July Health Wonk Review

July 25th, 2017 by Julie Ferguson

Repeal? Replace? Steve Anderson has posted the “Are We There Yet?” Edition of Health Wonk Review at healthinsurance.org blog, a timely edition as a pending vote of one or another of the previous bills is scheduled to come before the Senate today — although no one knows for certain which Trumpcare bill legislators will be voting on – including the legislators themselves. Will it be just for a pure repeal, deferring the hard decisions to some future date? Or the House Bill? Or Senate Bill I, Senate Bill II, a hybrid, or some entirely new animal? Who knew healthcare could be so hard? Stay tuned.

Needless to say, the wonks have opinions on this mess and are not shy about voicing them. Read what some of the best minds in the health policy blogosphere are saying.

 

 

High hazards, gruesome deaths; farm worker safety programs facing cuts

July 19th, 2017 by Julie Ferguson

Farm work is dangerous work. Injuries and fatalities are gruesome – amputations, death by being caught in machinery or rolled over by tractors; drownings in manure pits; suffocation in grain bins. More than 5,000 agricultural workers in the U.S. died on the job between 2003 and 2011, a death rate that OSHA puts at seven times higher than average.

The Idaho Statesman recently featured a troubling but excellent story by Audrey Dutton on two workers who drown in manure pits, a well-known fatality risk in agriculture. While all farm workers face risks – including child workers – the high fatality rate is worsened by the high rates of immigrant workers – both legal and illegal – who may have a poor grasp of English, or who are reluctant to make waves, particularly with the recent ICE crackdowns. These While many farms are good to their workers, there are also many who exploit them.

“We would characterize those employees as vulnerable workers,” said Jordan Barab, who was deputy assistant secretary of OSHA in the Obama administration and now writes Confined Space, a newsletter about worker safety. “Some of them are undocumented, but even those who are documented have come from other countries where, let’s say, the government is not friendly.”

These workers tend to be suspicious of government and unaware that OSHA exists or that they have rights. A complaint can put them at risk of getting fired or deported, Barab said.

“This is a group OSHA has a hard time reaching,” he said.

At Sunrise Organic Dairy in Jerome County, workers did not know about OSHA and were concerned about working near the manure pit the winter Vazquez-Carrera died, according to someone who knew him, who asked not to be identified because of fear of retribution.

In addition to immigrant and non-English speaking workers, children are another vulnerable population at high risk of injury on farms. Small farms – particularly family farms – are unregulated because OSHA cannot inspect farms of 10 or fewer non-family workers, even when fatalities occur. Plus, many of the recordkeeping rules that OSHA was implementing have been rolled back, meaning that many injuries and deaths will continue falling under the radar. These statistics are important for targeting agricultural safety and prevention programs, as well as for targeting enforcement efforts.

OSHA programs are cash-strapped and about to be even more so. Jordan Barab of Confined Space documents how the House budget devastates OSHA and MSHA enforcement. Having served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor at OSHA from 2009 to 2017, he should know.

In addition to enforcement cuts, many prevention programs will be affected – here’s a concrete example: Farm safety funding could be uprooted. The article talks about rollovers, which are the top cause of farm injury and death. But under the president’s proposed budget, one of the key prevention programs – National ROPS (rollover protection system) Rebate Program – would be hurt by budget cuts to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

In the abstract, cutting regulations and federal budgets can seem like a good idea, but they can have real world health and safety implications. We don’t think worker safety or public health should be on the chopping block. These investments are often a cheap dollar. Measured in either lives or dollars, we earn incalculable savings through the prevention efforts of the Centers for Disease Control, OSHA and NIOSH. Earlier this year, the $11 million Chemical Safety Board was scheduled for elimination, but after much public outcry, the House budget calls for CSB funding to be restored.

 

Related: Agriculture Health & Safety

Lost Both Arms and a Leg: Life and Death for Farmworkers

Walking down the grain … and the fines

Grain Bin Safety

Call to action for teen farmworker safety: Two boys lose legs in OK grain bin auger accident

A survivor’s story: Iowa teen advocates for farm safety after her near-fatal encounter with a power take-off shaft

NIOSH – Agriculture Safety

National Farmers Union – safety videos and practices

Health Wonk Review on AHCA and other health policy matters

June 23rd, 2017 by Julie Ferguson

The secret Senate Republican gang of 12 finally came out from behind closed doors and Joe Paduda is on the case to help analyze the legislation that will have a profound impact on one-sixth of the nation’s economy. Joe’s posted a Double Edition of Health Wonk Review at Managed Care Matters, which includes a great roundup of health policy issues from our usual wonks, as well as a selection of posts and articles related to yesterday’s repeal & replace for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. If you’re trying to make sense out of the AHCA and its potential impact, this post will help. If Republican leaders stick to their aggressive schedule of passing things before the July Fourth holiday, there’s not a lot of time to get up to speed!

