Proactively taking care of your employees in any area is an investment that yields many rewards. The temptation that confronts every business minded individual when reviewing worker’s compensation insurance is to find the cheapest coverage while giving very little consideration to the quality of the physician.
It is an oversight on the part of the investor who fails to realize that the qualification of the doctor will have a direct impact on future claims. The physician may be getting paid through an insurance company, but the employee is the patient and the relationship between the patient and physician is critical.
Trust of the Doctor
To make the best choice on a physician, you must consider the doctor from the perspective of the employee in addition to your perspective as an employer. When an employee does have an injury and is advised by company personnel to go to a specific sponsored doctor, the employee is already going to be suspicious.
It is natural. The mindset of an employee is the concern for their health, and they also have an awareness of the employers desire to minimize the damages as much as possible.
The worse the injury is, the more of an impact the injury will have on their life and that of the employer. Everyone has heard stories of employees not getting the care he or she needs. On the other hand, we have all heard stories of businesses being ripped off over a hot cup of coffee or some outrageous million dollar settlement.
Trust of the Employee
The employee needs to have trust in the doctors to be truthful to their Hippocratic Oath and the confidence that the doctors know what they are doing. Admittedly, there are some bad employees out there that are going to burn you if they get a chance, but that is a small part of the employee workforce.
Human resources must be on top of their profession in the screening process and work diligently for the safety of your employees. Holding the significant portion accountable for what the smallest part of bad actors does in the workplace will damage the culture and the relationship between the employer and employee.
While some employees may not be good at listening to every detail in a set of instructions, or seem like they are not good at the job you hired them for, they do know when someone genuinely cares about their welfare. When you have the best doctor, it is easier for the employee to believe you when you say you want them to succeed and to do well.
It is easier for a worker to see everything as a team effort instead of an us-against-management strategy. Trust is more easily learned from the example you set in daily life in the decision-making process than it is from the words you speak.
Tort lawyers have learned how to make money from your company and will go to work for it whenever you give them the opportunity. There are lawyers that work referrals through the emergency room, known thereby as ambulance chasers. Part of choosing an excellent physician for worker’s compensation insurance is picking a doctor close to the employer, and that everyone knows.
Establishing a relationship with the doctor and demonstrating your care for workplace safety and employee heath to the doctor will render a host of benefits. The doctor will know to seek real treatment options and not compound the problem with bad judgment to keep an account.
At the same time, if you have successfully built a relationship with the doctor, he will look out for your interests in not taking unnecessary tests or treatments when all the employee needs is a Band-Aid.
In the unfortunate event of a serious accident your doctor, your safety policies, and the series of events will be put under the microscope.If the accident is serious or results in death, there is a good chance that you will be hearing from an attorney.
When it is time to go to court, and you need your physician to testify on the stand that an employee already had a problem, you want a credible doctor who has a good reputation. If your physician has a litigation background where they have been in court over malpractice before, then that physician will not be a positive representation of your interests in court.
You can cut corners on the type of paint you use in the bathroom, or the type of seats you put into the company car. Do not cut corners on the choice you make for employee health in worker’s compensation insurance. Put your employees in a position to trust the doctor and in turn trust you have an interest in their well-being. Demonstrate trustworthiness, and you will gain the confidence and buy-in of your employees.
If and when the day of litigation comes, and you have done everything a reasonable person could reasonably do, the courts will know the difference. If you’re not sure where to go, a good place to start (at least for Central Florida employers) would be workfloworlando.com for worker’s compensation care.
The author, Ray Donato, is a freelance writer specializing in worker’s compensation cases, helping to supplement his studies of the law. As such, he recognizes both the legal and moral importance of having a qualified worker’s compensation physician on call. If you want to learn more about Ray you can visit on Google+.