ReEmployAbility to Showcase Specialty Return to Work Program and Vocational Services at WCI Conference
Posted on August 8, 2016
It’s August, which means only one thing in the workers’ comp world – WCI’s Annual Workers Compensation Educational Conference is right around the corner.
This marks the thirteenth conference in which we will be at the at the conference exhibition center to showcase our exclusive return to work program, Transition2Work®, and vocational services to employers and workers’ compensation industry professionals.
“We love the Florida conference, we can’t wait to connect with longtime friends and colleagues,” Co-owner Frances Ford said. “And this is an exciting year for vocational and return to work services given the significance of the recent Florida Supreme Court decisions.”
There have been big changes shaking up the industry, due to two Florida Supreme Court rulings. In April, during the case of Castellanos v. Next Door, the court ruled that the state’s attorney-fee caps in the workers’ compensation law’s legal fee schedule was unconstitutional, saying it was a violation of due process. In June, there was a second significant case, in which during the Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg case, the court ruled that the 104 week limitation on all forms of temporary indemnity is unconstitutional and increased the statutory cap for indemnity to 260 weeks, or five years.
Every day Florida is in the news warning, debating, and arguing over the effects of the Supreme Court case rulings. These two decisions have led to the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) to propose a 19.6 percent rate increase for new and renewal workers’ compensation policies.
Businesses and insurance companies are now worrying about rising claim costs. The need to cut workers’ comp costs and return the injured worker back into the workforce is now critical. Companies can no longer be complacent during the process; they need to become more proactive. Now, more than ever, is a great time for conference attendees to learn about our vocational services.
We started our business specializing in vocational services, and for over a decade we have become Florida’s leading provider of vocational services.
“We are the ones that everyone turns to,” Frances said. “Everyone knows that we are the tried and true resource and they have confidence in our service that we will get injured workers back to work as quickly and cost efficiently as possible.”
Attending the WCI conference is more than exhibiting our services, for Co-owners Frances and Debra Livingston, it is a way to reconnect with those who have been in the industry with them for the past 25 years.
“It’s almost like homecoming week,” Debra said. “We get to see those who we have worked with very closely and who have grown in the industry with us over the years. It’s really nice to see people who you haven’t seen in a very long time and to reminisce with them about the good old days.”
If you are attending the 71st Annual Workers Compensation Educational Conference, you don’t want to miss all of the great activities at the ReEmployAbility booth! Stop by booth #309 in the main exhibit hall for some exciting opportunities:
- Picture yourself playing your favorite game or sport – An experienced caricature artist from Cartoon You Caricatures will be available to quickly sketch live digital drawings of booth visitors!
- Register to win a new Fitbit Charge HR – Get your heartrate going, as all visitors can register in our drawing for a chance to win a brand new Fitbit Charge HR.
- Learn about our specialty Return-to-Work program – For employees with occupational or non-occupational disabilities, offsite transitional duty with nonprofit agencies can be a viable option when your company is unable to accommodate employees’ disabilities onsite.
- Explore the many benefits of our Vocational Services – For the past 13 years, we have led the way in the claims industry with innovative and proven solutions for workers’ compensation cases. We use direct vocational strategies for each claim – finding jobs for injured employees and getting them back to work faster. This allows us to find employment opportunities that help to resolve all claims.
Visit with our team to find out how our services can benefit your Return-to-Work program.
Interested in scheduling a meeting with our team to discuss your Return-to-Work program needs? Contact our Client Services team: 1(866) 663-9880.
We can’t wait to see you at WCI ’16, August 22 – 24!
Topics: Events | Comments Off on ReEmployAbility to Showcase Specialty Return to Work Program and Vocational Services at WCI Conference
Posted on July 25, 2016
Every month the employees here at ReEmployAbility look forward to one day – Cupcake Day! The last Monday of each month, Client Services Manager, Sherri Tillman brings in four dozen of her delicious homemade cupcakes to celebrate birthdays held during that month.
It is a tradition that Sherri has done for over five years and one that has officially earned her the title of, “Cupcake Queen.”
