Workers Compensation 101

01/14/2020 Written by: Jeff Beck

Workers’ compensation rates have been declining for the past few years on a national level. This is great news for owners and operators as the reduction in rates lead to lower workers’ compensation insurance premiums. However, as the rates decrease, so do the amount of losses that we are expected to have. This makes it challenging to maintain those lower premium levels on a long-term basis. 
Workers’ compensation policies contain an experience modification factor (experience mod) that is individualized for each ownership or control group. This is a rating basis to compare your performance against other senior living communities. The data utilized to create your experience mod consists of your prior three years of payroll and losses, excluding the current policy period. If you are performing at an average level, your experience mod would be a 1.00. You also have the ability to obtain a credit or debit experience mod based on positive or negative performance over that three-year period. Your experience modification factor has a direct impact on your workers’ compensation premium.
In order to maintain lower premiums and outperform your competitors, it is critical that you establish a strategic vision and action plan that incorporates Safety & Risk Mitigation, Claims Advocacy, and Data Analytics. Although each of these areas have a distinct focus, the most successful communities have developed a strategy that allows each of these to work in conjunction with one another. Below are elements to consider as you customize your strategic plan:

  1.  Safety & Risk Mitigation
    • Policies & Procedures
      • Return to Work Program
      • Slip Resistant Footwear
      • Developing Wellness Culture
  • Management & Supervisor Training
    • Workers’ Compensation 101
    • Proper Lifting Techniques and Resident Transfers
    • Safety & OSHA Compliance
  •  Safety Committee
    • Accident Investigation
    • Hiring and Onboarding
    • Accountabilities & Goal Setting
    • Proper Use of Time with Productive Content and Action Plan

2. Claims Advocacy

  •  Review and/or Enhance Claims Management Procedures
  • Schedule Consistent Claim Reviews and Communication with Adjusters
  •  Ensure Work Comp Physicians Have Clear Understanding of Expectations 
  • Review Open Reserves and Be Aware of Critical Dates within Your Policy

3.   Data Analytics

  •  Ensure Your Experience Modification Factor is Accurate
  • Analyze Trends and Overall Financial Impact
  • Predict Future Loss Projections
  •  Negotiate and Collateral Requirements

A successful workers’ compensation program requires a cultural commitment amongst all team members in leadership as well as strong external partnerships. Everyone involved in the success of your program must clearly understand “why” this is the direction your community is taking as well as their roles and responsibilities. Being able to develop a sustainable workers’ compensation program will drive positive financial results and improve team member productivity. 
At AssuredPartners, we have a team of professionals dedicated to protecting senior living communities who can guide you through the development and implementation of a successful workers compensation program. To learn more, contact the AssuredPartners Senior Living specialists.

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