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Workers comp claim longevity, not cost, points to review

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DALLAS — Claim reviews are one of the most common claims management strategies, but they're only beneficial if employers know which claims to review, according to a speaker at the American Society of Safety Engineers' Safety 2015 Professional Development Conference & Exposition in Dallas.

Deborah Weigand, who leads Aon P.L.C.'s U.S. casualty risk control practice, said Wednesday during a session on workers compensation data analytics that many employers review claims based on cost.

Rather than choosing to review the $10,000 or $25,000 claims, Ms. Weigand said employers should look at claims that have been open for about 180 days.

“That's the sweet spot,” she said, noting that “between 180 and 270 days, the average cost of a claim roughly doubles … And if it goes longer than one year, it almost triples.”

Claims that are $6,000 are rarely on anybody's radar, as an injured worker might not even have lost any time at that point, Ms. Weigand said.

Reviewing claims that have been open for about 180 days give employers an “opportunity to close it before it takes off,” she said. “If you wait until it's $25,000, that ship has sailed. You're going to pay it, it's just a matter of how much — how big it's going to get.”