The result is included in a recent survey of more than 3,000 employers by Zywave, a provider of software as a service technology solutions for the insurance and financial services industry. It was conducted during the first quarter of 2013.
The survey showed 53 percent of employers are very or somewhat concerned about post-accident cost control while 50 percent are concerned about risk control in the form of accident prevention. However, when asked for the most effective measure they take to control workers' comp costs, having a safety-minded culture was mentioned by 69 percent of respondents, although only 26 percent rank safety incentives as effective or highly effective. Also, 34 percent say they do not have a written safety manual.
"It's interesting to me that employers are more concerned with post-accident cost control than accident prevention," said Kory Wells, Zywave's product director of data analysis. "Of course, the results reflect human nature, but in best practice, business owners focus on safety culture and accident prevention to avoid those post-accident costs in the first place."
Other top cost control measures in order of popularity are:
- A return-to-work or light-duty program.
- On-site accident evaluations.
- Loss prevention evaluations.
- Using a preferred occupational medicine facility.
- Having a dedicated claims manager.
In a blog post about the survey, Wells said she was somewhat surprised by the lack of concern about opioids. Only 28 percent of respondents said they are very or somewhat concerned about the issue of prescription drug abuse.
"Why is it that some people in the industry are saying so much about this issue, and yet it's not on the majority of employers' radars?" she wrote. "Brokers, you can encourage employer awareness by asking questions and delivering content ... on preventing substance abuse during injury recovery, through wellness programs, and related to individual state mandates."
Just over one-third of the employers -- 36 percent -- said they are concerned about comorbidity issues such as obesity and diabetes.
Another issue generating concern was this year's change in the experience rating formula. Some 42 percent of respondents said they are very or somewhat concerned about it. However, of the companies that are experience rated, 85 percent said they either do not know the value of their loss-free rating or are not familiar with the term.
"Not being educated about the mod (experience modification rating), including the minimum mod is a huge liability for business owners and an opportunity for their insurance brokers to provide that vital education," Wells said. "Many employers assume the mod is simply a number they must live with, rather than understanding their ability to lower it and help lower premiums and costs."
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
June 24, 2013
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