Grab ‘N Go for Workers’ Comp Pros: Award-Winning Solutions Worth Stealing

Thursday morning, let the winners of the 2019 Teddy Award inspire you to build your own award-winning workers' compensation program.
By: | November 6, 2019

Risk & Insurance selected five deserving organizations to name as winners of the 2019 Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Award. The Teddy Award, sponsored by PMA Companies, honors organizations of all types and sizes for workers’ compensation excellence. These organizations have transformed their programs into humming engines that put injured workers first while also minding the bottom line.

Representatives from all five winning organizations will convene at the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference at Manadalay Bay in Las Vegas, to share some of their winning strategies and ideas.

These employers are putting workers first in ways that strive to move beyond an advocacy model. They defined the problems they strove to solve, not in terms of fiscal pain points first but in terms of employee pain points. Things like “Workers had to wait too long for treatment” or “Workers didn’t always know who to ask about their claim” are the problems they seek to solve.

Along the way, these employers are living the ideal that if you do right by your people, the savings will follow. The stories of this year’s winners show how they’re not just advocating for injured workers. They’re putting their people first both pre-and post-injury, and they’re being rewarded with strengthened employee satisfaction and morale as well as dramatic cost savings.

L to R: Brad Waldron, Caesars Entertainment; Brett Jeziorski, City of Surprise, Ariz.; John Madaus, Clemens Food Group; Joseph F. Molloy, Northwell Health; Laurie Frey, Kohl’s Depatment Stores.

Caesars Entertainment installed full-service medical clinics at its locations in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Injured workers are getting better faster, and the company was able to realize a return on its investment in less than three months.

“We knew that it would be quick, we just didn’t know how quick,” said Brad Waldron, vice president, risk management for Caesars.

The City of Surprise, Ariz. also sought out superior care for its people, investing time to gather intel on the medical providers who are seen as top notch by employers, employees and vendors. The risk management team sought unparalleled care for its people, and secured its network with an offer many providers couldn’t refuse: prompt payment. Superior worker outcomes + plus happy docs + discounted rates = win-win-win.

At Kohl’s Department Stores, wellness centers have been established throughout the company the serve the needs of injured workers as well as everyone else.

“Things that can complicate a workers’ comp claim can be eliminated through routine visits to a primary care physician. Giving the associates the option of seeing someone right on site helps to keep our associates healthy and minimize injuries,” said Laurie Frey, senior manager, workers’ compensation, Kohl’s Department Stores.

At Clemens Food Group, the team and its partners came up with a simple approach to meeting its workers’ comp goals: the team member comes first, no matter the cost.

“It’s one person at a time, one case at a time,” said John Madaus, Clemens’ workers’ compensation manager.

Along the way, these progressive employers are finding out what happens when a workers’ compensation program is built on trust and genuine concern for their people.

Said Joseph F. Molloy, senior vice president, workforce safety, Northwell Health: “Just reading testimonials and getting emails [from injured workers saying], ‘you really helped me through a difficult time,’ ‘your team did great,’ ‘this person was great’ — that really means we’re doing exactly what we set out to do, which was advocacy for the employee.”

All five winners will be together at 8:30 a.m. on November 7 in Islander F-H at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Attend the session to learn more about their programs, shake their hands, and get inspired to build your own award-winning program! &

Michelle Kerr is Workers' Compensation Editor and National Conference Chair for Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]

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