2018 MCO open enrollment ongoing through May

Now through May 25 is the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s MCO open enrollment period. Because this is a critical time during which employers can choose or change their managed care organization, we put together a comprehensive guide to help employers understand and navigate their choices.

Use these quick links to navigate the report:

 


How to prepare yourself and your business for the MCO open enrollment period

It happens every other year as the weather gets warmer and the summer months approach. But it doesn’t have anything to do with April showers or May flowers — it’s the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s MCO open enrollment period. This is the biennial time in which employers can choose to change their managed care organization, and this year, it takes place from April 30 to May 25.

You may have seen this period come and go in previous years without taking action or even understanding what it means.

If you are satisfied with your current MCO, you do not need to take any action to continue your relationship, says Barbara Jacobs, director of the MCO Business and Reporting Unit at the Ohio BWC.

Time to consider options

If, however, you would like to switch, are on the fence or aren’t sure, now is the time to evaluate other options. You don’t need to provide a reason for changing MCOs, as selection is entirely an employer’s decision.

MCOs perform important duties in the unfortunate event that a worker is injured on the job.

They are responsible for reporting claims, providing a diverse panel of certified health care providers, managing medical cases (including reviewing treatment requests and making treatment reimbursement decisions), resolving disputes, reviewing and paying bills, and educating and assisting employers regarding safety and return-to-work initiatives.

Selecting an MCO is an important decision as it directly affects the health and safety of your company’s employees and your bottom line.

“MCOs work closely with the BWC to provide comprehensive claims management, medical management and utilization review services to ensure injured workers receive the timely, quality medical care they deserve,” Jacobs says. “A timely and effective response following a workplace injury is critical to facilitating a quick and safe return to work. This is one of the most influential factors in the overall cost of a claim because the longer someone is in the system, the greater the cost.”

All state-funded businesses — those who pay workers’ compensation premiums into the state insurance fund, i.e., not self-insured employers — are required to have an MCO. The BWC pays MCOs from a portion of the premiums that Ohio employers pay.

New businesses must choose an MCO within 30 days of receiving the BWC’s new employer kit. If the new employer does not choose by then, the BWC will assign an MCO to it.

Individual needs are important

There are a number of factors to consider when selecting an MCO.

“Because different factors may be important to different businesses, we encourage employers to carefully evaluate what their individual needs are because they may vary,” Jacobs says.

For example, some companies might be more comfortable with a smaller MCO that handles fewer employers and claims, while some might prefer a larger MCO that handles a larger number of employers and claims.

Employers can evaluate MCO data by viewing the BWC’s MCO Report Card at http://bit.ly/HhVEdM. Data includes number of employers, number of claims, first report of injury timing, first report of injury turnaround time, and Quality Medical Management for each MCO. The BWC calculates the scores based on the information it receives regularly from the MCOs.

New in 2018, the MCO Report Card will also include the MCO Book of Business comparisons, provider medical bill timing, provider medical bill accuracy and MCO penalties that have been imposed for performance issues during Calendar Year 2017. These new additions will provide employers with even more information upon which to compare the MCOs and their effectiveness.

Although open enrollment happens every two years, it updates the information yearly. The BWC also publishes an MCO Selection Guide available at http://bit.ly/HdlJgO. It includes an alphabetical listing of Ohio MCOs and their five-digit identification codes.

If you have additional questions, the BWC recommends contacting MCOs directly. It’s a good idea to ask about an MCO’s experience: Does it work with similar businesses in your industry?

Choosing an MCO

Selecting an MCO that has managed similar claims will expedite your claims process — returning your injured employee to work sooner and helping you avoid costs associated with lost productivity. Also, ask whether you will be assigned a case manager and how often you will receive information from this person. You want to keep communication with your MCO open to ensure you and your employees are receiving the best service and seeing the best results.

In addition, Jacobs says to ask the MCO if it has negotiated payments less than the BWC’s fee schedules, resulting in additional savings. For example, some MCOs offer discounts for using providers within their network.

