1. Stop the Inbreeding – 9%
2. Your Insurance Agent Should do more than sell you insurance. 8%
3. Create a Wellness Program 4%
4. Everybody Works 3%
5. Occupational Clinics Should Manage Your Injuries 7%
6. Have an Early Intervention Program 6%
My name is Michael Rappaport and I am what you would call a “Medical Insider” I have owned companies in the Medical field for over 10 years and have helped hundreds of employers reduce their workers compensation costs. After this much time in the industry I know all of the tactics Doctors, Specialists, Insurance Agents, and Occupational Clinics use to increase workers compensation costs to employers. I have created a very simple program that my group of Workers Compensation experts will help you implement step-by-step. As a business owner myself, you might be wondering how much am I going to have to pay to save 37% on my Workers Compensation Costs. Well, you might want to sit down. It’s FREE. That’s right, I said it’s Free! However, as of right now my group and I are only working with businesses in the Inland Empire. The process is time intensive on our part and that limits the number of employeers we can effective work with at a time.
Enjoy the following brief overview of our program. We look forward to working with you in the future.
1. Stop the Inbreeding 9%
Inbreeding is never a good thing. However, I am referring to medical professionals referring to themselves. In medical circles this is commonly known as referral for profit. This is actually illegal but happens all the time and it is probably happening to you.
Example 1: The Washington Post reported recently that a medical practice in Iowa increased requests for scans by 700% within seven months — the months after the practice bought its own CT scanner.
Example 2: A study of the California workers’ compensation program reported in the New England Medical Journal found that if an injured worker received initial treatment from a physician with an ownership interest in PT services, that patient received a referral for PT 66% of the time. By contrast, a patient receiving initial treatment from a physician with no ownership interest was referred for PT 32% of the time. In addition, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported that 49% of Physical Therapy done in a Physicians office were performed by staff not trained as Physical Therapists.
Anytime there is a financial gain in referring for services, there will be overutilization. Employers need to eliminate this from there Workers Compensation program. The good news is that this can be done easily. You just have to be firm.
2. Your Insurance Agent Should Do More Than Sell You Insurance 8%
As an employer myself, I have shopped around to find the best price on insurance for my business. However, it wasn’t until I ran into Maria Ochoa that I realized that Insurance Agents do more than sales. Maria had a very different take on what her services include. Here’s what she had to say. “Obviously, our initial strategy is to have the lowest price for insurance while making sure the employer is fully covered. However, making sure those rates stay low is the biggest part of my job. My job includes decreasing overutilization by physicians, safeguarding the workplace, and actively managing injuries. I recently had a situation where I was taking over a new account and found out that a Physician had referred an injured employee to Physical Therapy for 24 visits. The riduculous part about the case was the injury, the employee had stepped on a nail. I have never seen a referral to Physical Therapy for stepping on a nail. I called the Physician personally and informed him that the carrier will only be paying for 12 visits and that if he ever does that again I will be transferring all the injuries to a different occupational clinic.”
3. Create a Wellness Program 4%
Employers often get a little overwhelmed when I mention a Wellness Program. You don’t have to be Google with a 10,000 square foot gym on site with Personal Trainers and Massage Therapists on stand by. Small programs can often be implemented and make a huge difference in decreasing work injuries. A majority of the latest research shows that financial incentives have the biggest impact. These incentives can either take the form of cash payouts to employees or decreasing expenses that they would normally incur. Here are some examples.
10% discount of Employee Healthcare Contribution for participation in Walking Program
Cash Prizes for Biggest Loser Contest
50% Reimbursement for Monthly Gym Membership
Bring in a massage therapist for the day for all employees who particpate in a wellness seminar.
4. Everybody Works 3%
A work injury should not be a vacation for an employee. We have all suspected it and surprisingly enough just last week an employee told our Physical Therapist that she just needed a little time off from work because her life was getting a little overwhelming. Mistake on her part because we are legally obligated to inform the employer and carrier of statements like these. Next time she needs to read the fine print on the new patient paperwork.
Claiming a work injury does not mean you get time off. The problem most employers face is that they do not have job descriptions that accomodate restricted work duties. I would suggest creating three or four new job descriptions that can facilitate a less than 5lb work load. We have job descriptions available for free if you would like.
Example: Michael Douglas hangs wire for a local utility company and reports a work injury to his right shoulder. The Physician limits his lifting to nothing over 10lbs. In this situation, Michael will not be able to return to his current position until this restriction is lifted. This could happen in two weeks or six months. Instead of giving him time off you make him in charge of the new Wellness program for the Company. He can hand out flyers, go over benefits, etc… A repititous job that can be done easily with this injury.
5. Occupational Clincs Should Manage Your Injuries 7%
As you know I am not a fan of Occupational Clinics that refer to themselves, however I am a fan of Clinics that effectively manage injuries.
Every employer that is not privately insured pays a premium on their insurance that is based on a “mod” score. This score is based on the number of injuries, the severity or the injuries, etc… However, one thing occupational clinics and their doctors can do is help you with the classification of each injury. Having each occupational doctor you work with classify your injuries is vital. Work with you occupational clinic to see if some injuries can be classified as first aid. This is a very easy step but can greatly reduce your all important mod score.
6. Have an Early Intervention Program 6%
We have managed the injuries for large employers for over 10 years. Let me make this very clear. Those employers that proactively work to keep injuries down have less injuries. Employers who ignore strategies to decrease the rate and severity of injuries will pay significantly higher rates for their workers compensation insurance.
Here are just a few examples of an Early Intervention Program.
1) Make sure you know the physical requirements of each position. Will an employee be required to lift 30lbs repetitively throughout an 8 hour day. I can guarantee you will not be able to determine if an employee can do that in an interview. We often get referrals from proactive employers to see if someone they are considering hiring can withstand the requirements of the job. Our Physical Therapists construct a regimen based of the physical duties of the job to see if they will qualify for the position. This one step can reduce they number of work injuries significantly.
2) Have a Health Care Professional who is familiar with your industry and jobs come and teach your employees proper stretching and body lifting mechanics. Some very simple instructional tips can reduce the number of knee, neck, and lower back injuries. I suggest that the Health Care Professional arrives at the beginning of the shift as this is the best time to teach these concepts.
On numerous occasions I have sent out Physical Therapists to teach proper stretching and body lifting mechanics at 1 am, because this is when the night shift starts for some employers.
3) Have a Health Fair and a Wellness Newsletter that highlights local Wellness Practitioners. Employers need to capitalize on the health care resources they have in their community. Once an employee reports an injury to their employer then half the battle is already lost. If an employee knows that their is a local Massage Therapist or Physical Therapist that gives them an employee discount for low back pain then maybe they will use their personal insurance or own funds to work on those issues. A lot of employees report injuries to employers because they do not know where else to go.
Implementing a new Workers Compensation Program can often feel overwhelming. However, my group and I can partner with you to do this with as little or as much interaction on your part as you want. We have designed complete programs for employers and the only thing they needed to do was provide a signature. Give us a call at 951.684.2874 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will start the implementation process.
Michael Rappaport, MBA