An employee gets injured on the job. What do you do? After asking those critical questions—“Are you okay? What hurts? What can I do to help?”—and getting them what they need, then what?
That’s when the claims process starts. Knowing what steps to take beyond filing the initial claim can help mitigate your risks. Your actions can have a major impact on how quickly, successfully and cost efficiently your claims are resolved. Here are four things you need to know to effectively manage a workers’ compensation claim:
1) Offer modified duty. As an employer you can and should offer modified duty work to an injured employee (and you can at any time). Getting back to work is an important part of the healing process. It allows the injured worker to stay connected at work, regain financial security and feel productive again. Plus, modified duty helps you decrease your claim costs, thus reducing your premium.
2) Communicate. Effective communication with the injured worker, the claim representative and the doctor’s office is essential to keeping the process moving and closing out the claim as soon as possible, which can reduce your costs.
3) Select a doctor or clinic. As an employer in Colorado you are entitled to select the treating physicians or clinics with whom your injured employee works. There are specific actions you must take to retain this right, and it is important that you know what to do when an injury occurs. The authorized treating physician determines treatment, work restrictions, when an employee is discharged and any permanent medical impairment.
4) Get everything settled. Settlement can minimize claim costs on certain claims. Understanding why and when a claim can be settled will assist you in working with your claim representative to resolve difficult claims.
Click here to find out more about the Chamber’s Safety Group Program and how you can save 4 percent on worker’s compensation.
Dorothy Ostrogorski is a revenue development specialist for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.
(Photo credit: Jake Hills)