Preparing for Work Injuries in 2016
By Paul Binsfeld, president of Company Nurse, LLC
On average, four percent of the workforce experiences a non-fatal work injury each year. Considering the current number of employed workers in the U.S. is 144 million, the workers’ compensation industry is a huge sector that often flies under the radar – until recent years.
With the establishment of the Affordable Care Act, combined with medical advancements and the way consumers interact with evolving technology, the industry is taking a new shape.
Workers’ compensation triage did not exist two decades ago. I recall starting in the business and having to convince companies of the need for telephonic nurse triage. Today, virtually every large company is seeking solutions to better manage work injuries, in order to both reduce costs and have employees return to work more quickly.
Substantial evidence supports the statement that better outcomes are produced when an injured worker seeks care sooner rather than later.
Because of that, a trend has emerged in which more entities are offering nurse triage as part of their workers’ compensation package to clients. Whereas it used to be big insurance brokers that offered it, now the service is being offered at regional boutique firms as a way to control costs for clients.
Another trend that is rapidly changing the workers’ compensation industry is telemedicine. How medical care is delivered to the injured worker is shifting and with it, so must we. Digital health at large is among the biggest developments that workers’ compensation has been facing in recent years.
What remains the same in treating work injury cases is fundamental human nature – care and empathy. Initiating positive early intervention is the cornerstone of a successful claims management program. Offering empathy to injured workers has been our guiding principle as we have adapted our business model over the years. Technology used to service a work injury claim must be seamless, efficient and robust to ensure the injured employee feels appropriately cared for in their very personal situation.
We are not the biggest player in the industry, but I’m confident we have the best system for workers’ compensation triage. Our intellectual property in the software we recently launched has unique medical algorithms, along with a nationwide medical database of the best primary care professionals, to make qualified referrals. In 2016, we will be releasing new details on how we will be spearheading a new direction for the workers’ compensation industry using this new technology. Stay tuned.
About Paul Binsfeld
Paul Binsfeld is the founder and president of Company Nurse, LLC, a firm established in 1997 that specializes in medical triage and injury management for workers’ compensation. Binsfeld has over 25 years of experience in the workers’ compensation industry. His early work at the industry’s genesis led him to become one of the most influential leaders in the workers’ compensation market.