She said she is always looking for new recipes to surprise the group with, but there are definitely favorites. The two most requested cupcakes are Banana Pudding and Strawberry.
Sherri is a baker at heart and even when it is not Cupcake Day, she will randomly bring in a treat that is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Did you enjoy the video? Subscribe to our blog for future highlights of the employees of ReEmployAbility and all of their hidden talents.
Topics: Getting to Know ReEmployAbility | Comments Off on Getting to Know ReEmployAbility: Sherri Tillman
Posted on July 11, 2016
Nearly a year ago we implemented an innovative new service for employers who use our Transition2Work program. Many of our clients are switching to Electronic Time Tracking and have found that it is an easier way to track employees who are working off-site on modified duty.
If you have not made the switch yet, here are six reasons why you should:
Never wait for timesheets
When an employer is dealing with paper timesheets, they may find themselves playing the waiting game. From fax transmission errors to employees forgetting to send sheets in, there are many factors that can contribute to delays. Electronic Time Tracking is immediate and puts an end to the wait. Employers have 24/7 real-time online access to each employee’s time records.
Errors are easier to spot and correct
Around the clock access allows employers to catch any errors that may occur immediately instead of waiting up to a week to spot them on a paper submission. If any errors are spotted, the employer can make appropriate changes right there on the spot.
Verification employee is on site
Electronic Time Tracking not only has Caller ID, it also has a sophisticated voice verification technology that can validate an employee’s location while working off-site. The employee is instructed to call from a land line and not a mobile phone. Clients can also sign up for email and text alerts, giving immediate assurance that the employee is at the designated location.
Run detailed reports
Various summary and detail views for time records are available to provide the desired level of specification. Information reported includes: time in/out for each date, job and activity code, total time worked for each shift, telephone number and Caller ID description for the phone number used. Reports can easily be printed, exported as spreadsheets, and shared with your team.
Integrate into most payroll software
Payroll deadlines are easily met with this cutting edge technology, as the program integrates easily with most popular payroll software and services. Employers are able to access in-depth reports right on the site, saving them time in and making the entire process the more efficient option.
The process for clocking in and out is quick and easy. We include step-by-step instructions and convenient wallet cards to each employee. When employees call in, the system gives them easy to follow prompts. The online tracking is just as simple for the employer and allows each client a look at all employees utilizing the program at once.
Interested in using Electronic Time Tracking?
Signing up for Electronic Time Tracking is simple. Contact one of our Client Services Managers today.
Toll free: (866) 663-9880 or email ClientServicesTeam@reemployability.com
Posted on July 1, 2016
A recent change by the directors of the Georgia State Board will make the process of helping injured employees return to work more efficient.
Summary of Change
The Georgia State Board revised Board Rule 200.2; as of Jan. 1, the revision will now allow employers to “utilize qualified medical case managers to provide telephonic or field medical case management services.” This allows a case manager an opportunity to communicate with the doctor directly during the “240 procedure.” The case manager will also be allowed to communicate directly with the injured employee if permission is given by the claimant.
Implemented in 2002, Board Rule 240 and the “240 procedure” was created as a way to allow injured employees a way to transition back to work. The intended goal was to allow the employer to “unilaterally suspend income benefits upon the employee’s return to work or refusal to accept a properly offered suitable job.”
Board Rule 200.2 focuses on the process of identifying the job duties and physical limitations of the injured employee found during the “240 procedure.” The procedure benefits the employees because they will know their limitations and it benefits the employer because the injured employee will not be able to justify refusal to work that has been plausibly reviewed. The procedure is usually handled by case manager, individuals who provide services to injured employees to help them recover from their injuries.
Impact on Return-to-Work
So how will this benefit the employer? Before January 1, only the employer or claims professional could have direct contact with the doctor during the “240 Procedure.” This made the process slower, which accrued additional costs. The new rule allows the case manager to assist with the approval of light duty job descriptions and communicate directly with the doctor. In many cases this will be useful in obtaining information from the doctors more quickly. It will also allow the employer or insurer to obtain faster physician approval of light duty jobs as well.
