The holiday season is here! It’s a wonderful time of giving and getting, wishing and wanting. It’s natural that every contractor wants a lower experience mod, but are contractors doing everything they can be doing in order to achieve a lower experience mod? I stumbled upon a fantastic article, A Holiday Wish List for Workers’ Comp Insurance Professionals , and it lists out six different items that all in the work comp industry would enjoy. While all six are great, one in particular is my favorite because it is something that each contractor has control over and it has a direct impact on their experience mod.
Inform the treating doctors of alternative work availability and the return-to-work process can have a tremendous impact on the contractors’ mod as well as many other positive benefits. Having a return to work program means nothing unless the contractor utilizes it fully and proactively communicates with the treating providers and insurance adjusters. Unless the contractor is proactively communicating with doctors/providers, they are left hoping that the injured employee is notifying the doctor about any return to work programs. The treating doctors and providers cannot release a worker to light/restricted duty unless they are aware of it!
Sending a supervisor along with the injured worker is a great idea because the supervisor can make sure the treating doctor is fully aware that light duty is available. Furthermore this ensures that the job description the employee gives to the treating doctor is accurate. Again this also shows the injured worker that their employer really cares about them. Many times injured employees end up being represented by an attorney because they feel they are alone and need someone to represent them. If the employee knows that the contractor is taking an active role in their treatment/recovery they are less likely to feel that way and possibly less likely to retain an attorney.
In addition to the statistics and benefits mentioned in the article, there are so many reasons to proactively communicate with treating doctors about alternative work availability and the return-to-work process. Keeping injured employees engaged in the work process, even if it’s just light duty or part time is critical to getting them back to full duty sooner. The last thing any contractor wants is their employee to be home watching the seemingly never ending rotation of attorney commercials on day time television when they could be on light or restricted duty, being a productive employee in other ways.
Contractors have much more control over their experience mod than they realize and if utilized properly, this can lead to quicker return for their injured employee while having a positive impact on the contractors experience mod. That leads to a happier holiday season for everyone.
For more information on lowering your experience mod and other workers comp questions, please contact BJ Westner at 301.315.6777 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org 
Information about the author: BJ studied Business Administration at West Virginia University and began his insurance career at Banner Life Insurance in Rockville, MD. In a little over a year, he was promoted to Assistant Underwriter. In 2002, he obtained a position at Progressive Insurance as a Claims Adjuster. Shortly after, he was promoted and led the claims organization at Progressive through several successful State Insurance Audits. In late 2008 he went to work for Plymouth Rock Assurance as a Senior Claims Representative and handled complex claims with high exposures. During this time he obtained the prestigious CPCU (Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter) designation. BJ is delighted to be a part of the Claims Team at Insurance Associates, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company. His eleven years of claims experience enables him to be an advocate for clients in an ever-changing business climate.