The Value of Case Management
Case Management programs are an important component of the overall claim management strategy. Telephonic Case Management is a valuable tool that when used early in the claim can yield significant reductions in medical and indemnity claim costs. Different studies conclude that the earlier case management is involved in a claim, the sooner the claim can be resolved. Industry analysis shows “55% of injured workers who are referred to case management within three months of injury experience return-to-work rates within disability guidelines.”¹ A study of 42,000 claims performed by Helmsman, the TPA for Liberty Mutual found when a nurse was on a claim, the injured worker returned to work faster. According to the report, “medical care costs are estimated to account for two-thirds of workers’ comp claim costs within the next four years, driven by increased deductibles, limited choices, reduced reimbursements, and conditions such as obesity and diabetes. The rise in opioid prescriptions further complicates claim costs.”² How a claim is managed—from injury to close—impacts how quickly the employee returns to work. Nurse involvement contributes to a 15% faster claim closure.
Early Intervention: TCM has the greatest impact when an indicator or combination of indicators are identified early in the claim life. Some of the variables that would indicate TCM assignment include:
TCM assignment should be considered when other factors occur later in the claim. TCM intervention can help resolve return to work and medical issues that arise from a co-morbid condition or psychosocial status. Some considerations for Case Management include:
Case Management is not necessary on every claim:
An injured worker without co-morbid conditions and a good relationship with their employer is already on track to a good outcome. Adding a nurse in this scenario probably won’t make a big impact on the outcome and will just increase claim costs.