RTW Step 4: We Need to Talk

Communication among employers, injured workers, insurance carriers and doctors drives the return-to-work process.

Communication among employers, injured workers, insurance carriers and doctors drives the return-to-work process.

Communication is the foundation of any strong relationship. That applies to your friendships, marriage and the return-to-work process.

If you want to get your injured workers well and back on the job, open the lines of communication with all stakeholders.

Injured workers

Call them as soon as possible after the injury, assuring them your goal is to help them get well and back on the job. Injured workers are likely concerned about their financial health, as well as their physical health.  Explain the medical and wage replacement benefits provided by your workers’ comp coverage.

From there, periodically check in with injured workers to invite them to company functions, keep them up to date on company news and ask whether they need help with their treatment.

Health care providers

Make sure injured workers’ doctors know that you have a return-to-work program that offers modified duty. Explain that you will work with them to meet your injured employees’ work restrictions. Some employers send a letter to the doctor explaining their commitment to return-to-work. The Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) also offers two forms that facilitate communication between employers and doctors:

Your insurance carrier

Report all injuries to your insurance carrier as soon as possible. The sooner they know about the injury, the sooner they can begin working toward the injured employee’s recovery. If you have questions during the process, call the adjuster assigned to the claim. Make sure they understand that your goal is to bring the injured worker back to the team as soon as medically reasonable.

Dig deeper

Texas Mutual offers a free, downloadable Return-to-Work Kit. See page 28 for details about communication during the return-to-work process. You can also visit Texas Mutual and the Texas Department of Insurance online for free rtw resources.

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