In February, Crawford® expanded its service portfolio in Australia to include workers’ compensation (WC) – a capability delivered through TPA solution Broadspire.
Broadspire enters the Australian WC market at a time when the claims landscape is evolving fast. Across the country, insurers, corporations and governments could face claims disputes that pay out higher values and longer lifespans than in the past.
In February, Western Australia’s McGowan Government approved the drafting of a new WC statute which seeks to replace the outdated Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act of 1981 with a modern Act that is clear, accessible and workable.
Crucially, the new Act brings in some significant changes to WC claims exposures, notably implementing lifetime care and support arrangements for catastrophically injured workers.
In the same month, a court in New South Wales set a new precedent by ruling that where death is not instantaneous – even if it follows not long after an injury – compensation is payable for both the injury and death, increasing the entitlement to compensation significantly.
This is particularly important in NSW given that the State Government had already significantly increased benefits for workplace injuries and deaths in 2015.
Meanwhile, medical costs continue to rise, and global movements such as #TimesUp have also brought sexual harassment and discrimination into the spotlight. Companies that fail to implement strong protocols to ensure proper sexual conduct and equality could find themselves subject to increasing WC claims from claimants seeking compensation for loss of earnings or medical bills for treatment of psychological injuries.
Keeping costs under control
When an employee is injured or unable to work, it can get expensive fast. In the face of an evolving set of WC exposures, it is increasingly important for insurers, corporations and governments to exert control over claims costs – from small attritional claims all the way up to high severity cases.
Claims managers have an important role to play as strategic partners, helping clients identify the risks that lay ahead while fine tuning their claims programs to deliver well-coordinated, consistent performance.
Preparing detailed plans to control the disposition of claims and, when needed, further maximize claim recoveries from subrogation, salvage and second-injury funds, is an important part of this role.
Helping employees make a fast, healthy return to the workplace is also crucial in minimizing costs. We believe addressing the issues that arise from employee illnesses and injuries with clinically proven, data-driven and professionally-handled medical programs is central to a good WC claims service.
Technology and analytics also play a key role. Broadspire’s Risk Management Information Systems (RMIS) and data analytics, for example, offer clients a versatile real-time view of their claims data, helping identify strengths and cost drivers, enabling better decision-making and providing comparative measurement against global benchmarks.
Retrospective assessments of program data helps clients assess the overall health of their programs and develop action plans around identified areas of improvement. Harnessing this data, we then customize client-specific monitoring tools including predictive triggers to help spot potential claims before they happen.
Serious WC claims may be getting more expensive, but by taking ownership of the variables under their control, clients can go a long way to cushioning the impact should a serious claim strike.
To find out more contact Stuart Greaves, Head of Broadspire Australia, on email@example.com or visit Broadspire Australia to download our capabilities brochure.