Many people are wondering where the savings are in opting out of Oklahoma's Workers Comp system and managing their claims through the "Oklahoma Option" Employee Injury Benefit Plan? We will be looking at some of the areas of savings over the next few articles. Today we will focus on medical management.
Anybody that works in workers compensation will tell you that the medical management under the Workers Compensation system is one of the biggest problems. While several factors may be to blame, many doctors will not see employees with workers comp claims, which sometimes results in a battle of dueling attorney's and physicians. Conversely, the "Option" encourages more doctors to treat injured workers as the claims may not always be viewed as workers compensation. For example, wear and tear injuries, such as knee replacements, may often be denied as these should be covered under medical insurance. Therefore, the result is more positives outcomes for all, such as better managed claims according to best practices, reduced attorney involvement, and ultimately getting the employee back on the job as quickly as possible.
While early reporting has historically been encouraged, under the Oklahoma Option, it is often required. Employees may be required to report an injury in as little as 24 hours. Early reporting has several advantages: it allows the employer and treating physician(s) to better assess and treat the injured worker (decreasing chances of an aggravated and/or escalated injury), it tackles any workplace safety concerns by being proactive, it prevents potential fraud, it returns the employee to work sooner, and it helps the employer with cost containment associated with claims loss ratios, insurance premiums, and safety programs; and let's not forget employee morale!