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How an independent nurse can reduce your costs

Medical management is one of the most important aspects of controlling WorkComp costs. While frequency of claims is declining costs have skyrocketed.

Although you may feel you have little control over the medical treatment your injured employee receives, there are several steps you can take. And the payoff is significant.

One of the most effective approaches is hiring an independent nurse. Depending upon the volume of your claims, the nurse can be an outsourced position or a part- or full-time employee. The most important point is that the nurse is independent and understands how a treating physician and insurance adjuster work. The nurse's role is improve the injured employee's treatment and serve as a liaison between you, the employee, the medical provider and the insurance company, thus improving claims management.

Here is what a nurse can do:

  • Review treatment plan from physicians and clinics to make sure treatment is timely and appropriate
  • Advocate for the employee to be sure he/she receives prompt,effective treatment
  • Assess temporary alternative job duties for the employee
  • If appropriate, accompany the injured employee on medical appointments
  • Assist the injured employee with getting needed prescriptions, medical aids, etc. Helping the employee and developing a positive relationship early in the process goes a long way in encouraging a return to work.
  • Build a relationship with the injured employee's medical provider and make the doctor aware of the employee's duties and possibilities of limited-duty assignment
  • Know the medical resources in your area. Knowing the highly qualified specialists and rehabilitation practitioners who provide objective medical care is critical to cost control
  • Help in the selection of rehabilitation care. Physical and occupational therapy is one of the most significant cost drivers for workers' comp injuries and key to controlling those costs is using providers experienced in managing care and getting patients back to work
  • Monitor the work site and provide medical input for safety meetings
In addition, a nurse will enhance employee morale by providing a safe, accessible workplace and promoting a healthy lifestyle conducting blood pressure checks, assisting in chronic disease management and other items to keep your employees healthy and working. With an independent nurse, you will be able to produce better outcomes for your employees, expedite a safe return to work and prevent overutilization of medical treatment.