An In-Depth Look at Return to Work Program Challenges: Part II

Written by on 3/8/2017 3:00 AM in , . It has 1 Comments.

Mistake #4: Overlooking Comorbidities
Health issues such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension seriously complicate/delay employee recovery, driving up claims costs. Proactively expanding preventive care/wellness initiatives is key to reducing comorbidity-related cost drivers.

Mistake #5: Insufficient Program Resources
In efforts to cut costs, many squeeze time and monetary contributions to RTW programs. However regulatory noncompliance and the indirect costs of employee absence are far more costly.

Mistake #6: Blurring the Lines Between Light Duty, Transitional Work, and Reasonable Accommodation
These lines should be distinct with: (1) light duty jobs reserved for disabled workers; (2) transitional to medically documented, occupational assignments, limited in duration; and (3) reasonable accommodation involving job changes to aid the disabled in performing essential functions.

Mistake #7: Letting Physicians Dictate the RTW Process
Physicians are medical experts, but not experts on your industry, and as such do not fully understand job demands, workplace policies, and availability of transitional assignments. Those without training in occupational injuries may also be unaware of evidence-based guidelines.

Mistake #8: Misunderstanding Legislation Conflicts
State and local legislation, federal ADA, workcomp, and FMLA laws, combined with insurance industry rules and regulations, can collectively equate to a logistical nightmare in determining eligibility and leave lengths to RTW and access to medical information. Expert advice is key.

Mistake #9: Getting Off-Track.
Focus on RTW program goals is essential in transitioning workers back to pre-injury status. Leaving employees in reduced-productivity positions too long negates progress and the ultimate goal.

Mistake #10: Assuming WorkComp Settlements Resolve Other Liabilities.
A settlement does not necessarily band-aid other obligations, which may be reconciled under other laws. Coordination and follow-through with your legal, risk management, HR, and benefits department ensures compliance.

Do you know how to manage workcomp insurance expenses wisely? Get the help you need from Minnesota Comp Advisor today.


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