Timely reporting of employee injuries is crucial to the success of your organization’s Workers Compensation program. In some states, the law mandates reporting within a specified number of days (make sure you know your state’s reporting requirements or consult with a professional at AssuredPartners). Reporting your employees’ incidents quickly benefits both your organization and your employees in several ways, including:
- Employee Morale: Your employees feel they are valued and cared for as members of the team. Also, delayed reporting of a claim can result in the employee being stuck with having to deal with medical bills that would have otherwise been forwarded to the adjuster for payment.
- Timely Investigation and Treatment: The adjuster assigned to your employee’s claim can begin a timely investigation which helps the employee receive appropriate treatment, facilitates a speedier return to work and regular job duties, and decreases the cost associated with the claim. Statistics provided by NCCI in its study titled, “The Relationship Between Accident Report Lag and Claim Cost in Workers Compensation Insurance,” show the longer a claim goes before being reported, the more expensive it tends to become by the time it is resolved. The study revealed that injuries reported between 24 hours and two weeks from the date of the incident fell into the lowest cost category. Claims reported after that time frame were significantly more expensive to resolve.
- Reduced Insurance Premiums: Lag time (the term used to describe the timeframe between when an incident occurs and when it is reported) is a factor considered when an insurance carrier assesses premium. If an organization has a history of frequent, lengthy lag time, it sends a signal to carriers that the organization does not have control over its employee safety program and is looked at as high risk, resulting in higher insurance premiums. Communication and employee training are paramount in the effort to control lag time. According to a 2012 article authored by Carl Zeutzius in EHS Today entitled, “Good Communication Can Help Lower Workers Compensation,” employees must be trained on the process for reporting injuries. If this process is not clearly communicated, claims go unreported, and costs can rise unnecessarily. An organization that demonstrates a commitment to safety and communication of reporting processes will have much less difficulty controlling their reporting lag time, making it a more desired insured with the potential of enjoying reduced premiums.
Strong policies and procedures are key to ensuring that your management team and your employees are aware of the requirements for reporting workplace injuries timely. If you have any questions or would like additional information on how to strengthen your organization’s workers compensation policies and procedures, please reach out to the AssuredPartners Senior Living experts.