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Return-to-Work Programs Always Work

The cost of not working with your medical provider to have a comprehensive, full pay, return-to-work program is always a lot more than most of my clients would predict. When a claimant is not offered modified or light duty during a claim, the life of that claim is extended greatly and the individual claims costs will rise, simply from the fact that you are allowing the insurer to pay that claimant’s wage.

In your basic claim, the cost in modification increases caused by the payout for both medical and indemnity (payroll) to a claimant will come back threefold on the employer, especially for smaller claims as they are calculated at 100% of their value (no discounting in the calculation). This translates into future increases in premium to the client.

The biggest resistance we see is, “We have nothing for them to do”. Surely your staff can get together and outline something for them to do, and if you have already talked to your MPN doctor about your program and get a good outline on what the claimant “Can” do, instead of a list of things they “Can’t” do, then you can come up with something. My clients in the past have even used non-profit organizations in the local community to get claimants back to any kind of work that they can do with the work restrictions placed on them by the treating physician.

Making sure that you can accommodate any kind of restriction within your program will, in the end, save you quite a bit of money in premium savings through modification reductions. So meet with your primary treating physician, and get a plan in place to keep your people on the job. If you would like help in this area, feel free to contact me at (559) 634-7136 or at

Guy Teafatiller

Vice President | Kingsburg