Results of First Industry-wide Survey at Best Practices for Post-Loss Cost Control
NEW YORK — The first-ever industry wide survey on best practices for post-loss workers’ compensation cost control reveals that most employers are falling short, according to Advisen, which conducted the survey for the Risk & Insurance Management Society.
The 2009 RIMS Benchmark Survey included for the first time a workers’ comp best practices survey. Respondents included 1127 organizations in the United States and Canada.
The survey included ten questions selected from the National Workers’ Compensation Management Score™ assessment survey in the Workers Comp Kit.
Each respondent received a numerical score, with 26 representing the high possible score. The average score was 11.1. Only 11 percent, or 127 respondents, scored in the top category (20 to 26 points) considered to be best-in-class, while 215 organizations scored 0 or below. The companies in the best practice classification represented a broad range of industries including retail, wholesale, healthcare, education, energy, finance, construction and shipyard/aerospace/defense, as well as public entities such as city and local governments. These top-scoring companies are headquartered in the U.S. and Canada; many have both domestic and international operations.
“The top scorers consistently use nearly every type of resource and tool listed in the survey,” said Dave Bradford, editor-in-chief at Advisen. “They perform onsite file reviews, have a post-injury response procedure that is consistently applied across all locations, and have return-to-work programs that are implemented at all locations.”
Consumer discretionary companies had the best average score, 13.5. Financials scored lowest at 8.0. Nonprofits (10.7) and materials companies (11.2) were in the mid-range among the 12 industry groups.
Several survey questions included:
Has a representative of your company reviewed some of your workers’ compensation claim files within the last 6 months? Most companies (65.7 percent) did the review onsite, 10.6 percent did not perform file reviews, and the remainder did phone or online reviews. File reviews are crucial in keeping control over cases, according to Rebecca Shafer, industry expert.
How consistently does your company follow written “post-injury response” plans describing procedures within the first 24 hours after an injury? Some 60.4 percent of respondents said they followed a post injury procedure consistently; the remainder said only some locations had these procedures, and others indicated they have no written plans. No workers’ comp program can function well without following a written plan, Shafer said.
How consistently does your company follow a return-to-work policy where an injured employee returns to work in a temporary position until they have recovered? Almost 60% (58.5 percent) said they followed a policy in all locations and 26.9% said they followed a policy in some locations. Thus, over 80% of companies have return to work policies, at least at some locations. Although this leaves room for improvement in this best practice area, it serves as a benchmark for companies without a return to work program, that the majority of companies have such a program.
Do your operating units visit the medical facilities where your employees receive medical care for occupational injuries? Only 19.2 percent of respondents said they did so consistently, even though this is an excellent opportunity to establish rapport with the doctor, explain what the company does, and show the doctor the transitional duty jobs performed at your workplace.
Additional survey questions let companies know what others in the industry are doing to control workers’ comp costs. The questions above are merely samples illustrating the valuable information inside the complete survey.
The 2009 RIMS Benchmark Survey can be purchased from Advisen at http://corner.advisen.com It is an opportunity to learn what other companies do to reduce their workers’ compensation programs. For free workers’ compensation tools go to: http://corner.advisen.com/wc_free_tools.html. For free workers’ compensation cost containment podcasts, go to: http://corner.advisen.com/wc_podcast.html
Advisen integrates business information and market data for the commercial insurance industry and maintains critical risk analytics and timesaving workflow tools for over 530 industry-leading firms. Through its work for the broadest customer base among information service providers, Advisen delivers actionable information and risk models at a fraction of the cost to have them built internally. Designed and evolved by risk and insurance experts, and used daily by more than 100,000 professionals, Advisen combines the industry’s deepest data sets with proprietary analytics and offers insight into risk and insurance that is not available on any other system. Advisen is headquartered in New York.
For more information, visit http://www.advisen.com or call +1.212.897.4800 in New York or +44(0)20.7929.5929 in London.