By Emma Castleberry
There is a more efficient way for businesses to save money on worker’s compensation.
Despite the fact that many companies focus on reducing the expenses associated with claim management, more money can be saved by focusing on accident prevention.
“A claim prevented is the best way forward,” says Bob Patterson, a Briotix founder. “If you can prevent injuries and health maladies that are occupationally driven, then it’s a claim that never happened. That is money saved.”
While many companies choose to designate two separate departments for claim management and claim prevention, this separation can often endanger the success of both programs.
“The success of a company’s health and safety initiatives has a direct impact on the workers’ compensation costs,” Patterson says. “These activities need to be approached as complementary initiatives rather than separated.”
On-site physical therapists can act as a convenient marriage between the management of existing claims and the prevention of future ones. Because these therapists are working side-by-side with employees on recovery and prevention throughout the day, they are intimately familiar with exactly what employees need; I.e. the in depth understanding of body mechanics, kinesiology, and forces on the body help Physical Therapists correct postures that are potentially risky.
So, rather than a separate department (or departments) scrambling to manage claims and create a prevention program, a highly-trained and experienced individual can seamlessly integrate these efforts and address a company’s health and safety from both ends: prevention and post-claim management.
“It is widely accepted now that utilizing physicians that are better equipped to treat occupational injuries based on their experience levels and understanding of the job will have a significant impact on the cost of those claims,” Patterson says.
Not only is the physical therapist delivering more effective care for existing claims, thus healing workers faster and more completely, but the physical therapist is also available to help other employees prevent injury.
“Individuals have the ability to seek consultation with this specialist to reduce the physical strains of their work before a claim happens,” Patterson says. “They are provided with prevention tactics so that the injury never happens. It’s an extension of the onsite physical therapy, which is a powerful tool that employees can use to have an impact on their bottom line and workers’ compensation costs.”
Patterson cites the success rates of Briotix on-site physical therapists as proof that this system works to reduce worker’s compensation claim costs. If a physical therapist starts off managing existing claims for 16 hours a week and working with health and safety initiatives for 4 hours, that ratio flips after about a year, with dramatically less time spent on managing claims and far more time spent on maintaining a safe, healthy work environment.
“When you combine those two—pre-claim prevention and post-claim physical therapy—you’re impacting the overall costs from both strategies,” he says. “The fundamental science is relatively unchanged—one just has a claim and one doesn’t.”
Wondering how this might work in your organization? Contact us to discuss your needs and goals.