The Return To Work Blog

The Callaway Big Bertha of Rising Indemnity and Medical Costs

Posted by Gary Lavoie on Dec 23, 2015 1:30:48 PM

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What LENS ARE You LOOKING THROUGH?

icon.pngWeeks ago, we discussed the necessity of looking through the lens of the injured worker to truly understand the root cause of psychosocial factors that are impacting workers’ compensation claims.   The industry has changed, claim volumes are now comprised of “job description induced pain” more so than acute accidents.  

And because the nature of jobs themselves are causing these musculoskeletal injuries, employers are feeling challenged in how to respond.  That challenge can present as frustration to the injured worker who feels as though their livelihood is at stake.  The response to that is fear and a necessity of protecting what matters most!  In this instance, what matters most is a check….that is being sent from a workers’ compensation carrier.   A bad dynamic to build from if our goal is to indemnify an individual and resolve that claim in a positive manner while spending exactly what is needed to do so.  

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Employers need help here.  As claim professionals we need to have the courage to stand up in moments where cultural disconnects exist.   You may be hearing from a leadership level that Company ABC supports its employees, has implemented programs and has a big three ring binder full of policy to prove it.   You may have heard this from underwriting at the onset of the issuance of this big new policy.  What a great piece of business Company ABC is! 

Calendar.pngBut then that claim hits your desk.  And immediately you feel the palpable divide between that message and what is happening at the ground floor.  It’s your turn for the eye roll, when you know that this employer is utilizing a workers’ compensation claim as a means for disciplinary action resulting from issues that should have been addressed long ago.  And you know that this claim will be on your desk for the next 6-9 months (or more). 

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That story right there is our cost driver folks.  It’s the Callaway Big Bertha of rising indemnity AND medical costs.  We need to be shouting it from the rooftops, looking to impact THAT moment and then calling out the resulting Failed RTW scenarios that develop down the road. 

Know that the moment described above is it.  Everything from IME’s, Surveillance and the network discounting that we typically do re-actively is just white noise against the THUD of this cost driver. 


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Topics: Rising Indemnity and Medical Costs

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