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Risk in Context

How to Position Your Organization for Success in the Rapidly Changing Workers’ Comp Landscape

Posted by Christine Williams June 09, 2015

From landmark court rulings that challenge the very foundation of the workers’ compensation system to new regulations across a number of states affecting medical cost management and workplace safety or even allowing employers to pursue alternative workplace injury management systems, the past 12 to 18 months have seen significant legislative and regulatory change. Any veteran of workers’ compensation will tell you that constant change is par for the course — but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to manage. How can risk professionals effectively manage change in workers’ compensation and position their organizations for success?

Cut Through the Noise

It’s sometimes hard to determine how significant a new legislative or regulatory development will actually be. Will a specific court ruling affect just a few isolated cases in one state, or could it lead to a broader change in the way that we manage workers’ compensation claims?

Consider seeking the advice of your brokers, third-party administrators, managed care providers, defense counsel, and others to help you stay informed about specific legal and regulatory developments and how they could affect your organization. You’ll need actionable advice based on proven outcomes and actual claims experience. So make sure that you’re working with advisors who share your philosophy for workers’ compensation program management and who can offer the best people, technology, and other resources.

Align With Your Business

Risk professionals know that the actual management of risks lies within the day-to-day operations of the business. So it’s important that you’re closely aligned with your business and that your external advisors’ insights are translated into appropriate medical cost containment and workplace safety strategies for your organization. One place to help gain alignment is in your corporate risk committee.

If you already have a cross-functional risk committee, make sure it doesn’t just “check the box.” Instead, make it an active forum for discussion of key risks, new and emerging exposures, and legislative and regulatory developments. And make sure that safety, risk management, and key business units are all represented.

If you don’t have a corporate risk committee, now may be the time to create one — with workplace safety as an area of focus.

Listen to a replay of our Workers’ Compensation Center of Excellence webcast, Understanding the Evolving Legal and Regulatory Landscape, for more on this topic.

Christine Williams