The new implementation along with ReEmployAbility’s return-to-work program, Transition2Work, means the injured employee can transition back to work quickly. It also helps the employer retain skilled employees, saves the company money by reducing the duration of the claim, and it helps the community thrive.
Topics: Jurisdictional Updates | Comments Off on New GA Workers’ Comp Change Streamlines ‘240 Procedure,’ Saving Employers Time and Money
Posted on April 20, 2016
Through the Transition2Work program, ReEmployAbility has been able to provide thousands of invaluable volunteer hours to nonprofit agencies each year. The ability to help the community motivates the dedicated team to work hard every day.
The foundation of ReEmployAbility is centered on the purpose of giving back and service to the community. Since its opening in 2003, ReEmployAbility has partnered with over 30,000 nonprofit organizations nationwide, ranging from large organizations like Habitat for Humanity to small, local organizations such as food pantries and libraries.
“We love the ReEmployAbility Program,” said Jeanine W., General Manager of the Children’s Boutique at Steven’s Hope. “The volunteers that come to us from ReEmployAbility are well skilled individuals who arrive daily with a friendly, helpful attitude. Their work productivity is excellent and enables us to improve our profitability and ultimately assist more families with seriously ill or injured children. Our volunteers form friendships together and it makes us very happy to see them improve from their injury and return back to work. We are very grateful for our partnership with ReEmployAbility!”
Over the past 13 years, more than 2.8 million volunteer hours have been assigned through the Transition2Work program. Volunteers are able to work safely within their restrictions as they continue to practice or learn new skills.
Top 5 Benefits of Volunteering
Not only is volunteering beneficial to the community, but many volunteers experience benefits as well. Research indicates there are many mental and physical health benefits to volunteering. Programs such as Transition2Work that place injured workers in volunteer assignments with nonprofit organizations can help achieve positive outcomes and provide these benefits for aiding recovery.
- Combat Depression: Often when injured workers spend a lot of time at home while nursing an injury, the lack of socializing could really pay a toll on mental health. Studies show that social isolation is a key factor of depression. According to an article by the Corporation for National & Community Service, volunteering can improve functional ability and lowers rates of depression.
Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and within a positive atmosphere, which could help combat the risk of social isolation.
- Provides Sense of Purpose: Volunteering can positively influence an injured workers’ sense of purpose, accomplishment, and self‐worth as well as increase the volunteers’ social network, help to avoid isolation, and can buffer stress. Injured workers run the risk of entering a slump where they feel they are not contributing as much as they once were. They can get their mind off of their own worries by volunteering and earning a sense of purpose by helping others.
- Improved Physical Health and Speedy Recovery: Research has proven that volunteers tend to have greater life satisfaction and better physical health than those who do not volunteer. A study by United Healthcare and VolunteerMatch shows the majority of those who volunteer (93%) reported that volunteering keeps them physically active and (84%) said it improves their physical health. Additionally, most participants (73%) cite volunteering lowers stress levels. This can lead to quicker recovery and the injured worker to return to work faster.
- Beneficial to Those Experiencing Chronic Pain: Many who sustain an injury that causes chronic pain may feel hopeless while in recovery. However, a study by Arnstein et al (2002) exploring the benefits of volunteering for those with chronic pain showed volunteers with chronic pain saw a decrease in pain intensity and levels of disability and depression.
- Development of New Skills and Experience: Not only can volunteering help with social and relationship skills, but it can also provide an opportunity to advance current labor skills and introduce injured workers to new skills that can be beneficial to their pre-injury employer. Volunteers are often in a new environment, exposed to new trades and are challenged and exposed to new tasks.
Interested In Becoming A Nonprofit Partner?
Want to make a difference in the life of an injured worker? Help someone in your area continue to earn a paycheck while volunteering for your organization! Get the extra help you need, and provide the healing opportunity of a lifetime! Contact ReEmployAbility today to learn more about the benefits of joining ReEmployAbility’s national nonprofit network and be among the first to learn of a new volunteer in your area.