Eight Steps To Controlling Workers’ Compensation Costs: Conclusion

June 2nd, 2017 by Tom Lynch

This is part 3 in a 3-part series. Here are parts 1 and 2.

Step 6 – Establish a partnership with your claim service provider

It is not the job of the insurer or third party administrator (TPA) to solve your workers’ compensation problems. That is something you do together. The insurer or TPA administers and manages your company’s claims according to relevant law and brings a diverse array of claims-related services to the table, including utilization reviews, intensive case management for catastrophic injuries and investigation of dubious claims. Your goal should be to develop a close working partnership. On your side, you need to report claims immediately, establish good documentation to serve as the basis for the insurer’s work and work with your adjusters and medical providers to bring injured workers back to work in any medically appropriate capacity as soon as possible.

Together, you and your insurer or TPA should maintain a steady and consistent focus on every open claim. Use all the tools and resources available to return your injured workers to the job; where this is not possible, work diligently to reach agreement on the appropriate way to achieve closure on the case.

Step 7 – Measure and track results

You know the drill – what you measure becomes important.

Be sure to establish clear objectives for what you want to accomplish and communicate them in concrete terms.

Here are three simple, but effective, ways to measure performance. These are measurements that senior management can readily understand and track on a monthly basis (we wrote about the need for simplicity in performance measurement recently here).

First, measure the total costs of losses per full-time-equivalent (FTE) employee (divide the total number of hours worked by 2,000 to get the number of FTEs). Doing so factors out both overtime and part time employment.

Second, measure the cost of losses per hundred dollars of payroll. Compare this to the premium classification rate at the time of the injury to find out if your loss costs are excessive.

Third, measure days lost due to injury per every 200,000 hours worked (equivalent to one hundred employees working 2,000 hours per year). This is the OSHA Severity Rate and is an excellent way to measure lost time.

With this data in hand, ask your insurance broker or carrier what the averages are for these metrics in your industry. They should be able to tell you. Then, benchmark yourself against your industry and yourself.

Track results and report them just as you would track and report production or quality objectives. Moreover, discuss the results with employees. If senior management pays consistent attention to the organization’s loss reduction performance, everyone else will, too.

Another measurement factor focuses on accountability: make support of and participation in your injury management system an ongoing part of performance reviews for management and supervisory staff. Not doing this sends a subtle message – safety and injury management are really not that important at your company.

Step 8 – Define and communicate responsibilities

In a well-coordinated injury management system, everyone knows his or her proper role and responsibilities. Each person must understand how to respond. Injured workers must immediately notify supervisors of any injury. Supervisors must respond in a caring manner and make sure that workers who sustain injuries are escorted quickly from the work site to the right medical provider. Supervisors also are charged with analyzing accidents and taking steps to ensure they don’t happen again. Supervisors should thoroughly document accidents and injuries with the assistance of injured workers. And senior management should follow through by making sure that corrective action identified actually does occur.
It is a truism of business that well-defined responsibilities go a long way toward assuring that objectives are met or exceeded. Workers’ compensation cost control is no different.

We recommend that, among other program documentation, you create a simple brochure that might be called, “What to do when you’re injured on the job.” The brochure should say what employees should do and what management will do. It should describe your Modified Duty Program and accident investigation protocols. It should hammer home the need for every injury to be reported during the shift on which it occurs.

Conclusion

Workers’ compensation is not an insurance problem. It is a management problem. Employers committed to taking control can reduce costs significantly. At the same time, their companies will benefit from improved morale and productivity. Like so many of life’s thorny issues, workers’ compensation can be managed if you only have the will to do it.

Fresh Health Wonk Review and other news of note

June 1st, 2017 by Julie Ferguson

Andrew Sprung has posted Alternative Facts, Alternative Realities Edition of Health Wonk Review at his blog, xpostfactoid. It includes various perspectives on the usual alphabet soup topics – AHCA, ACA, CBO – and a grab bag of other timely issues – California expansion, opiods treatment, end-of-life care, value tools in managed care and more.

