Following an abrupt injury in the workplace, it is crucial to have an alternative to the Emergency Room (ER) in order to ensure the efficient recovery of your employees. Although the ER may serve as an immediate solution to a life-threatening workplace injury, utilizing the ER as a primary source of care for your injured employees will likely cost you more money and time than you had expected. According to the Institute of Work Comp Professionals (IWCP), it costs up to nearly a third more to use the ER to treat workplace injuries. One of the most immediate ways to ensure lower future premium increases following a claim is to reduce how much you pay when a loss occurs. Utilizing Occupational Clinics rather than the emergency room helps minimize the effect the loss will have on the experience modification factor (MOD) of your business; thereby minimizing the effect the loss will have on future Work Comp premium. Here are a variety of benefits that come with having an Occupational Clinic as your primary health care provider as opposed to the ER:
- The ultimate goal and continued focus of the occupational medicine provider is the quick recovery of the employee. The ER’s main objective following an injury is to determine the severity of an injury and to stabilize it accordingly. There is little emphasis on limited job duties the injured employee can do in the interim or what the timetable for the employee’s full recovery is. Occupational clinics specialize in these workplace injuries and are able to identify treatment that is conducive towards the rapid recovery of such injuries.
- The physician at an occupational clinic is able diagnose and treat the injury from start to finish. At an ER, it is common for a patient to be referred to a specialist once the severity of the injury has been determined and once the injury has been stabilized. When there are multiple physicians involved, it makes it very difficult for the employer to keep track of billing and the employee’s progress. When working with an Occupational Clinic, the employer is able to receive detailed reports and updates from a single physician and the employer is able to use this information to better manage their business following the injury. The employee will also have the convenience of going to a single physician and will save them the time to travel between multiple providers.
- Occupational Clinics are generally capable of treating a wide range of injuries at a fraction of the ER costs. Employers without an appropriate alternative to the emergency room tend to send their employees to the ER for injuries big and small. This practice leads to higher medical bills, higher Work Comp payouts, and consequentially, higher future Work Comp premiums.
While the ER serves as the best solution to life-threatening injuries that require immediate care and stabilization, most workplace injuries tend to be minor/less significant in nature. In those cases, your injured employee ought to be directed to an occupational clinic because they are experienced in such injuries, focused on returning the employee to full health and capability, and are predicated on overall efficiency. Also, your employees will be receiving the exceptional medical care of the ER at a fraction of the cost. Have you been using the ER as the primary healthcare provider for all of your workplace injuries? Call Knight-Dik Insurance Agency, Inc. at (508)753-6353 for more information on Occupational Clinics and Massachusetts Workers Comp Insurance.
Rami Dalli, CWCA
“The Workers Comp Guru”