Understanding Workers’ Compensation: Managing the Costs

Rick Weden of Corcoran & Havlin Insurance Group will be leading this session about workers’ compensation at TCI EXPO in Columbus, Ohio. Be sure to join Rick as he discusses the health care system, how employee health can impact the outcome and cost of an injury and the benefits of bringing your employee back for limited-duty work.

Rather than hearing more of the same, recycled insurance information, let’s dig into workers’ compensation claims specific to the tree care industry.

Even as an insurance industry veteran of thirty-plus years, I honestly cannot say that I’ve seen it all, because I haven’t. But I sure have seen a lot over the years. I learn more about this industry every day, and much of my learning comes not from insurance information, but from what I learn from people, like you, in the tree care industry, who experience workers’ compensation first-hand.

Here’s an introduction to the concepts we will cover on Thursday, November 2.

Have you established a proper workers’ compensation communication plan?

Proper communication after a workers’ compensation claim occurs should be paramount for any employer. Few employers have such a plan in place, however this is easily addressed. We will cover the framework for an effective workers’ compensation communication plan.

What do employees and employers need to know about the quality of care available under the workers’ compensation system?

Not all physicians are alike; some are better than others. We will discuss cases of misdiagnosis and improper treatment for work-related injuries, and ways to ensure that an injured worker is getting the best treatment available to them.

Outcomes-based healthcare networks: what are they and why are they helpful?

Outcomes-based healthcare networks (OBHN) have gained in popularity among employers and insurers as a tool to improve injured-worker recovery as well as reduce workers’ compensation costs. OBHNs provide injured workers with access to the highest-quality healthcare available to them with the intended “outcome” resulting in the injured worker being restored to good health as soon as practicable, thereby reducing unnecessary medical costs and lost work time. OBHNs are established by insurers or in some cases, large employers, and tend to be complex in nature involving a wide range of preferred medical providers, detailed overall strategies and continuous performance measuring.

You may be wondering how a small tree care business could participate in a program like this. This session will also discuss how a small company might take steps to create their own “micro” OBHN.

Early Return-to-Work plans

I can’t emphasize enough the benefits of Early Return-to-Work efforts to take employees off workers’ compensation and bring them back to the work environment. The National Business Group on Health reports that $3 to $10 is saved for every dollar spent on a Return-to-Work strategy. We will be discussing the many values of Early Return-to-Work plans with focus on the newly-released, TCIA resource Early Return-to-Work and Alternative Return-to-Work Guide, currently available to members under Member Resources on TCIA.org.

Spotting fraud

Unfortunately, fraud is still alive and well in workers’ compensation. Bogus claims and falsification of worker classification and payrolls continue to be a problem. Fraud costs EVERYONE money. This topic has been briefly touched-on in past EXPO sessions, but we will take a closer look at the cost of fraud and how to spot and stop it.

A thirty-plus-year veteran of the insurance industry, Rick has extensive experience managing the insurance interests of those in many contracting industries, with particular emphasis on arboricultural and landscape operations. Rick is a senior account executive and team practice leader of the Tree Care Industry Division at Corcoran & Havlin Insurance Group. Rick is also an associate member of the Massachusetts Arborists Association. He has spoken on insurance topics at previous TCIA EXPOs for their “Business Boot Camp” series, as well as speaking engagements for the School of Arboriculture Sciences at University of Massachusetts under the direction of Dr. Brian Kane.

Join Rick at his session, Understanding Workers’ Compensation, at 7:30am on Thursday, November 2, 2017.

Experience TCI EXPO, the world’s largest tree care industry conference and trade show, in Columbus, Ohio, November 2-4, 2017. For more information, visit expo.tcia.org.