Andrew is one of the newer contributors and hosts of HWR so be sure to check out his blog too. He’s been blogging on various issues since 2007, with a recent focus on “the unfolding drama of Affordable Care Act implementation and health reform more generally.” If following health policy is on your agenda, Andrew’s blog should be a must-read. Here’s a sampling:

And in other news we found noteworthy:

NCCI presentations – for those of us in workers comp, awaiting the spring NCCI reports is something like waiting for Santa. First is the NCCI’s State of the Line Highlights Key Indicators of the Workers Compensation Industry, widely regarded as the industry’s most extensive workers compensation market analysis. This year’s 57 page report is true to form. Here’s a headline – “As presented in this year’s State of the Line Report, the workers compensation Calendar Year 2016 combined ratio for private carriers was 94%. This is the second consecutive year the industry has posted a six-point underwriting gain. Total market net written premium volume remained steady between 2015 and 2016 at $45.5 billion.” But check out the rest of the report NCCI’s State of the Line Report (PDF) – a 57 page issue. Next up is NCCI’s Annual Issues Symposium (AIS), including videos and full presentations. Close your office door and catch up!

More research: Compounds in workers’ comp – Joe Paduda says: “CompPharma’s second research paper on compounds in workers’ comp was published last week. Authored by pharmacists and government affairs professionals from member PBMs, this paper builds on the ground-breaking research published in our first paper.”

More research: Returning to Work May Save Your Life – A recent study funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that in addition to fairly well-known negative outcomes, workers who suffer injuries that require days away from work are likely to die sooner than those who had injuries that required only medical treatment. Let’s take a look at this new study and then at some tips for getting your injured workers back to work faster.

More research: Workplace Injuries Are More Common When Companies Face Earnings Pressure

Eight Essential Steps To Controlling Workers’ Compensation Costs: Steps Three Through Five

May 31st, 2017 by Tom Lynch

Yesterday, we began our Eight Essential Steps series with Steps One and Two, making a commitment and focusing on lost time. Today, we’ll tackle Steps Three through Five.

Step 3 – Develop an injury action plan

Many employers think that when an injury occurs responsibility for getting the injured worker back to work shifts to the claims adjuster. Nothing could be further from the truth, and it is this basic misunderstanding that causes many claims to deteriorate with oftentimes negative consequences for both worker and employer.

The claims adjuster’s job is to determine compensability, coordinate benefits, follow the law and work within it and the workers’ compensation insurance contract to resolve the claim satisfactorily. And while adjusters play a vital role in the process, they can never be your human resource director.

Misunderstanding the role of the adjuster creates an atmosphere in which injured employees are left to drift, groping their way through a quagmire of medical services, uncertain benefits and a cloudy future. In fact, a truism in workers’ compensation is, “When a claim goes south, costs go north.” As the employer, you need to structure a clearly defined path from the moment of injury through early return to work and back to full employment. What you do or don’t do in the first few hours after an injury has a significant impact on your ultimate costs.

Employers need to create a turnkey action plan – a clear set of policies, procedures and expectations with supporting tools and documentation. The plan must include a way to stay in continuous contact with injured workers throughout the recovery process, keeping employees connected to the organization and motivated to return to work.

Step 4 – Establish relationships with high-quality medical providers

A close relationship with medical providers of exceptional quality who understand work-related injuries is essential to managing costs. The pivotal emphasis should be on quality, not price. This sounds paradoxical in these times of higher and higher medical costs, where medical treatment now accounts for nearly 60% of workers’ compensation loss costs and where a bazillion companies unleash an army of people to reign in those costs in so many different ways (NCCI reports 13% of medical costs are devoted to lowering medical costs – go figure). However, ample research shows that doctors who specialize in occupational medicine with a sports medicine approach and who follow ACOEM (American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine) guidelines, consistently provide injured workers with high-quality treatment while shepherding them back to the workplace in a compassionate and caring manner. Board-certified occupational medicine physicians know a worker should remain out of work no longer than is medically necessary. This leads to an active recovery and lower costs.

Take the time to shop for providers who offer the highest-quality care with an active sports medicine philosophy. Look for physicians who will take the time to understand your needs, perhaps through actual work site visits. Once you have identified potential providers, develop a written agreement that sets explicit procedures for handling workplace injuries. Be sure that each provider is willing to identify specific restrictions resulting from injuries and work with you to accommodate appropriate modified duty placements.

