Middleton, WI – Over the last two years, many different groups have put workers’ compensation under a microscope, concerned that the industry is too focused on expense reduction at the cost of injured worker outcomes. In response, the IAIABC held three “National Conversations on the Future of Workers’ Compensation” in 2016, the results of which are shared in a summary report and video released by the IAIABC.
Based on the discussions during National Conversations, four key areas of focus were identified to better the lives of injured workers and their employers:
- Improve Communication: Workers’ compensation needs to find a way to improve communication about the roles, responsibilities, and process of a workers’ compensation claim. More effective communication would help set expectations for all parties and reduce confusion and misunderstanding about the process.
- Reduce Complexity: Workers’ compensation must find ways to simplify processes, create uniformity across states where possible, and continue to support the exchange of information on effective and results-oriented initiatives and programs.
- Measure Performance: Workers’ compensation generates a lot of data, but there continues to be a lack of performance measurement and benchmarking in and across jurisdictions. For the system to convincingly support its claims of effectiveness and compare the impact of state differences, it must focus more on performance measurement.
- Raise Awareness: Workers’ compensation is intertwined with the U.S. economy, and can profoundly impact the lives of workers and their employers. Employers, employees, and the general public need to know more about workers’ compensation and how it shapes lives and business.
Also out of the National Conversations came a new IAIABC mission: The IAIABC finds solutions to reduce harm and aid recovery from occupational injuries and illnesses.
The 2016 IAIABC National Conversations were just a start; now is the time for action. The IAIABC will work improve workers’ compensation and fulfill its new mission by pursuing these four key action areas.
Learn more about National Conversations through the IAIABC’s final written report and accompanying video at www.iaiabc.org/national-conversations.