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Group-retrospective Rating Programs Deliver Results – For a Reason

Find out more from one of Ohio's leading administrators of these programs

In April 2015, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) prepared a report for the BWC Board of Directors that assessed the performance of BWC’s discount and incentive plans. Group-retrospective rating was highlighted as the fastest growing program. Since the program was introduced in 2009, statewide participation has increased. The program offers a performance-based rebate that often exceeds the premium savings provided by traditional group discounts and has become the program of choice for many employers.

As the leading administrator of group-retrospective programs in Ohio, OSAE Member CareWorksComp is not only helping more employers benefit from the program, but it also is delivering impactful results. The application of a methodical and disciplined approach to forming and administering groups sets administrators apart from each other.

"The success of our programs results from a combination of how we identify employers that will benefit our groups and our result-oriented services that are skillfully coordinated between each of our departments," said André Bradley of CareWorksComp.

Current and future participants should understand that group-retro program administrators across the state use different criteria and have different approaches to determining eligibility for the program. Since the program is performance-based, the pre-screening criteria utilized are essential. Employers should look to an administrator with the breadth of resources and analytical tools to evaluate injury cause, cost and predictive modeling as keys in delivering performance. Leveraging technology and experienced staff with the proper information to determine if an employer is right for the program is important. Yet, analytical tools and models do not always tell the whole story. Therefore, in-house onsite verification of sound risk management practices is also necessary both prior to determining program eligibility and after enrollment. The availability of these resources can help employers differentiate various program administrators when determining application for group-retro programs.

"Developing and continuously improving these criteria for determining group-retro eligibility is just the beginning of what sets these various programs apart from each other,” said Bradley. "For example, at CareWorksComp various departments including our claims examiners, risk analysts, customer service representatives, vocational rehab consultants, account executives and RiskControl360° safety consultants are trained to maximize group-retro rebates."

Once a group is formed, the attention must be placed on vigorous claims and policy management. These services are vital for all group rating participants, but group-retro participants can realize an even greater benefit from preoccupation with resolving claims and facilitating a safe return-to-work. Controlling the cost of claims that unfortunately do happen has a major impact on the final rebate and a reduction of future premium payments.

Another key component to group-retro performance is obviously injury prevention. Quality administrators provide general safety support to proactively monitor claim activity during the policy year and track prior year performance of participants to pinpoint employers in need of injury prevention assistance. The use and application of statistical processes and technology are best-in-class practices. By focusing on the small percentage of participants that need assistance with prevention, overall group performance improves dramatically.

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