Managing Injury Claims Successfully: Aged Care

New report highlights the value of early intervention.

Workers’ compensation has a reputation for being one of the biggest business costs in health and community services. Due to the nature of the job, health and aged care workers are at high risk of physical injury or illness, and mental and psychological issues.

Statistics released by Safe Work Australia show that in the last two years, personal service workers contributed to 30 percent of occupational claims, and 18 percent of ‘serious’ work-related injury claims. The data also revealed that throughout the pandemic, health and social care workers accounted for 69 percent of COVID-19 related workers’ compensation claims.

An increase in claims ultimately leads to an increase in premiums—and that is why it is critical for organisations to have effective and efficient claims management strategies for all injured employees, both work and non-work related.

Now, a new report from Lockton, the 2022 People Insurance Outperformance Report, reveals why a consistent, coordinated, and targeted approach to injury management is critical to strong claims outcomes and lower insurance premiums.

Why early intervention is important

Early intervention is crucial for positive outcomes for individuals and organisations. Managing injuries effectively by ensuring employees receive appropriate and reasonable treatment along with establishing return to work as soon as practicable is key in supporting an employee’s recovery. Having robust treatment and return to work plans in place will also help reduce the cost and duration of claims.

Data from Safe Work Australia notes that in the first 30 days after an injury, having a return to work plan increases the odds of returning to work by up to 1.7 times. In Lockton’s Report, research shows that the longer a person is absent from the workplace the less likely they are to ever return to work. Employees absent for over 70 days typically have only a 35 percent chance of ever returning to work.

Early intervention also contributes to a productive and supportive workplace overall, improves the injury outcome of the employee, and promotes health and wellbeing. Injured employees receiving a positive and empathetic claims management experience typically return to work more quickly than those who do not.

What is considered early?

Treatment and return to work should be commenced within the first 30 days of a claim, and the sooner the better. According to the Report, employees contacted within three days of injury are 26 percent more likely to return from a physical injury and 45 percent more likely to return from a psychological injury.

A better approach to claims

Given its importance, what are organisations doing to improve the health and wellbeing of their workforce and reduce premium spend? Lockton is observing organisations in the medium to large corporate space are rethinking their approach, and increasingly outsourcing their workers’ compensation claims management to specialists.

This ensures that all claimants have access to industry specialists who have a strong history in getting people back to work quickly. The flow on from this approach is the reduction in time lost due to injuries, reducing claims costs and decreasing the premium paid by clients. Outsourcing is also typically more cost effective than an organisation employing their own people.

Looking ahead

Claims management ensures better interactions with workers’ compensation markets to get organisations the best possible result. In the course of Lockton’s work, they have been able to reduce the average cost per claim by $5,000 and reduce the duration of claims by 10 days. This led to premium savings of $75,000.

Emerging from COVID-19, the health and wellbeing of employees will continue to be critical. Comprehensive claims management is a win-win for organisations and their employees.

Click the download button (located on the right for desktop users and at the bottom for mobile users) and fill out the form to access the report.

Download now

Download our 2022 People Insurance Outperformance Report for more insights on managing claims to achieve optimal outcomes.

Click the download button (located on the right for desktop users and at the bottom for mobile users) and fill out the form to access the report.

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2022 People Insurance Outperformance Report