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“A workers’ compensation adjuster is not a paper pusher.” That’s one of “60 Tips for Superior Claims Handling” issued as part of a panel discussion held at a past National Workers’ Compensation & Disability Conference. “Work comp claims are more difficult than general liability claims. If you think of them as a paper pusher, that’s the output you’ll receive.”

Numerous articles make clear the impact of adjusters’ experience, skills, and judgment on claims outcomes (For example, see “Good Adjusters Know When to Settle Your Workers Comp Claims.”) Nonetheless, as indicated by the fact that panelists felt it necessary to make the point that adjusters are far more than back-office clerks, the misperception persists.

A contributing factor could be, as our recently published eBook “Automating Claims Compliance & Reporting” points out, that paperwork — defined as “routine clerical or record-keeping work often incidental to a more important task” — still makes up a significant portion of time that adjusters lose to low-value, non-core administrative work.

For insurers, TPAs, and self-admin organizations evaluating their workers’ compensation claims handling processes in an effort to improve efficiency and reduce costs, identifying points in the claims handling process that require paperwork on the part of adjusters can serve as the starting point for a transformation. Making improvements to their manual approach to workers’ compensation compliance and reporting can save both time and money.

The eBook points out that as much as “19.8% of business time is wasted by simply searching for the information employees need to do their job… the equivalent of one day per week devoted entirely to searching for basic information and documents.” Add to this the fact that manually entering claim data into form fields exposes an organization to the costs of bad data. “Assuming the error rate is an often cited 1%, that means for every 100 fields rekeyed, there will be one error, which will cost $1 to crosscheck, $10 to correct later, and $100 if the error doesn’t get caught and results in the organization taking some action based on bad data.”

Revamping your workers’ compensation compliance and reporting process

In an article written for Inc. magazine, David Finkel, co-author of Scale: Seven Proven Principles to Grow Your Business and Get Your Life Back provides a list of ten helpful questions that may follow once paperwork-intensive/manual processes are identified.

  1. How can we reduce the steps in this process?
  2. How can we combine steps to make it simpler to follow?
  3. Can we repurpose an existing system or tool to save us time or give us a better result?
  4. How can we speed up this process or any step within this process?
  5. How can we automate this process (or any part of this process)?
  6. How can we semi-automate this process (or any part of this process)?
  7. How can we template this process (or any part of this process)?
  8. How can we lower the costs of doing this process without impacting the value of the output?
  9. What simple changes or improvements can we make to increase the value of the output?
  10. Who else in the world has a related process or tool we can learn from to help us better design this process?

For organizations that identify forms compliance and reporting as one of the areas where improvements can be made, the answers to these questions can be helpful in identifying a solution that reduces the amount of time adjusters spend on the following tasks:

  • Searching for the correct version of state forms
  • Manually rekeying data into first reports of injury and other form fields that already exist in the claims system
  • Correcting errors that result from manual entry of claim details

Origami Compliance provides a forms solution that seamlessly and securely integrates via API with any claims system, giving adjusters access to a library of state and federal workers’ compensation claim forms.

Manual checks of state and federal websites are combined with automated monitoring tools that ensure Origami Compliance’s library of more than 4,500 state and federal forms is up-to-date. Furthermore, custom forms and letters can also be added to this library, providing adjusters with access to a single document generation system.

The need to rekey claim information into forms is eliminated, as form fields are populated by data from the system based on client-defined mappings. This contributes to improved efficiency, saving time that adjusters can better spend on more high-value activities that contribute to better outcomes. It also reduces the likelihood of errors that result in rework (rejected forms that need to be resubmitted) and (worst-case scenario) penalties or fines. The process can be streamlined further with automated delivery of completed documents to designated recipients and regulatory agencies.

Less paperwork frees up adjusters to focus on what matters

Changing the wrongly held perception of workers’ compensation claims adjusters as paper pushers may be possible in the long term. What really matters, both for your clients and claimants is freeing up adjusters to use their experience, skills, and judgment to resolve claims in a way that’s beneficial to both employers and injured workers.

Regardless of what claims system your organization uses, Origami Compliance offers an integrated, easy-to-use forms solution that can help adjusters to work more efficiently and accurately. By reducing the amount of time it takes to find the most current form, eliminating duplicative rekeying of data, and minimizing the likelihood of error, adjusters can spend more time focused on areas that contribute to a reduction in the cost of claims and improved claim outcomes.

To find out more about Origami Compliance workers' compensation solutions, download our new eBook "Automating Claims Compliance & Reporting."