Now, admittedly, this approach can be difficult in the 21st century workers’ compensation medical environment. Large medical networks have enrolled more physicians than there are entries in the New York City telephone directory and have wrung out of each a discounted rate for service. This arrangement might be good for the networks, but not necessarily for you. In workers’ compensation, like in most everything else, you get what you pay for. So, our suggestion is that you should be prepared to negotiate higher payment for the good service you expect. We’ve found it worth it in the long run.

As with any valued vendor, you should provide positive feedback to physicians who take the time to care well for your injured workers. However, while everyone appreciates praise for a job well done, you should always remember a physician’s first responsibility is to the patient. The more the physician understands you have the same outlook, the more the physician will trust you and work with you to accommodate the injured worker’s needs appropriately.

Step 5 – Stress early return to work

Time away from work can be frightening and debilitating for injured workers. Their physical, emotional, and financial well-being are often in turmoil. They are worried about their job and how they will pay their bills, particularly so in today’s economic climate. They often begin to think of themselves as “disabled.” The longer they are out of work, the harder it becomes to get them back into the work routine. Consequently, it is crucial to speed recovery through the use of modified duty, one of the most important tools an employer has to reduce lost time and costs.

Modified duty is a bridge back to full duty, keeping workers active and part of the team. Instruct your medical providers to focus on what employees cannot do while injured, clearly delineating work restrictions.

For a moment, put yourself in the skin of the injured worker and imagine you are talking with your doctor about your injury. Would you want the doctor to list for you the potentially countless physical tasks you could actually still do while injured? Or, would you want the doctor to tell you the realistically few things you should not do? The latter approach is the one doctors prefer, too.

Once you have the medical restrictions, work with your supervisors to develop progressive, short-term transitional jobs and tasks. You don’t want the injured worker to sink roots into what should be a short-term job. Most important, make sure employees and supervisors carefully follow the physician’s restrictions. The goal is to speed recovery, not aggravate the condition and make things worse. As medical treatment continues and your medical provider gradually lifts restrictions, increase job demands to ease the employee back to his or her original job.

 

That’s it for now. We’ll be back with the last three steps Friday morning.

Eight Essential Steps To Controlling Workers’ Compensation Costs

May 30th, 2017 by Tom Lynch

Many US companies have recognized two basic truths about workers’ compensation:

  • The workplace is the best place to control loss costs; and,
  • They, as employers, more than any other group, are best positioned to reduce and control loss costs.

These employers do not hand the problem off to their legislators, their insurers, their TPAs or their attorneys; instead, they manage workers’ compensation as a controllable expense, an accountable business program providing a competitive advantage. They partner with their insurers and TPAs to get the most out of everyone.

You would think 17 years into the 21st century this kind of business intelligence, really nothing more than Management 101, would be so widespread we’d never need to talk about it. But such is not the case. Many employers of all sizes and shapes continue to find themselves paying more than their industry peers, and we still have myriad conferences every year where anyone and everyone pays good money to hear “experts” impart the secrets to safe workplaces and low workers’ compensation costs.

But there really are no secrets. It’s pretty much common sense and sound management. I should know. For more than 30 years, our company, Lynch Ryan, has been privileged to assist many of America’s leading corporations as they attacked this issue. Here’s what we’ve learned after all that time: There are eight essential strategies that help progressive employers turn workers’ compensation liabilities into assets. The principles are simple, founded on basic human values. They involve a concrete action plan and sound management. More important, they work.

Today, we’ll focus on the first two steps. Tomorrow, we’ll post three through five, and Friday finish up with the last three.

Step 1 – Make a commitment

Harder to do than you’d think. C-Suite leaders are busier than the Ed Sullivan Plate Spinner. However, as with any major corporate endeavor, commitment starts at the top. You’ll need a pithy and cogent argument to convince your leadership team that workers’ compensation should be afforded priority status throughout the organization. You’ll also need to educate the team that realistic and attainable goals should be set and communicated to the organization from the top down and then measured religiously.

If you approach injury management simply as the “idea of the month,” you will certainly fail. Commitment involves building safety and injury management into the very fabric of your organization. You should never lose sight of your goals. And you should never compromise your commitment to safety by drifting toward expedient, short-term objectives that place production quotas above the safety of your people.

