As part of the Joint Legislative Audit Review Committee (JLARC) implementation L&I received approval from the Legislature to hire additional account managers to increase capacity for first calls to employers and to provide loss control support. The Employer Services Early Contact Team was formed in October 2016. This team is currently staffed with 4 account managers with the plan to hire 4 additional account managers in February 2017.
The Early Contact Team began the Employer First Contact Call Pilot on Tuesday, December 27th. As a pilot, they started by calling on a small number of potential time-loss claims and plan to gradually expand over time.
The Early Contact Team will ask the following questions of the employer:
- What was the workers’ last day worked?
- Has the worker returned to work? Or, is there a planned returned to work date?
- Is light duty available?
- Will the worker be kept on salary?
- Are the wages and health care benefits the worker listed on the ROA correct?
The Early Contact Team will educate employers on:
- The claim free discount, if the employer has one.
- Long-term impacts of time-loss on the firm’s experience factor.
- The benefits of light duty jobs and options to obtain cost reimbursements through the Washington Stay at Work Program.
- Early return-to-work assistance to develop light duty jobs consistent with the worker’s restrictions.
- Risk management services or a safety and health consultation for accident prevention.
The Early Contact Team will make referrals if indicated for:
- Washington Stay at Work Program
- Early Return to Work (ERTW) Services
- Risk Management Services
- Safety and Health Consultation Services
- Ergonomic Evaluations
This means the Early Contact Team will be the first to contact employers, rather than the claim manager, in some instances. As a future phase of implementing the JLARC recommendations, we will improve the speed of claim manager first contacts on claims at risk of long-term disability and equip them with the tools to help partner with employers to reduce this risk.