Strategies for Handling It

Layoffs have swept through all industries including manufacturing, service, and retail, along with construction, office services and trade industries. The Labor Department continues to report weakness in the labor market. It is not expected to ease anytime soon.

Studies show that new workers’ compensation claims increase during recession periods even though number of employee decrease and the total work hours decline. The cost per claim and the total system costs also increase. Studies find that lay-offs and changes of employment increase the duration of temporary total disability, higher permanent partial disability, and increased claims for occupational disease or cumulative injuries. See the survey by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry website:

Doing more with less

Meantime, across the board, managers are required to do more with fewer resources. If groups are reduced by layoffs, they often are faced hiring freezes or work shut downs. Often an employer’s decision to implement lay-offs, hiring freezes, or shorter work weeks in the midst of a recession is not based on the number of workers’ compensation claims. Studies show that 50-80% of the increased cost of workers’ compensation is from new claim filing. Even when employment declines, claims might increase if workers file for existing, work-related conditions not yet prompted as a claim for workers’ compensation.

Balancing Workloads

DataCare’s Ahshay system provides workers compensation utilization review workflow and document processing. Our users report better insight in the adjuster’s workload with our integrated dashboard. Ahshay enables reviewers to be twice as productive as legacy paper-based workflows and allows managers much better visibility into status, quality, and workload issues. Our customers have found that for the same size organization they can handle twice as many cases with better quality, timeliness, and traceability resulting in many fewer penalties and payments that were approved without a full review.

Full Medical History

Richard F. Thompson, MD, EK Health’s Chief Medical Officer, maintains, “Medical information is essential and a complete medical history, including all of the medical data and reports, is critical for managing the duration of the total disability.” Ahshay provides the full medical history at your fingertips. Ahshay is a companion to claims systems and a superior alternative to an imaging vault because all of the relevant documents are directly cross-indexed to the appropriate cases. Ahshay targets the special needs of medical reviewers, coordinating and routing all claim documents including faxes, mail, and email, in a streamlined yet secure manner. Our users report saving time not having to deal with paper — printing, shredding time — allows for more time for valuable review and timely coordination.

Hosted Solution

Our hosted solution allows you to pilot Ahshay without any upfront cost in software. DataCare’s Ahshay supports the highly specialized workers’ compensation workflows that normally span many different organizations; both internal adjusters and out-of-house experts such as doctors and nurses. Our customers find a hosted solution not only viable but preferable.