Catastrophic workman's comp claims, those involving debilitating, permanent disabilities, are prickly to manage. With care often fragmented among multiple providers, a long-term view of the medical needs of the injured is often overlooked, thwarting potential for optimal recovery, independence, and quality of life. Left unmanaged, these cases can deteriorate, and costs skyrocket.
What’s the Best Path to Managing Catastrophic Claims?
• Understand the Scope of Problems
Complex and costly, catastrophic injuries such as brain injury, vision loss, para/quadriplegia, amputations, and severe burns account for 1% of claims, but 20-30% of workcomp medical spending. Resuming normal life activities, including returning-to-work, are likely impossible.
• Look to Industry Experts
Enlisting the help of a catastrophic claims team to organize/coordinate medical services, ensures a proactive, collaborative approach between all providers, focusing on the well-being of the injured worker, while simultaneously working to control workman's comp claims costs.
• Stay on Top of Events
From prompt reporting before the injured is discharged to rehab, to when the time comes for wheelchairs and other equipment to be selected for the home, timely reporting of events to the catastrophic claims teams ensures services and products recommended will meet the long-term needs of injured workers. (Think: Wheelchairs that will fit through doorways, and seating compatible with bathing facilities.)
• Keep the ‘Big Picture’ in Mind
Compile a holistic assessment of the claim with the help of your team, looking to injury type, comorbidities, family situations, home environment, and worker frame-of-mind to understand how these might affect claims outcome.
A catastrophic workman's comp claim is profoundly life altering for workers and families. Learn how to better help employees in the next Minnesota Comp Advisor installment.