Technology Integration: Working to Improve Comp Claims

Chriss Swaney

Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – New and improved technologies aim to streamline workers’ compensation programs for everything from communication to health care delivery.

For example, a cache of workers’ compensation commissions are using skype for deliberations. Commissioners of the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission have integrated skype for appellate deliberations. Use of this technology allows for speedy collaborations, and a financial savings of more than 150 hours of travel time annually.

Other companies and health providers are using technology in innovative ways to potentially curb costs and improve a variety of essential workers’ compensation services.

Joseph Molloy, VP of Workforce Safety at Northwell Health, created a centralized Workforce Safety department and revamped its employee reporting system. Previously, injuries were reported to different parts of the company.

“Completion of forms by employees was inconsistent and penmanship was also an issue in reading some forms,” Molloy said. And asking where an accident occurred, for example, resulted in answers that ranged from an address to a building floor or to a hospital.

Molloy’s team used technology to work on incident reporting improvements. Northwell Health added automated forms and connected employee data so that the forms could be auto populated.

The company also added a mobile app and 800-number to streamline the workers’ compensation-process.

Molloy explained that completed employee reports of injury are sent to supervisors, safety officers, human resources and Broadspire (third party claims administrator) and its Workforce Safety department, which triages cases to determine patient and nurse care opportunities.

“The new system resulted in more employees being placed in transitional return to work assignments and a positive result for employees,” Molloy said.

On a similar note, “…WorkersCompensation.com clients who have integrated our FlashForm SSL auto-population system have told us their costs were reduced from 35% to 95%, depending on their previous forms configurations,” per company President and CEO Bob Wilson. WorkersCompensation.com was the first organization to utilize auto-population for jurisdictional claim forms, 11 years ago.

Other technologies like telehealth have also resulted in higher network penetration, lower severity claims and lower claims costs.

David Lupinsky, VP of CorVel Corp., said telehealth brings healthcare to employees and allows employers the ability to create virtual clinics which drives greater productivity.

Industry leaders see telehealth as an important tool in connecting injured employees to healthcare and rehabilitation services, speeding up the recovery process and getting them back into the workforce.

“Telehealth is a viable option for employers of all sizes — meaning they no longer have to make a large investment in onsite clinics,” Lupinsky said. Telehealth technology can potentially handle up to 40 percent of claims.

Also on WorkersCompensation.com’s radar: The Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation recently announced plans to allow reimbursement for workers’ cases using telehealth and telemedicine.