Safety National offers an innovative online tool to reduce Workers' Comp costs
Naturally, clients of Safety National, a national multiline insurance carrier based in St. Louis, Missouri, are no different in that regard. But in this case, those particular clients have the advantage of using the carrier's Workers' Comp Kit®, an online post-injury management program offered as part of Safety National's MAP (Management, Analysis, Prevention) Client Services.
"The Workers' Comp Kit® service is our most popular MAP Client Services offering," says David Snodgrass, director of Risk Control Services at Safety National.
"Safety National has always had a commitment to partner with our clients on loss-sensitive programs," adds Karen Casserly, the carrier's client services manager, noting that the company wrote its first policy way back in 1942. "Our history of partnering with clients led to the development of MAP Client Services, which is a pre-loss and post-injury risk management platform. The Workers' Comp Kit is an enhancement to the MAP program."
Safety National, always looking to innovate whenever possible, recently purchased the Workers' Comp Kit® after previously offering the product through a co-branding relationship. But, as Snodgrass explains, that situation only offered clients limited functionality.
"We saw that it proved to be very popular with clients, so we decided we needed to provide full functionality," he says. "There was a definite high level of interest in using the product."
Snodgrass explains that one key issue is that most of Safety National's clients are in a risk- taking posture, because they are either self-insured or on a large deductible. In either insurance scenario the dollars are coming straight from the employer's bottom line. Because that bottom line is directly impacted by workers' compensation loss, the Workers' Comp Kit® is designed to deliver the best possible post-injury cost containment tools.
"Anyone who is required to cover employees can benefit from the tool," says Casserly, adding that measurement and analysis of upstream and downstream metrics -- two key features of the Workers' Comp Kit®, are essential to the success of a workers' compensation cost containment program.
The Workers' Comp Kit® offers online self-evaluations of program components, cost comparisons and program improvement solutions. Key components include:
-- Program Evaluation -- A self-assessment tool that helps evaluate how well an organization's workers' compensation program aligns with industry best practices in terms of managing and controlling the cost of claims. The evaluation assesses performance in key areas and provides customized recommendations for improvement based on the assessment results.
-- Online Benchmarking Tool -- Allows an organization to compare its losses to that of peers on a national level within one of 14 industry averages or on a state comparison level.
-- Cost Reduction Tools -- Provides access to over 60 tools such as letters, presentations, forms and worksheets to assist in improving your workers' compensation injury management program.
-- Stoplight Report -- The Stoplight report visually demonstrates which areas of the risk management program are most in need of improvement and how to take action.
-- Recommendations Report - The system details areas of opportunity, providing recommendations for improvement across all locations and/or departments within an organization.
-- Online Step-by-Step Instruction Manual -- The Online Workers' Comp Instruction Manual allows for centralized control of material, putting actionable plans into the hands of the supervisors in the field.
"The Workers' Comp Kit® enables clients to work collaboratively to improve best practices and reduce expenses," Casserly explains. "And it does that by providing online tools to assess post-injury workers' compensation practices and procedures, recommend improvements, and provide the materials and expertise to implement cost savings improvements."
From a technology platform standpoint, the Workers' Comp Kit® is an entirely Web-based application requiring only a username and password. And while non-Safety National clients can purchase the Workers' Comp Kit® through Advisen, the service is offered free of charge to Safety National clients.
The assessment process completely removes the manual labor of going to each site, as it can be done entirely online by the risk manager or workers' compensation team. Plus, any end user can receive basic guidance for using the tool from either Safety National staff or its consultants.
"All of the questions in each component can be answered through a drop-down box format, so it's a very short learning curve," Casserly says. "In fact, the assessment portion is a patented application. There is really nothing comparable to it in the marketplace."
Snodgrass adds that employers can compare their risk management programs against best practices across industry segments, allowing users to see where gaps exist and identify opportunities for improvement.
"If users take advantage of those opportunities, the results are very easy to see," he says. "Not only does the Kit help do a thorough assessment, it also gives employers the resources necessary to make those positive changes. Often, employers are not sure where to go for help, but this tool can help them get there."
For example, one of the modules walks end users step-by-step through what it takes to create a "best practice" return-to-work program.Another module helps employers build stronger relationships with their TPA and work better with their medical providers.
"This resource can be used by all clients, small, medium and large," says Snodgrass. "Any employer looking to control workers' compensation expenses can benefit from this service."
So far, the average savings of those using the Workers' Comp Kit is has been significant. Best of all, it's not an all-or-nothing proposition, as clients do not have to use the entire tool to see positive cost containment changes.
"This type of analysis has been in the marketplace for 25 years, but it has been delivered as a consulting practice, which makes it very expensive," says Casserly. "The Workers' Comp Kit is an automated way to provide consulting which, if done in person, would be a lengthy and costly endeavor. Technology has finally caught up to the process, which makes it more accessible to everyone."
Right now, Casserly says, about 15-20 percent of Safety National clients are using the Workers' Comp Kit, but both she and Snodgrass expect to see that percentage skyrocket as more clients access the company's MAP Client Services online tools.
"Before we launched the Workers' Comp Kit, clients did not have access to all the tools because we had only contracted to use part of the product," he says. "But now, as the full owner of the Workers' Comp Kit, we can offer our clients access to the total functionality of the tool."
"We have been in the workers compensation industry for almost 70 years, and serving the client has always been at the heart of what we do," he says. "The Workers' Comp Kit is a natural extension of that history."
For more information, visit safetynational.com.
(The above piece is part of our continuing Insights series designed to highlight key products and services to our readers. This paid-for Insights was written and edited by Risk & Insurance®
on behalf of our marketing partner. Additional Insights can be found on our Web site at www.riskandinsurance.com/.)
August 17, 2011
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