You will most likely begin receiving marketing materials, phone calls and possibly even visits from area MCOs as open enrollment is the only time they are allowed to market themselves to your company. The BWC reminds employers to keep in mind that these interactions are created with the intent to influence your MCO selection.

Jacobs says that an MCO cannot decline a specific employer. If an MCO has placed itself “at capacity” for a specific county, however, no employer within that county will be able to select that MCO. Also, there is a possibility that an employer’s MCO selection may be rejected.

“The BWC may place an MCO at capacity because it is not in compliance with BWC requirements or is waiting on a pending merger or decertification,” she says. “If the employer’s selection is rejected, they can either make another selection or contact the MCO to discuss the matter.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION on MCO open enrollment, contact the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation at (800) 644-6292 or visit www.bwc.ohio.gov.
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Derek Stern, vice president of customer relations, CareWorks

How does an MCO reduce an employee’s time away from work?

The MCO is the first line of defense in assuring injured workers remain at work. When a claim is reported to CareWorks, we quickly submit the information to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and other partners. Concurrent with this submission, CareWorks team members are contacting the employer, the physician and the injured worker to review return-to-work options.

CareWorks builds a service plan for each client. A key component to our plans is the employer’s ability to accommodate restrictions. This information is conveyed to the treating physician so they can provide restrictions and the employer can make its return-to-work decision. Early reporting of workplace injuries allows the MCO to get involved with a claim quicker and start the return-to-work process as soon as possible. 

How does a strong relationship between an employer and an MCO effect recovery time and the associated costs of treatment?

Strong relationships yield positive results in the workers’ compensation industry. Each CareWorks client is assigned a dedicated Nurse Case Manager, Case Specialist and Account Executive. This team works with each client to understand their business and the unique requirements they have. When a claim occurs, the team deploys its custom-designed plan to ensure the injured worker receives appropriate medical treatment and has a successful return-to-work within the employers ability to accommodate. By knowing our clients’ abilities to accommodate, their philosophy towards claims management and their tolerance for risk management, our teams are able to execute customized strategies for each unique workplace injury claim.

How to reach: CareWorks, www.careworksmco.com
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Back on the clock: Transitional work programs can benefit your company

When an employee is out of work because of an illness or injury, there are both direct and indirect costs to your company. These include lost time, decreased production, hiring, training, overtime, workers’ compensation and disability, says Tina Elliott, manager of the medical services division at the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

Illnesses and injuries also affect the employee in terms of lost training, wages, relationships and time spent transitioning back into the workforce.

To minimize these losses, the BWC encourages companies to adopt transitional work programs that allow injured employees to voluntarily return to work as soon as safely possible before the worker is 100 percent recovered. These employees are given job-related tasks to accommodate medical restrictions until they can return to their original duties.

“The most important goal is to promote the employee’s recovery and return to work,” Elliott says. “But the transitional work program also is intended to reduce costs associated with work-related injuries and illnesses by decreasing the lost time of the injured worker.”

Besides these cost reductions, by implementing a transitional work program, employers can potentially reduce their workers’ compensation premiums because they will be reducing both their payments of lost-time compensation and the medical costs on claims.

These factors will have a positive impact on the price of employer premiums and experience rating, possibly qualifying the employer for group programs where it may realize additional premium savings.

Here are the five components to a transitional work plan:

  1. Corporate/company analysis — An on-site review of your company’s demographics, accident-reporting process and return-to-work policy and identification of any barriers by BWC’s staff, your MCO and a third-party administrator.
  2. Employer/employee relations — An assessment of the union/nonunion relationships with management and creation of a joint labor-management team.
  3. Written operational guidelines — An identification of community resources that will channel injured workers to their area medical providers and provide quality, comprehensive medical care tailored to industrial injuries. It also includes training to inform workers and supervisors of stay-at-work and early return-to-work processes.
  4. Job analysis — You must accurately describe your workers’ jobs using worker input, observation and measurements. This document also provides guidelines to identify appropriate tasks that a worker can perform based on his or her capabilities.
  5. Program evaluation — A policy for your company to review the plan on a regular basis.

