2019 US Insurance Awards: Helmsman Management Services, TPA Team of the YearPosted On: May. 1, 2019 12:00 AM CST
When it comes to best medical outcomes for injured workers, the 1,100-strong team at Helmsman Management Services LLC set return to work as the goalpost.
“Return to work is the cornerstone of any program that we handle in the TPA space,” said Mark Siciliano, Atlanta-based vice president, who leads the eastern half of the country in managing claims for Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.’s workers compensation third-party administrator Helmsman. “How we get them there… that’s where the rubber hits the road.”
Helmsman combines a number of programs and resources to work with injured workers, Mr. Siciliano said, adding that parent company Liberty Mutual’s national footprint as one of the country’s largest insurers “helps support a lot of programs.” Gaining traction is Helmsman’s Temporary Transitional Employment program, which provides injured workers temporary, volunteer positions with nonprofit organizations.
This helps speed healing and aids in return to work by getting the injured worker engaged and out of the house, all the while helping the community the worker lives in, according to the company.
Among the challenges are securing participant buy-in to the program — from the employer who funds the volunteer worker, to the nonprofit supporting the worker by providing engaging activities, to the recovering worker who has to show up, according to Mr. Siciliano.
“The hardest part for us is to make sure we have to sell to all three of those components,” he said. “It’s a lot of coaching; a lot of strategy around how it is communicated. Our adjusters have to be sales people to explain the benefits” to all three parties.
By the end of 2018, the program included more than 37,000 volunteer organizations and placed injured employees in more than 6,100 sites, up 7% from the prior year, the company reported.
Helmsman has also adopted the injured-worker advocacy model popular in workers comp claims-management circles.
Mr. Siciliano points to empathy and kindness as keys in keeping costs down and making claims run smoother, he said.
“A lot of our clients working with us have approached this mindset,” he said. “It’s always a good thing when the employee feels valued and needed in the workplace… (This is) driving our culture through the empathetic side of life.”
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