the mercy of confusion by medical, legal, personal and other influences.

STEP 9: SCHEDULE DIAGNOSTIC FILE REVIEW

It is important to have our medical advisor review a sampling of your files as part of an overall assessment.

  • Medical review is an important diagnostic tool. You can start by submitting 5-10 individual claims.
  • We’ll discuss appropriate parameters for files to send for review.
  • In many cases, we suggest this review be done on-site at the claims administrator’s office. Contact us to schedule a review.

This varies from the way claims are handled in many companies in which the employee is on his own and at the mercy of confusion by medical, legal, personal and other influences.

Next Step: Phase 2 – Design & Development

Professional Development Resource

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