Building Effective Relationships with Medical Providers in Workers’ Compensation
When dealing with a workers’ compensation claim in your organization, it is essential to provide strong support for the recovery of the affected employee. Establishing a solid relationship with their medical provider can facilitate a smooth and timely return to work. This is minimizing the associated claim expenses. Follow the guidance below to understand the importance of working with medical providers. Also, implement best practices in your workers’ compensation program.
The Significance of Collaborating with Medical Providers
Medical providers play a critical role in determining the appropriate treatment plan. Also, assess the employee’s readiness to return to work after an occupational illness or injury. However, without a relationship between your organization and the medical provider, they may lack knowledge about your workplace and the support available for the employee’s recovery. Without a professional relationship with the medical provider handling the claim can lead to various issues, including:
- Misunderstandings about job roles. In the absence of information from your organization, the medical provider may rely on the employee’s description of their job duties. If the employee unintentionally provides an inaccurate account, the provider might mistakenly perceive the job as more physically demanding than it is. Consequently, they may delay the employee’s return to work unnecessarily.
- Misconceptions about the work environment. Without insights from your organization, medical providers might make assumptions about the work environment based on generalized industry beliefs. These assumptions can lead to delays in the employee’s return to work. Providers may overestimate the risks posed by the workplace.
- Concerns about return-to-work programs. A lack of information about your organization’s return-to-work program could lead medical providers to assume that it is minimal or non-existent. As a result, they may hold the employee back from returning. This is until they are fully capable of performing their original job role. Even if transitional tasks or light-duty work could have allowed for earlier reintegration.
Establishing a relationship with medical providers allows you to share crucial information about job responsibilities, workplace conditions, and your return-to-work program. This collaborative approach enables more informed decision-making regarding treatment and return-to-work capabilities. Moreover, medical providers with a better understanding of your workplace can provide tailored guidance to prevent reaggravation of the employee’s condition, helping to control workers’ compensation claim costs.
Best Practices for Collaborating with Medical Providers
To build a strong relationship with the medical providers in your workers’ compensation program, it is essential to understand the provider selection process, which may vary based on state workers’ compensation laws. Follow these steps to foster effective partnerships:
- Plan a visit: Invite the medical provider to your workplace for a comprehensive tour. Showcase the work environment and the specific activities employees engage in. Highlight your return-to-work program and discuss transitional tasks that can accommodate recovering employees. If an on-site visit is not possible, consider a video call or visit to their clinic to share this information.
- Understand provider protocols: Familiarize yourself with the provider’s protocols, including clinic hours and procedures for after-hours medical attention. Clarify how they follow up with you after an employee’s clinic visit and their approach to specialized care for specific ailments.
- Provide ample resources: Quickly provide the medical provider with relevant information about the employee’s illness or injury, including incident investigation reports, job duty descriptions (emphasizing physical requirements), and details of your return-to-work program. Request detailed explanations of occupational restrictions and task options. During treatment, share a return-to-work form focusing on recovery timelines and transitional tasks needed upon resuming work.
- Maintain regular communication: Establish ongoing communication with the medical provider to stay updated on the employee’s recovery progress. Clarify how they will communicate with the claims adjuster, bridging any communication gaps if necessary. Ensure they have your contact information for any questions.
Contact Advantage Insurance Solutions today for additional workers’ compensation insurance, work comp resources, and return-to-work plans.
For more information and to discuss specific strategies tailored to your organization’s needs, please contact us at 877-658-2472.