Besides the internal benefits, your company may also be able to receive BWC discounts for implementing or continuing a transitional work program. Employers that received a BWC transitional work program between 2001 and 2006, or those that have a program they created, may have their program reviewed by the Bureau.

An employer with an approved program then is eligible to apply for the Destination: Excellence Transitional Work Bonus Program.

Elliott says this program provides a back-end bonus of up to 10 percent of the employer’s pure premium based on successful use of transitional work in eligible claims with dates of injury within the program year.

The BWC has awarded over 387 state-funded employers a Transitional Work Grant to assist them in developing and paying for their customized transitional work plan. Employers have earned more than $23 million in bonus rebates since the Destination Excellence: Transitional Work Bonus Program began in July 2012. The average bonus amount paid to employers per bonus period is $7,421.21. Many employers are realizing even greater rebates since they may earn up to 10 percent of their pure premium by re-enrolling in the transitional work bonus program yearly.

FOR MORE INFORMATION on transitional work programs, discounts and grants, contact the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s Transitional Work Grant Department at [email protected] or call (800) 644-6292.

BWC billing basics

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation offers employers a convenient prospective billing system with flexible payment options.

Premiums for private employers are calculated yearly based on a July 1 to June 30 policy year (Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 for public employers) and spread evenly over the course of the year depending on the installment plan. Employers can choose from one of five payment options: annual, semi-annual, quarterly, bi-monthly or monthly.

The process for private employers begins in May of each year (October for public employers) when BWC sends a letter notifying employers of their estimated annual premium and installment schedule. If the payroll or classification needs adjusted or the number of installments needs changed, the employer can contact BWC to make those changes prior to billing.

Around June 1 of each year, the BWC will mail the first installment invoice (Dec. 1 for public employers). To maintain active coverage, an employer must pay that first installment by June 30 (early January for public employers). Employers that pay the entire annual premium in advance of the first installment date are eligible to receive a 2 percent Early Payment Rebate.

In 2017, the BWC introduced Future Payment Dating. Employers can now schedule EFT withdrawals in advance to pay their premium installments.

What is the payroll true-up?

Employers are required to “true-up” at the end of each policy year, meaning they report actual payroll for the previous policy year and reconcile any differences in premium paid.

The payroll true-up enables the BWC to calculate your premium accurately. Even if your payroll for the year matches the estimate it provided, or you had zero payroll, you must complete a true-up report. It’s also critically important to maintaining your policy and your participation in your current rating plan or discount programs.

Private employers will have until Aug. 15 to submit payroll true-up reports; public taxing districts have until Feb. 15.
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Safety first: Implementing a hazard-avoidance company culture reduces costs

One of the best ways to prevent workers’ compensation costs is to prevent accidents in the first place. Businesses spend a considerable amount each year on costs associated with occupational injuries and illnesses. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that a business can reduce its illness and injury costs by 20 to 40 percent by establishing a safety and health culture.

While establishing this culture may seem like a daunting task, it is really quite simple if you have the right tools.

Evaluate dollars, sense

Ohio employers are recognizing that establishing a safety culture in their workplaces keeps employees informed and protected while on the job, says Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison.

She said there were 87,883 allowed claims for Ohio employers insured by BWC in 2016, a 16.8 percent drop from 2010. In addition, there was a 71 percent increase in the number of employers utilizing BWC’s safety programs and services between 2010 and 2015.

“The commitment of Ohio workers and employers to safety is impressive and clearly growing, making our state a leader in tackling workplace injuries and illnesses,” said Morrison.

Dr. Ibraheem “Abe” Al-Tarawneh, Superintendent of the Division of Safety & Hygiene at BWC added, “Safety is a cost-saving module. Safety tends to improve productivity and morale, and protects the most valuable asset for any business: the employees.”

In addition to the in-house savings, establishing a safety culture also translates to decreased workers’ compensation costs because having a strong commitment to safety, and accident and injury prevention in the workplace, helps companies prevent claims, Al-Tarawneh says.

Preventing claims reflects positively on your company’s experience rating, which translates to decreased workers’ compensation premiums. Enhanced experienced ratings also qualify companies for other BWC programs that can provide them with additional discounts.

