RTW Plans Provide Time & Cost Savings

Losing an employee to injury is costly on many fronts. Projects may be delayed, morale might be affected and companies often take a substantial financial hit in the process. But it doesn’t have to be that way. At Single Handed, we work to keep the financial impact to a minimum while making the transition back to work as smooth as possible.

L&I Savings

Reducing Overall Fees
Cost effectiveness begins with the Return to Work (RTW) plan. When we work with an employer outside of the L&I process, Single Handed charges $1 for every $4 the department does for the same service. The longer an employee is off work, the more the business pays in wage compensation. By getting employees back to work sooner through duty modifications or specialized programs, employers can save significantly.

A case study from the California State Compensation Insurance Fund compared an injured worker who was able to return immediately with a RTW to one who missed 56 days and had no RTW plan. The study found that temporary disability costs were $7,330.40 / $0 and medical bills were $4,417.70 / $868.08. The total cost savings of bringing the worker back sooner was $10, 880.02.

Keeping Premiums Lower
When any company submits their payroll, every classification of job within that company is assigned a code based on overall risk level. If a business has had a series of accidents on the job, the risk factor goes up and the code changes, resulting in higher premiums every month.

Two factors affect how the code is calculated: medical expenses associated with injuries and the amount of time an employee needs to spend away from work. By decreasing time loss, a business can prevent their premiums from increasing. Single Handed consultants work with businesses to get employees back to work by taking a proactive approach, starting early, and offering multiple tools and programs that help them stay on the job. As a result, premiums stay lower than they would with a standard industry approach.

Reducing Staff Time Spent on Claims

Claims are time-consuming and involve masses of paperwork. Handling them internally will result in hours of lost time for supervisors, administrators, and anyone else who needs to stop their normal job function to stay on top of the process. Unless they specialize in claims management, senior staff will be operating outside of their realm of expertise whereas Single Handed consultants can help to streamline the process and provide everyone with a clear sense of what is needed.

Savings Through Employee Retention

As we’ve mentioned elsewhere, studies have found that employees who are off work for more than six months are 50% less likely to return to their jobs. The real price of losing an employee is significant: replacing them costs 1.5 times their salary, meaning that it would take $75,000 to replace someone who makes $50,000 a year. Hiring someone new involves recruitment, onboarding and training costs. The alternative is attempting to continue without a dedicated person fulfilling the injured worker’s role which may involve overtime costs for other employees and additional training. Either way, productivity gets lost, expenses mount and the rest of the team is adversely impacted.

Then there’s the injured worker, who is valuable in him or herself. The fact that someone can’t work temporarily does not invalidate their experience and expertise, although those qualities are harder to quantify. Losing an employee completely is a costly outcome, but fortunately it’s usually an avoidable one.

Staff Morale and Productivity

The injured worker is the one most directly affected but in any company, how management responds matters. In a business with 40 people, for example, most if not all will be watching to see how the claim is dealt with. If the process is proactive, transparent and collaborative, confidence will increase along with morale, creating a ripple effect.

This may seem like an abstract issue, but it affects the bottom line. The Gallup Organization estimates that there are 22 million actively disengaged employees costing the economy as much as $350 billion per year in lost productivity through byproducts such as absenteeism and illness.

Single Handed Consulting can help businesses keep costs down while sending a positive message to other employees that enhances company culture and maintains productivity.

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