Work From Home 2021
july 21, 2021 – Michael Marsh
Workers' compensation claims management best serves the recovering worker when the worker is engaged in their claim / treatment / process. It has been our experience that having face-to-face meetings between the adjuster / examiner and the worker (to include family members if they choose) leads to significantly better medical outcomes. When medical outcomes are better, it follows that Return To Work is more complete and rapid, and the resulting claims costs are dramatically lower.
With the work-from-home hysteria over the past 18 months, many workers' compensation claims professionals not only do not see or greet the recovering workers that they are assisting through the process, they also do not have the benefit of the emotional and professional support of their fellow claims professionals and team.
While many in the claims industry are predicting that the work-from-home change is permanent, which is supported by many of the work-from-home staff (no commute being the most common reasoning given), the real world claims results may cause employers to more closely examine how their recovering workers are treated AND how much that is costing their program. If so, like our office, one may see a more rapid return to the office for the workers' compensation claims industry.
There is an interesting debate shaping up between senior management at some companies and their devoted workers. An article in INC highlights what is currently happening at apple @ https://www.inc.com/kevin-j-ryan/apple-employees-letter-return-to-office.html
Takeaway: Workers' compensation claims management best serves the recovering worker when the worker is engaged in their claim / treatment / process. It seems too early to tell what the actual impact may be for the recovering workers that we in the claims industry serve. Nothing will be more important, however, than employers and insureds actively evaluating how their claims representatives are treating their recovering workers.