There are several discount programs tied to safety. The BWC’s DSH sponsors 83 safety councils across the state; employers can earn a 2 percent rebate by actively participating in one of these councils.

In addition, they can earn an additional 2 percent performance bonus rebate for reducing the severity or frequency of injury in their workplace by 10 percent or maintaining both at zero.

The BWC sponsors the Safety Intervention Grants Program, which provides a 3-to-1 matching grant up to $40,000 per eligibility cycle to purchase equipment that will substantially reduce injuries and illnesses associated with a particular task or operation.

In exchange for the grant money, employers give the Ohio BWC follow-up data to show the effectiveness of the intervention in reducing risks and injuries. The BWC then shares the data so Ohio employers may learn from it. The program is open to all private and public Ohio employers that pay into the State Insurance Fund.

Eligibility cycles differ depending on a business’s payroll; this scale can be found at www.bwc.ohio.gov or by asking your BWC representative.

Create a plan

Al-Tarawneh says the first step for establishing a safety culture is to make safety part of the company’s mission. Then there needs to be a commitment by company leadership to walk the walk.

Leaders should show an example by adhering to the company’s safety policies — for example, wearing protective eyewear when applicable or conducting regular safety training sessions.

These policies should be available to all workers and communicated regularly. Depending on your company, you may also have certain OSHA regulations. For example, if your company uses certain chemicals, you will need to have a hazardous item identification process in place.

To determine other safety policies, your company can conduct safety audits on a frequent basis.

“Depending on your company, if you have the experience, you can conduct this audit in-house,” Al-Tarawneh says. “However, you can also use an outside private consulting firm that will be able to provide you with the expertise you need. And any employer in Ohio can use our services, which are generally provided for free, as well.”

One of the most overlooked parts of establishing a safety culture is lack of enforcement. While one part of enforcement is the responsibility of leadership (and will be part of your company’s leadership commitment), the other part is the responsibility of the employees.

To foster employee buy-in and accountability, employees need to be involved in the development and implementation of safety policies and procedures. Ask for employee feedback on what policies they would like to see, form a safety committee to implement the safety policies and programs, and then monitor, measure and evaluate the effectiveness of these policies and programs on a regular basis. Also, hold employees at all levels in the organization accountable for adhering to these policies and programs.

Some of the best ideas for solving and mitigating hazards come from the employees who are exposed to them daily. Enforcing a safety culture also translates to instilling behaviors in employees that encourage safe work practices.

“Changing behaviors is not easy,” Al-Tarawneh says. “People are always occupied with getting the work done. We sometimes overlook the fact that the U.S. worker is the most productive worker in the world. But sometimes that means finding ways to get things done quicker, sacrificing safety.”

To change these unsafe behaviors, stress the importance of safety over speed and provide thorough training for each job duty. Over time, these safety measures will become part of your employees’ thinking process as they perform work tasks, and enforcement will become less of a problem.

Your company can also consider a recognition program to reward employees who practice safe behavior. Employees observed practicing safe behaviors could receive verbal recognition at a company meeting or a reward such as a certificate or a gift card.

Find help

The BWC offers several services to help employers implement safety cultures and create safety policies in their workplaces. It provides more than 100 safety training classes in 12 locations around the state and online.

In addition, it has a video library with safety training modules offered for free through streaming service and on DVDs that employers can rent for free.

“We want business leaders to know we are here to help them,” Al-Tarawneh says. “We are their partners in safety. We invest in these aids because we believe the best thing we can do to reduce the cost of workers’ compensation is prevent claims from happening in the first place.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION visit bwc.ohio.gov or call (800) 644-6292 to connect with an Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation safety consultant for assistance developing effective injury and illness prevention strategies.
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Quinn Guist, president, CompManagement Health Systems

What do employers tend to miss when reviewing MCOs and what effect might that oversight have on their business?

