Risk managers are increasingly required to see around all corners of their workers’ compensation programs. That’s why many partner with insurers or third-party administrators (TPAs) with deep expertise in predictive analytics and business intelligence.
Business intelligence and access to accurate and complete data enable risk managers to understand and address the drivers of workplace accidents and injury ─ and apply better intervention techniques.
Here are seven ways your organization, in conjunction with your insurer/TPA, can optimize your workers’ compensation program with data analytics:
- Identify costly claims earlier. Recognizing the red flags and future costs of claims is critical. Less acute claims can develop into costly scenarios if latent issues are not identified and controlled early on. Analytics help identify these issues.
- Find out what’s really driving claims. Is an increase in claims due to an aging employee population with more comorbidities or a younger, inexperienced employee pool that needs more safety training? Analysis of your data can help you get answers so you can affect results.
- Provide better context for your results. Use analytics to benchmark your program against your industry at large or ideally, similar employers. For example, seeing your costs increase 5% annually might not be as concerning if your peer companies’ costs are rising 10-15% per year.
- Measure the results of advancements in treatments. Is telemedicine as effective for physical therapy as in-person visits? How effective are innovative pain management treatments? The impact of these evolving programs should be analyzed. Establish metrics and operationalize your data.
- Keep pharmacy costs in-check. Do you know when an injured worker uses multiple prescribers? Are drug tests happening regularly? Are employees using providers who overprescribe opioids? Knowing these details can make a huge impact on costs.
- Know your “hot zones.” Use data to show you which location, department or job task generates the most claims, and how to make those areas safer.
- Create better stewardship meetings. Transform your stewardship meetings and claims reviews into strategy sessions. Uncover areas of improvement and spend your time on the parts of your workers’ compensation program that can be impacted.
Tracking information and using it to improve your program are two very different things. Analytics help risk managers go beyond the obvious and make better decisions.
Originally published in Risk & Insurance magazine.