Reducing Premiums (CONT’D FROM PAGE 28)
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ple injured body parts,” says Tierney. “We have seen an uptick in these ‘mega’ workers’ compensation claims over the last number of years for a number of reasons, and we continue to watch and see if COVID will add to this trend.” “I would say technology and medical advancements are the main reasons why we are seeing an uptick in mega claims,” says Tierney. “Not only are injured workers more likely to survive severe injuries today due to these advancements, but they also often require more medical interventions, like organ transplants, to support their ability to fully recover. The medical costs associated with injury care continues to climb and will, in turn, continue to drive up the cost of workers’ comp claims.” Another reason for the spike in mega claims: treat- ment delays. “People are finally getting medical treatment they need after avoiding going to the doctor’s office for so long,” says Moore. “I’ve been seeing quite a few mega claims because people are delaying treatment for some- thing like back surgery for 18 months. By the time they get
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treatment the condition is worse.” Mega claims can devel- op slowly when they arise from delayed treatment. From the employer’s point of view, mega claims are expensive, complex and lengthy, noted the Horton report. “Such claims can leave lasting impacts on your organiza- tion by way of hefty costs, lost time, and the potential for severe reputational damage.” The danger, though, may be largely avoidable. “It’s critical to ramp up your safety ef- forts to combat such claims—particularly when it comes to preventing falls, motor vehicle accidents, and struck-by incidents.” Claims management can also play a crucial role. “Ad- vances in analytics and predictive modeling have helped insureds and insurers identify claims that have the po- tential to be ‘mega’ a lot earlier on in the process than in years’ past,” notes Tierney. “As a result, claims are being managed and reserved for at a lot higher thresholds earli-
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er in the claim lifecycle.” Inexperienced Workers
The pandemic has created one more headache for workers’ compensation administrators: The Great Resig-
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April 11, 2022
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