Strategy and Timing Key for Improving Workers' Compensation Outcomes
In a recent Property Casualty 360 article, Christopher Schaffer, CEO of Charles Taylor TPA, writes that a successful claims strategy should be informed by the loss data, focused on returning injured employees back to health and targeted to reduce cost drivers. He stresses that timing is key. “Statistically, the longer claims are open, the more they cost. Experienced adjusters know that time often gives rise to unfortunate and spurious events such as narcotic addiction, claimant comorbidities, motivations for secondary gain, lawyer involvement, and unrelated complaints, that can cause claims to worsen and costs to increase. Consequently, a claims strategy that shortens the life of workers’ compensation claims is the most effective way to improve results.”
Schaffer asserts that in addition to the important role of timing, employers, carriers and third-party administrators can improve workers’ compensation outcomes by ensuring that their claim process strategy focuses on the professional delivery of six critical elements:
- Quality Investigation
- Quality Medical Care
- Professionalism and compassionate care
- Cost containment
- Litigation management
- Prompt resolution
“Successfully executing this strategy on any claim will help to improve its outcome, but only execution on every claim will achieve marked program-wide improvement. Better outcomes are achieved one claim at a time with a well-executed, replicable strategy.
Sustainable improvement requires a clear strategy, operational discipline and an unrelenting focus on moving claims toward a prompt resolution. Complacency, delay and reactive adjusting must be stripped from the work processes and culture.
Long-term success will ultimately manifest in reduced claim life spans, lower costs per claim and increased employee satisfaction. Benchmarking these metrics, tracking their progress, and striving for continuous improvement is the best way to ensure sustained and long-term program success.”
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Christopher Schaffer is CEO of Charles Taylor TPA, a business within Charles Taylor plc, and a licensed attorney in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and South Carolina.
July 16, 2019, Property Casualty 360