Some important aspects of an MCO’s services that are easy to overlook include:

  • The employer’s access to its team, including account executives and clinical staff.
  • The team’s willingness to meet with clients and better understand their business, and ability to take time to meet with providers in the community to help them understand an employer’s needs.
  • The MCO’s ability to provide consistent communications and stay focused on getting injured employees back to work

To help employers control expenses, reduce lost workdays and meet business needs, it is important for MCOs to provide expertise in the following key areas:

  • Simplifying the process for the employer and its injured employees.
  • Setting early expectations for treatment and return to work.
  • Ensuring thoughtful engagement of physicians for the best possible medical outcomes.
  • Pursuing transitional and early return-to-work opportunities.
  • Understanding the employer’s business challenges.

What should employers do to prepare themselves to meet with or interview MCOs to give themselves the best chance of finding the right partner?

We fully believe that an employer needs to prepare themselves to ask tough questions of MCOs. They need to ask about prior open enrollment results. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation produces an MCO report card, but it is important to meet with the MCO to get the full story about its performance and the services it provides. Asking key questions can help reveal valuable information about the quality of the MCO’s services and help employers find the right partner.

Here are some questions to consider in the decision process:

  • How well has an MCO performed for its clients?
  • How well has an MCO retained its clients during previous open enrollments — a true test of client satisfaction?
  • Based on prior open enrollment experiences, how have MCOs performed from a growth perspective?
  • Have their businesses grown or are they losing clients?
  • Which MCOs are thriving and are here for the long haul, and which ones may be struggling?

How to reach: CompManagement Health Systems, www.chsmco.com
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Substance abuse crackdown:Drug-free safety programs provide discounts, prevent accidents

Drug abuse in your workplace may be more prevalent than you think — 15 to 17 percent of employees in an average U.S. company are substance abusers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That’s why the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and organizations like Working Partners are striving to make workplaces drug-free.

“A drug-free workplace program is an important safety tool to help control an employer’s workers’ compensation costs and operating costs associated with drug use, such as theft, lost productivity, etc.,” says Ron Suttles, Interim Chief of Employer Services, about the BWC’s Drug-Free Safety Program. “By deterring drug and alcohol use in the workplace, an employer may prevent an accident from happening.”

In addition, your company can participate in the BWC’s Drug-Free Safety Program, through which the employer receives a rebate/bonus upon successful completion of the program year.

The program is open to state fund employers who pay workers’ compensation into the state insurance fund and includes private employers and public employer taxing districts. Self-insured employers may participate, but are not eligible for the program bonus.

The program offers up to a 4 or 7 percent bonus depending upon the level of program participation and compatibility with other BWC safety programs.

Employers are required to submit an annual report to verify they are meeting program requirements.

Implementing a drug-free program in your workplace is simple, says Dee Mason, founder and CEO of Working Partners, which provides drug-free workplace consulting and training. While Working Partners is not directly affiliated with the BWC, it does provide technical assistance.

There are five elements of a comprehensive drug-free workplace program:

  1. A written substance abuse policy — This should summarize the program, include the responsibilities of employers and employees, outline prohibited conduct and consequences, explain the circumstances of testing and reference available help.
  2. Employee awareness and education — Employees need to be aware of the policy and its provisions.
  3. Supervisor training — Supervisors should learn about the impact of drugs and alcohol in the workplace; how to recognize, document and confront a possible substance abuse problem; develop the company policy; learn how to refer an employee to resources/testing; and how to support a recovering employee.
  4. An employee assistance plan of action — Employers need to identify a plan of action and resources for employees who seek their own help, are referred by management for a possible alcohol/drug problem or have a positive alcohol/drug test.
  5. Drug and alcohol testing (as appropriate) — Your company must decide when it will test employees, who will be tested, what drugs will be tested for, what the appropriate cut-off levels are, and what protocols and laboratory will be used.

Many businesses may think the cost to implement such a program outweighs the benefits, but that is not the case.

“The rebate/bonus is intended to incent employers to do the right thing,” Suttles says. “The benefit of the program is long term and difficult at times to quantify since claim preventions benefits are nebulous, but are much greater than the rebate/bonus in terms of lost productivity and pilferage.”

Mason says the program this year has been expanded to include more employers. Previously, some employers were unable to receive a BWC Drug-Free Safety Program rebate/bonus if they were already receiving other incentives, but now they can.