Corporate commitment should be in writing, signed by the CEO and communicated to the entire organization.

Step 2 – Focus on reducing lost time

Chances are, your company has been working to create a safe working environment. That’s good. Safety is essential in controlling workers’ compensation, but it’s only half the equation. Good safety programs have a positive effect on the frequency of injuries, but the best safety program in the world will not eliminate all accidents. People being human, injuries will happen. Try as we all do, work conditions change and we make mistakes.

To really attack workers’ compensation costs, you need to focus on reducing severity: the length of time injured employees stay out of work. Severity is the real cost driver in workers’ compensation. Every day that an employee is off the job costs you money.

When your machines break, you fix them immediately. Think of something as simple and common as the department copier. An out of commission copier slows everything down. When you purchased or leased that machine, you insisted that prompt maintenance or even replacement was part of the deal. You need to treat your most important resource, your employees, the same way. The goal must be to keep days away from work to an absolute minimum. You need to focus, laser-like, on the goal of returning every injured employee to work, through modified or transitional duty, and thereafter to the original job as quickly as possible. That’s good for you and it’s also good for the injured worker.

Many will argue severity is no longer the prime mover, medical expense is. While it is true that we spend a lot more on medical expense than on indemnity, consider this: The longer someone stays out of work, the more medical costs they incur. And often, this medical expense is nothing more than justification to extend absence beyond what is medically necessary. Focusing on severity reduction significantly reduces the growth of medical expense.

 

That’s it for today. If you’re interested in the other six strategies, numbers three through five will be right here tomorrow morning. Come back Friday for six through eight.

Hope you have a good day.

The Iceman Cometh

May 25th, 2017 by Tom Lynch

This will be hard.

For a moment, squeeze yourself into the tight shoes of one of America’s 11 million unauthorized immigrants.

Eight million of you are working. You make up 5% of the civilian workforce. Twenty-six percent of you work in farming; 15% in construction. A lot of people complain you and your unauthorized, undocumented, illegal alien brethren are taking jobs from Americans who need them, although you haven’t seen a lot of those Americans lining up to pick the fruits and veggies in the hot sun.

You have a job. It’s in construction. Not important how you got it – phony papers, no papers, whatever. You live in one of the 14 states that expressly allow workers’ compensation coverage for unauthorized immigrants. There are another 24 where coverage is allowed in practice, but not expressly allowed in the statute. And, every once in a while some state legislature will try to expressly exclude you and all the others. But those attempts are always beaten back by, of all things, the business community, because adopting a law like that might lead to unfair competition.

You’re married with three children, all born in the USA. You’ve been here for seven years, although two-thirds of all unauthorized immigrants have been here for at least a decade. You’ve never been in trouble. With anyone. You own a car, but no one will ever mistake it for a Tesla. It gets you around, though. It especially gets you to work.

Last week, you fell off a ladder at work and broke your leg. First time you’ve ever been hurt at work. A Supervisor took you to an Urgent Care Center where a doctor set your leg. Unfortunate, but you’re going to be out of work for eight weeks. Can’t be helped, but, because you live in one of the magical 14 states, you’ll get workers’ compensation.

Two days later the owner calls to tell you not to worry about anything. He says he wants to make things easier for you and the family. He thinks it would help if he gave you some cash to tide you over until the workers’ comp kicks in. Why not come into the office tomorrow at, say, 11:00, so he can do that? You’re grateful, and, in your broken English, you thank him and tell him you’ll be there.

Tomorrow comes. Eleven AM and you’re hobbling in the door to the office, broken leg and all, which is when the train comes off the rails. The owner’s not there, but ICE is. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, come to arrest you. And that’s what happens.

Two weeks later you and your broken leg are sitting in the county house of correction waiting to find out what will happen to you. You’re worried deep in your bones for your wife and three kids. Worried? No, you’re terrified. So, there you sit.

How’d that feel? Having a nice day, are we?

That story’s not fiction. It happened last week in Massachusetts. The man in whose shoes you were walking is 37-year-old Jose Flores who, with his wife Rosa Benitez, fled gang violence in Honduras seven years ago. Flores now has two lawyers, one for workers’ comp, the other for ICE. The lawyers know he’s entitled to workers’ compensation coverage, but wonder how he’ll collect it if he’s deported to Honduras. So far, the Iceman hasn’t come calling for Rosa Benitez, but that could change anytime. She and the kids are living in constant fear.

