New York Workers Comp and the Changing Landscape

Insurers are still sorting through all of the potential impact that the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA) will have on workers’ compensation. Some feel it is having a serious impact on New York workers’ comp claims through an increased leakage from group health plans, while others feel this is not the case. Most agree that with the increased coverage that is being provided on the group health side, the overall utilization of these services will continue to rise.

One certainty is that it’s imperative that workers’ comp payers identify the providers who are able to deliver the best clinical outcomes for injured workers. After all, to maintain a productive business, owners must ensure that the focus remains on the quality of care and providing the best outcome for the injured parties. While this may cost more on a fee-for-service basis, getting appropriate and timely health care generally leads to a faster return-to-work. This again will ensure that the proper treatment is being obtained and will ultimately help lower costs.

The importance of a sound disability management system

More and more employers are realizing that the impact of federal employment laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) must be considered on all workers’ compensation claims. Companies are beginning to realize the value of managing non-occupational disability so that their valued employees can get back into the workflow and become productive once again.

New York State streamlined its assessment process, which resulted in a significant reduction of the assessment rate for most employers. Still, it remains to be seen if these assessment savings will continue into the future. In addition, New York has been struggling to implement the reforms that were passed in 2007 legislation, and it was 2013 before the last of the regulations were issued for this law.

Despite the huge amount of premium, exposure and claims data produced by the New York workers’ comp industry, many business owners still complain about the lack of any actionable information. As an industry, wholesale brokers will see a continued focus on the use of more meaningful analytics that can assist in identifying savings opportunities, formulating action plans and measuring the impact of change, which they will then be able to pass on to independent insurers.

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