For example, state-funded group-rated employers were previously unable to receive the incentive but now qualify.

TO LEARN MORE about the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Drug-Free Safety Program and how to implement a program at your workplace, visit http://bit.ly/aw8xeb or call (800) 644-6292. To learn more about Working Partners, visit www.workingpartners.com or call (614) 337-8200.
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Evaluating MCOs:Report cards help businesses learn how well claims are handled

Just as school report cards help parents understand how well their child performs in school, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s MCO Report Cards help companies understand how well MCOs perform on workers’ compensation claims.

Available since 1998, these report cards break each organization down by number of employers, number of claims, first report of injury timing, first report of injury turnaround time and optimal return to work, says Barbara Jacobs, director of the MCO Business and Reporting Unit at the BWC.

The BWC calculates the scores based on information it receives regularly from MCOs. Even though open enrollment happens every two years, the Ohio BWC updates the information yearly so new employers looking for an MCO in the off years will have access to updated information.

Described below are each of the report card categories, including several new categories for 2018, and what businesses should know about each:

  • Number of employers — This includes the number of employers assigned to the MCO that are in active, reinstated or debtor in possession status.
  • Number of claims — This includes all claims, regardless of the date of injury, that have received medical case management or utilization review in a specified period. It excludes claims with a date of death populated; claims in disallowed, dismissed or settled status; and out-of-statute claims.

Employers should pay special attention to the number of claims and number of employers, as this gives an indication of the size of the MCO, Jacobs says. Some employers are more comfortable with a smaller MCO, while others prefer a larger one.

  • MCO Book of Business — New! This includes the percent of each of 12 industry types that the MCO’s currently assigned employers represent. This will help give employers an idea of the industries in which an MCO may have greater levels of expertise.
  • FROI timing — This includes both the time from date of injury to when the employer, injured worker or provider notifies the MCO and the time from when the MCO is notified to the time the claim was filed with the BWC. The BWC removes the 5 percent of claims with the average longest lag times per MCO.
  • FROI turnaround time — This measures an MCO’s efficiency in submitting claims. MCOs must gather and validate information before submitting a claim to the BWC. FROI turnaround is the average of the number of days between the date MCOs receive the FROI notice and the date they electronically file a claim with the BWC.
  • The thing to keep in mind with FROI timing and turnaround is the sooner a claim is filed, the sooner the injured worker can receive medical treatment and benefits, and then ultimately return to work.
  • Quality Medical Management — This is the model BWC uses to evaluate the return-to-work services and quality of medical management provided by MCOs. This contains two metrics: days absent and recent medical, which both use the injured worker’s injury/injuries and occupation when calculating the MCOs’ scores.
  • Provider Bill Timing — New! This includes the average number of days between the time that the MCO receives a medical bill from a provider and then submits the bill to BWC for payment.
  • Provider Bill Accuracy — New! This includes the percentage of medical bills that were submitted by the MCO to BWC for payment in which there were no errors in the recommended payment.
  • MCO Penalties — New! This includes the number of weeks that an MCO was placed at capacity, which means tit was prevented from accepting new employers, and the number of financial penalties that were imposed against the MCO for failing to meet performance expectations within the specified time frame.
  • Employer Satisfaction Survey Results — New! This includes the results of a survey that BWC conducted with over 24,000 employers across Ohio and looked at the employers’ overall experience with their currently assigned MCOs.

The report card is just one tool employers can use, and the purpose of the report card is to inform the employers, Jacobs says. MCOs will also send marketing materials during open enrollment, although the BWC reminds employers these are created with the intent to influence your MCO selection.

“Because each employer has its own unique needs, one employer’s decision may be based on a set of factors different from another employer,” Jacobs says. “It is most important for employers to make an informed decision after taking inventory of their needs and researching each MCO.”