What about that owner who called ICE to come get Flores? He is Pedro Pirez. His company, Tara Construction, employs roughly ten people, and, so far, he has no comment about any of this. We do know one thing. On the day Flores fell off the ladder Tara Construction was not insured for workers’ compensation.

So, who’s committing the bigger fraud? Flores or Pirez? Something to think about.

 

A fresh Health Wonk Review for your perusal

May 18th, 2017 by Julie Ferguson

Jason Shafrin, our favorite Healthcare Economist, has posted a fresh collection of health policy punditry, the “I will build a great Health Wonk Review . . . and nobody builds Health Wonk Reviews better than me, believe me”  edition. Want the scoop on AHCA, national drug policy, pharma, bundled payments or other current topics in the policy arena? Check out this post. If you don’t follow the health arena on a daily basis, Heath Wonk Review is a great way to keep up with the important news.

If you are feeling particularly wonky or would like to follow back issues, got to Health Wonk Review’s home page.

 

Workers’ Compensation Performance Measurement: Keep The Bull’s Eye Simple

May 17th, 2017 by Tom Lynch

For the last decade, injury frequency has been trending steadily lower. There are a number of reasons for this: automation, loss of manufacturing jobs, better safety engineering, etc. Injury severity, however, has not followed suit despite technological gains in claim administration and medical management and an ever so slow move to the use of predictive analytics.

This creates challenges for employers, especially of the small and middle market variety, and, to a certain degree, even for a few national, enterprise accounts who find themselves pretty much where they were ten years ago in terms of style and policy with respect to workers’ compensation. One reason for this is the deep rooted legacy mentality and resistance to change of many insurers and Third Party Administrators. In many ways, these organizations remind me of flies circling around a light in a lampshade, mistaking movement for progress.

However, employers still foot the bill and are still in command. Keeping in mind that the workplace is the best place to control workers’ compensation costs, employers still need to build and maintain solid programs to prevent and contain loss. Case in point is Bob Oberosler, Vice President of Loss Prevention for Rite Aid, a national pharmacy chain. At the New Jersey Self Insurers Association’s Annual Meeting a couple of weeks ago, he described his company’s work to craft a forward thinking loss prevention and workers’ compensation management program and communicate it to employees who are far and wide, indeed. But before that could happen, Mr. Oberosler said, he faced an even more daunting task – getting management’s commitment and buy-in to the effort. The good news is this happened and Rite Aid has been enjoying some spectacular results because of it.

This got me thinking. In order to sustain C-Suite commitment, a risk manager, or Loss Prevention VP, such as Bob Oberosler, needs to provide the Leadership team a steady, easily understandable Performance Measurement Results Dashboard. So, what should be the characteristics of such a Dashboard?

Performance measurement should have four characteristics: It should be simple, it should be meaningful, it should be consistent and it should be continuous.

By simple, I mean easily and quickly understood by senior management. Meaningful means that it should sit in senior management’s sweet spot; it should be something that is anticipated and valued by leaders. It should be consistent, because those leaders, once trained to view performance in one way, do not appreciate abrupt course changes. And to be effective over the long term, it has to be a continuous and routine process. The mantra should be: What is consistently well-measured is highly valued.

With this framework in mind, I usually recommend that monthly or quarterly reports to senior management measure two things religiously: Incurred losses per full time equivalent employee (and this should be done by department, division and company) and incurred losses per every hundred dollars of payroll (again, split out by department, division and company). Before any measurement occurs, however, management should settle on targets, which should be a bit of a stretch, but attainable. And target selections should be set against actual performance in the prior three or four years. For instance, if costs per FTE have been in the $200 to $300 range in the last few years, a good target would be a reduction of 30% to 40% in the current year.

Senior managers have finite attention spans. Therefore, workers’ compensation performance measurement should fit on one page, a Scorecard that senior management can assimilate in no more than a few minutes. If the information is pithy enough, that’s as long as it should take, but it should also lead to fruitful discussion about management actions to enhance performance, discussion that comes out of knowledge.

There are many other solid and valuable workers’ compensation metrics, but, in Lynch Ryan’s experience, these two are the ones that senior managers appreciate the most.

All of this assumes, of course, that, as at Rite Aid,  a serious and ongoing safety, workers’ compensation and injury management program is humming along and that all parts of the organization have been trained in how to keep it that way.