As your business’ advocate in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) process, your Third Party Administrator (TPA) plays a critical role in reducing risk and costs for your company. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the frequent legislative updates and policy changes or had trouble keeping up with the latest workers’ compensation trends, your TPA can step in to handle your most pressing workers’ compensation needs while allowing you to focus on your business. Here are five reasons your company needs a TPA in its corner.
Your key to savings
TPAs offer businesses access to the many valuable BWC group discount programs, including Group Experience Rating and Group Retrospective Rating. TPAs can also provide future financial projections to help employers prepare for changes to their BWC premiums. Since the BWC doesn’t require employers to work with a TPA, fees for TPA services are paid for out-of-pocket by the employer.
Group Experience Rating Programs allow employers who operate similar businesses to group together to achieve lower premium rates than they could through individual ratings. Savings opportunities vary depending on claim experience, industry, and payroll history. All participants must be a member of a sponsoring organization, such as a chamber of commerce. Each participant’s eligibility is reconfirmed and enrollment renewed on an annual basis.
Additionally, your TPA will look for other cost-reducing options for your company and identify any reimbursement opportunities that your business qualifies for. From wellness programs to discounts, your TPA will identify the best cost containment strategies for your business, meaning that your TPA is often able to pay for itself from the very first year.
Your TPA should offer training opportunities to help you, your management team, and your employees better understand workers’ compensation and safety topics. From return-to-work strategies and safety best practices to legislative updates and information about new programs, the educational opportunities offered by your TPA can help your team be better prepared to deal with all matters that impact your workers’ compensation program.
Preventing injuries and making the workplace safer takes the effort of your entire employee team, not just managers and supervisors. That’s why access to training should be available to all members of your team. Making injury prevention a community effort and taking the time to provide training to your entire team will help you achieve greater buy-in for your injury reduction efforts.
Protecting you from fraud
An experienced TPA has seen it all – from bogus falls to falsified injury reports – and can help identify potentially fraudulent claims to save your business time and money. While the vast majority of claims are legitimate, workers’ comp fraud costs American companies billions of dollars each year. When an employee fakes an injury, it can be a distraction for your business, your workers’ compensation partners, and your other employees.
To protect your employees, your business and your bottom line, your TPA representative will actively monitor all claims for signs of fraud. Your TPA will also work with your management and safety teams to help everyone understand and identify the signs of potential workers’ compensation fraud and provide instruction for how to deal with suspected fraud.
TPAs understand that preventing injuries is the best way to save your company money. That’s why TPA account managers take a proactive approach to workers’ compensation by recommending safety programs that your company should adopt to reduce the number of claims made each year.
From the Better You, Better Ohio program to the Safety Intervention Grant Program, your TPA will work with your team and the BWC to identify new safety measures that your company should consider implementing and identify ways that your safety team can prevent future injuries that could result in workers’ compensation claims.
The staff of your TPA consists of claims and account representatives and other workers’ compensation professionals, so you can be confident that your account manager will be knowledgeable and prepared to protect your company’s interests in the realm of workers’ compensation. As part of the larger claims management component, your TPA will provide guidance with claim investigation, wage continuation, return to work options, independent medical exams and reviews, and vocational rehab.
By identifying and resolving issues with claims early, your TPA representative can help control the financial impact of each claim. To prevent unnecessary claim costs, your TPA will scrutinize each medical and compensation request received on every claim.
Advocating for you
While the Ohio BWC may not require your company to use a third party administrator, the cost-savings and expertise of these groups can lead to reduced risk and lower costs for your company. Partnering with a TPA is an investment in your business’ future that can create a safer workplace for your employees and lead to lower premiums for your company.
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