Submitted by E3 HR
The 2021 outlook for the staffing industry remains very positive with multiple opportunities to expand and grow. Labor shortages should be temporary with relief on the horizon as special unemployment benefits either expire or are canceled at the State and Federal levels.
With mounting pressure to improve margins, it is more important than ever to control worker comp costs considering the vital role these costs represent when pricing existing and new business opportunities.
Clearly, claims management should include strong and timely reporting combined with aggressive controls on the back end to ensure the expenses are regulated and premiums become more predictable leading to enhanced margins and profitability.
One practice often overlooked in the claims management process is the critical step of returning the employee to work when they are released to light duty. Understanding that a light duty position is not always readily available, there are still alternative solutions. One is verifying if your worker comp provider and claims management team has partnered to provide another avenue for light duty. For instance, E3 has partnered with a company called ReEmployAbility (REA). Utilizing a nationwide network of Non-Profit Organizations, REA will seek out a cost-effective return to work solution for the injured worker by finding them a position at one of their preferred vendors. The position will always accommodate the physical restrictions outlined by the treating physician – allowing the employee time to heal, while at the same time earning compensation and reducing the overall risk profile of the claim.
Understanding the Value
Using this example with REA a “win-win” outcome is created for everyone in the claims process. It provides benefits for the injured workers, the clients, and the the Non-Profits who are always in need of extra help. In 2018 alone, 57% of employees referred to ReEmployAbility accepted the assignment, leading to an average indemnity savings of $4,200 per claim. The economic impact on the non-profit industry was valued at over $53 million.
The injured employee will also benefit in multiple ways if enrolled in the REA program. They remain mentally connected to their employment, reducing the likelihood for the claim to malinger, and increasing the speed of the rehabilitation process. Employees can learn new skills that compliment regular employment, feel productive, and maintain self-confidence and pride in doing meaningful work. In REA surveys, participation in the program has demonstrated that the worker feels valued by the employer, and that their health and wellbeing is being taken seriously. This can decrease the potential of the worker retaining legal representation, keeping the claims cost lower, as well as boost overall morale among other employees.
Anytime a program can be put in place where all parties receive a benefit is a great positive in the world of business today. The success of programs like this one are proven and will certainly be another tool for staffing companies to deploy in an attempt to make certain expenses and earnings more predictable.