Keeping employees happy and healthy is critical to a business’ success. For Occupational Medicine (OccMed) providers, that often means navigating intricate processes, paperwork, and people to deliver for their clients. But winning in the OccMed environment doesn’t just mean getting the desired results. Success is also contingent heavily on how those goals are achieved and, more importantly, how the employer feels through the process.
Here, we’ll take a look at three ways OccMed providers can better navigate employer interactions when a patient needs to be seen by a provider.
Champion the Paperwork Flow
While being the champion of paperwork may not sound super exciting, it’s the embodiment of the phrase heroes don’t always wear capes when it comes to helping employers through the process. Juggling patients, providers, different employer departments, and insurance companies can get confusing quickly. But with the right processes in place and an OccMed provider really taking ownership of the paperwork flow, everyone in the process can be happy.
Here are a few questions providers can ask the employer to help better facilitate the process. And it’s probably important to point out that these questions can be asked and addressed well before any employee needs to be seen.
- Are there specific reports or forms that the employer needs? Never assume that every employer handles these situations identically.
- Where do these reports and other paperwork need to go? In addition to the previously mentioned forms, consider this question for things like work status forms, physicals, employee health records, etc.
- Do referrals require authorization from the employer or work comp carrier?
Keep Clear Lines of Communication
No one likes to be kept in the dark about anything. And if we put ourselves in the shoes of an employer, being without a star employee or someone integral to their business’ success and survival can be a scary time. Because of this (and many other reasons), it’s imperative that the lines of communication between OccMed providers and employers during an employee’s treatment are open and clear.
Does this mean calling them every five minutes with an update? No, but it does mean finding the right balance of information and outreach to where the employer always feels like they know what is going on.
Here are some questions to consider when it comes to communication through this process.
- Does the employer want a call to discuss the case or do they prefer email communication?
- Have you reassured the employer that you will keep them up to speed on any significant changes?
- Are you ending each interaction by letting the employer know the next step and when they should expect to hear from you next?
Engage in Proactive, not Reactive Interactions
The last tip we have for occupational health providers looking to master the interactions with employers is proactiveness. The better an OccMed facility can anticipate what’s going to happen in the process and take the preemptive actions, the better. And what’s great is that for most OccMed providers, an employee seeing a provider is not its first rodeo. While the details of the processes may be slightly different, the overarching themes and steps are the same.
One of the best ways to do this is to have answers to questions one may expect to receive. For example, the most common questions generally revolve around the employee’s condition and ability to work. A proactive step here could include taking the time to really understand the job description of the employee. What are they asked to do? Then, compare that with the reports from the providers. Can the employer accommodate light duty? What restrictions are in place and how do those relate to the specific job?
Instead of having to say, “Let me get back to you with that,” but being able to say, “I’ve already pulled that information for you. Here you go,” can make the experience night and day for employers.
The Next Steps
Championing paperwork, communicating better, and being more efficient are all tasks that do require some extra effort on the part of OccMed providers. However, it’s not as challenging as one might think when you have the right support resources in your corner. Net Health’s OccMed solutions are designed specifically to meet providers where they’re at and provide seamless integrations to accomplish these goals and more.
If you’d like to hear more about how Net Health can help you stand out and offer more effective and efficient service to your employer clients, we’d encourage you to reach out and set up a free demo today.
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