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Moore: Having Field Case Managers Is Still Great Risk Management

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Workers' comp field case managers, also known as rehab nurses, can still be a great risk management method for lost time files. 

James Moore

James Moore

Why do I devoutly recommend the field case managers on files? Let us look at some of the questions that I have received over the years that will answer why I recommend these vendors wholeheartedly.

Are they spying on the claimant?

No, and in most states, there are very specific rules and laws on how rehab nurses conduct themselves.

Are field case managers expensive?

Yes, they can be viewed as expensive. However, every time that I have performed a cost/benefit analysis, the file savings equate to 6-to-1 over what they are paid.

What are some of the advantages you have noticed?

Field case managers get an idea of the injured employee’s home life while out of work. They can attend to any serious medical needs of the injured workers, such as signs of infection, etc.

Attending physician appointments has been a great advantage, as they are adept at explaining any of the complicated medical terms that a physician may present at the appointments.

Usually, field case managers can facilitate a return to work by being the communications hub for the physician, injured employee and employer. Light-duty return to work can save a large chunk of claims payments if the injured worker can return to gainful employment more quickly.

Do you have any certain or favorite companies for field case managers?

No, the decision is on more of a regional basis. I have mentioned a few companies in the website’s articles that I have found very helpful.

I need a field case manager in an emergency; the injured worker has been admitted to the hospital. Can you help find someone?

I recommend asking for a rehabilitation nurse or company that specializes in serious injuries. I had a serious truck accident in eastern Texas. I called one of the national companies. It supplied a rehab nurse who visited the injured claimant in the hospital within 12 hours. Yes, these serious injury field case managers are more expensive.  From what I have experienced, they are worth the extra hourly expense.

Do you have a list of rehab nurse companies that you use most of the time?

No, not really. The best list that I could recommend is by using the vendor company listings from any conference. You may wish to try the vendor listing found here.

If you recommend a rehab nurse company, does it pay you a referral fee?

No, I do not accept referral funds from any field case management company. That way, no conflicts arise from any recommendations that I make in this area.

What is the best company to supply workers' comp field case managers?

The best company in one part of the U.S. may be different in another region. Most experienced adjusters know who they like to work with and have been successful in a certain region.

If the injured worker is represented by an attorney, is it appropriate to assign a rehab nurse?

Each state has certain rules on attorney contact. Many attorney firms are OK with a field case manager on the file. Attorney approval varies on a case-by-case basis. The rehab nurse company will usually copy the claimant’s attorney on all reports.

This blog post is provided by James Moore, AIC, MBA, ChFC, ARM, and is republished with permission from J&L Risk Management Consultants. Visit the full website at www.cutcompcosts.com.

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