FOR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS regarding an MCO, view the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s MCO Selection Guide at http://bit.ly/HdlJgO. To view the Ohio BWC’s 2018 MCO Report Card, visit http://bit.ly/HhVEdM.
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DSH helps pay dividends: Industry-specific safety program addresses workplace issues

One of the programs from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation that focuses on safety and improving care for injured workers is the Industry-Specific Safety Program. It is designed to encourage Ohio’s employers to use the many safety services and programs available through the Division of Safety & Hygiene.

The program was designed to raise awareness among employers and workers through the completion of an online safety assessment; provide employers with year-round training and education opportunities; and provide tailored consultations that address safety issues in the workplace.

Participation requirements

To receive the 3 percent, industry-specific safety rebate, employers commit to completing the following activities during their program year (private employers between July 1 and June 30; public employers between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31):

  • Completion of an online safety management self-assessment within the first 30 days of the policy year.
  • Participation in loss-prevention activities based on payroll as listed below:
    • Industry-specific safety classes offered by DSH.
    • On-site safety consulting by DSH experts.
    • Annual Ohio Safety Congress & Expo.

The total payroll that policyholders report each policy year will determine whether they are required to complete one, two or three loss prevention activities as follows:

  • Reported payroll less than or equal to $100,000 in the initial eligibility determination year equals one loss-prevention activity.
  • Reported payroll more than $100,000 and up to $300,000 in the initial eligibility determination year equals any two loss-prevention activities.
  • Reported payroll more than $300,000 in the initial eligibility determination year equals any three loss-prevention activities.

For public employers (state and local government agencies), the annual application deadline for the Industry-Specific Safety Program for the coming year is the last business day in November. For private employers, the annual application deadline for the coming year is the last business day in May. Remember, the ISSP year ends on June 30. Private employers in the program must complete all required loss-prevention activities no later than June 30.

Loss prevention activities

The DSH training center offers continuing education courses on industry-specific occupational safety and health topics. Courses emphasize the practical application of safety principles, development of a safety culture, current and proposed standards for regulatory compliance and risk programs. The BWC offers classes at 11 training sites in Ohio. To identify safety-training courses that meet program requirements, view this two-page guide: http://1.usa.gov/1TN4x63.

For course descriptions, see this list: http://1.usa.gov/1RPurF4.

Employers with payroll of $100,000 or less must complete at least one of the following:

  • Three hours of online classes.
  • Any one-half day industry-specific class.
  • Any full-day industry-specific class.

Employers with payroll more than $100,000 and up to $300,000 must attend*:

  • A half-day industry-specific class, or
  • A full-day industry specific class.

Employers with payroll more than $300,000 must attend*:

  • Two one-half day industry-specific classes, or
  • One industry-specific full-day class.

* Online classes are not available to meet this activity credit.

Attendance at an industry-specific class can result in a maximum of one loss prevention activity credit, no matter how many employer representatives are in attendance.

The BWC’s safety specialists will visit your workplace to provide an assessment, training and/or safety program development advice to maintain a safer workplace. Safety consultants, industrial hygienists and ergonomists are available in each of our customer service offices to provide on-site consultation to earn a loss prevention activity.

Request safety consulting services by visiting http://1.usa.gov/1Yq4xYR.

Based on an employer’s unique needs, a BWC consultant will perform one of the following on-site consultation activities for loss prevention activity credit:

  • Company specific safety training.
  • Customer safety team development.
  • Ergonomics assessment.
  • Industrial hygiene assessment.
  • Safety hazard assessment for construction.
  • Safety hazard assessment for general industry.
  • Safety management process evaluation.
  • Safety program/process development.

Following the on-site consultation, the employer must complete an online on-site consultation survey to earn the loss prevention activity credit.

The annual Ohio Safety Congress & Expo features more than 150 one-hour educational sessions, half-day and full-day workshops, general sessions and more than 200 exhibitors displaying their occupational safety and health products and services.

The BWC encourages employers enrolled in the ISSP to register in advance. You are required to attend at least three one-hour sessions, a half-day or a full-day workshop to earn a loss prevention activity credit.

Attendance at the Ohio Safety Congress & Expo can earn you a maximum of one loss prevention activity credit, no matter how many days or how many employer representatives attend. Enrolled employers should follow instructions provided at the event to document their attendance.

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