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Managing workers' comp Featured

12:54pm EDT February 26, 2002
It's that time again.

Beginning May 6, employers will have the opportunity to choose a managed care organization (MCO) to handle its workers' compensation claims. Any company not satisfied with its current provider should thoroughly investigate alternative MCOs, advises Robert Glenn, Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (OBWC) spokesperson.

"It is really in the company's best interest to analyze its needs and the performance measures of its MCO," says Glenn. "If there are any issues with the current provider, the company should take the time to make the most informed choice."

The OBWC provides a report card to employers for that purpose. Included are the number of employers contracting with the MCO, the number of claims managed, and company and injured employee satisfaction information.

Report card factors help employers assess how tightly or loosely claims are managed by each provider.

"This relates to the degree of disability management," says Glenn. "If an office worker with a broken leg is off work longer than a construction worker with the same injury, then there is a claim management problem."

Employers should talk with employees involved in the process as well as those who have been injured to get an accurate measure of how well the current MCO is performing.

"We provide a number overall, but companies might want to gauge that satisfaction number on their own," says Glenn.

Choosing an efficient MCO can have a positive impact your company's bottom line.

"Early claims management goes a long way to reducing workers' compensation costs," says Glenn. "The longer the claim is out there, the more likely it is to be expensive. The goal is to get the worker back to work as healthy and as quickly as possible."

The enrollment deadline is 5 p.m. May 31. How to reach: Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, (800) 644-6292, or www.ohiobwc.com