Communication is the Key
When marketing to workers comp adjusters and case managers, your best marketing tools are your skills as a therapist and understanding how to communicate with these individuals. These “tools” will allow adjustors and case managers to develop trust in your skills as a therapist and are more likely to send patients. This type of marketing is not pounding the pavement, it is relationship building. To do this effectively you must understand the roles of the adjustor and case manager.
When an employee is injured on the job a therapist may be recruited to help with treatment and rehabilitation. Understanding the role of the each individual person involved in the case is crucial. In these workers’ compensation cases, the therapists spend a majority of time with the patient throughout their rehabilitation and communication with the insurance adjuster, and sometimes depending on the severity of the case, a case manager. These two roles are inter related and can be marketed to similarly.
For every workers’ compensation case an insurance adjuster is assigned with several major jobs for the case. The insurance adjuster is responsible for handling the two benefits of an employee, the medical expenses and disability. Understanding the role of the insurance adjustors makes it easier for you to understand how to help them make their job easier.
The medical expenses in workers’ compensation cases can include physician bills, physical therapy, surgery and other rehabilitation costs. In considering this, getting the patient back to work quicker and identifying that with the case manager makes you more reputable in their eyes, so a way to build trust with them is to provide an outcome of getting someone back to work sooner, or making sure that you communicate with them if the case requires more therapy than expected. The quicker and more efficient you can be in identifying activities in the physical therapy treatment that correlate with the job, the easier it is to help the adjustor make return to work and disability decisions.
Disability is also determined by the insurance adjuster and includes the degree to which the employee is incapable of earning their wages before the injury. The insurance adjuster then works with the employer and employee to coordinate care for the injured worker by approving and authorizing treatment. The adjuster is also responsible for filing and paying bills related to the patient’s treatment. Communication is critical between the therapist and the claims adjuster to assure that the claim is handled in a timely manner. Too much therapy or too little therapy can cost the adjuster more time and money, so keeping the adjuster in the loop helps her to process the claim in a cost effective manner.
In some workers’ compensation cases, a case manager may be assigned to assist the insurance adjuster. The case manager helps in planning and coordinating services for rehabilitation and is often hired as a way to keep up with the injured employee’s treatment. The role of a case manager is to ensure the medical treatment is efficient in deliver, and is utilized properly. The case manager also assists the patient in understanding and obtaining the appropriate treatment. The case manager acts as an agent of the insurance adjuster and must be appointed by the adjuster directly. Again communication is the key. Developing relationships with the case manager helps he/she understand the progress of the patient, so she is informed when she speaks with the doctor and employer. Communication with all people involved in each case helps to avoid timely and costly interruptions in care of the employee.
Lack of communication can be interpreted as an inability to treat these type patients and could result in fewer referrals.