Posted on April 18, 2016
For the past four years, ReEmployAbility Placement Coordinator, Kristina Delgado, has also served in the Air Force Reserve as a Diet Therapy Technician assigned to the 440th Medical Squadron at the Pope Army Airfield in North Carolina.
“Currently I serve as the Unit Fitness Training Manager,” Kristina explained. “I ensure members are ‘Fit to Fight’ and meet standards set by the Air Force.”
Kristina does this by monitoring annually scheduled fitness assessment scores and tracking unit member’s readiness status to make sure they are ready to deploy at all times.
We are proud to announce that recently, Kristina was promoted to Staff Sergeant Select after spending five rigorous weeks in Airman Leadership School (ALS). Those who are invited to attend ALS are a select few who have displayed strong leadership skills. Kristina was invited by Command Chief Master Sergeant Rocky V. Hart. Kristina explained that the Command Chief Master Sergeant is the highest enlisted rank in the Air Force. He is also the assistant to the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon.
“I attended a formal ceremony in support of my fellow wingmen,” Kristina said. “During social hour, CCM Rocky V. Hart shook my hand and ordered that I have my ALS application on his desk the next day!”
Due to CCM Hart’s endorsement of Kristina, a process that would have normally taken over a month, only took three days. Kristina explained that this opportunity is not normally offered to a reservist.
Kristina explained that ALS is a five-week-long Air Force program designed to develop airmen into effective front-line supervisors. She said that ALS focuses on developing leadership abilities, the profession of arms, and building effective communication.
“We learn to properly supervise subordinates, set expectations/standards, provide feedback sessions, complete counseling for rehabilitation, and write awards/decorations,” she said. “During the course we are expected to successfully meet standards and pass a formative exam exemplifying an understanding of concepts taught during class.”
Trainees must also meet fitness requirements, as well as successfully command a marching flight and practice military custom and courtesies. They must also complete 55 community service hours, in which Kristina and her team revitalized a school blacktop and garden/entry area.
Kristina said that going through ALS was challenging for her to manage due to her already hectic schedule. On top of working for ReEmployAbility, she is also a full-time student, studying business administration at Campbell University and has a nine year-old daughter, Naomi.
“I thank God my daughter was such trooper during this demanding time for me,” she said. “Nothing easy is worth having which makes this all the more sweet for me.”
She said she enjoyed the experience and feels she has gained a lot of vital leadership skills that can apply to not only her military life but also her civilian life.
“I now have the tools to shape myself into better leader that is rounded, purposeful, and constantly trying to evolve for the greater good,” she explained. “Ultimately, I am proud to say that I am a part of the World’s Greatest Air Force and I feel beyond blessed to have learned some of the most valuable lessons that will live with me forever!”
We’re proud to have such a hard-working service woman on our team! Way to go Kristina!
Topics: All Blog Posts | Comments Off on ReEmployAbility Placement Coordinator Kristina Delgado Moves Up the Air Force Ranks
Posted on April 13, 2016
From leading a team in the office to leading a team on the football field, Nikki Whitehead proves that she can take charge in any situation.
Nikki joined the ReEmployAbility team in late 2014. She started out as a Placement Coordinator for the Transition2Work team and quickly climbed the ranks. She now spearheads a team of five placement coordinators.
While she spends most of her free time with her 6-year-old son, Sean, she also enjoys spending time going head to head on the field for an all woman’s semi-pro tackle football team.
Donning the #87 jersey, Nikki plays Defense Corner for The Tampa Bay Inferno. Though this is her first year, she has been able to show her leadership skills and is the only rookie captain on the team.
Nikki is no stranger to playing tackle football. She played on the Powder Puff team during her senior year at Durant High School.
“To have the company support me during this journey in playing football, has been awesome,” Nikki said. “To see my co-workers in the stands, cheering me on is a great feeling. It’s exciting to know that not only am I part of a great team, but I am also part of a great company that supports me. It’s very rewarding.”
Did you enjoy the video?
You can check out Nikki in action live! Click here for this season’s The Tampa Bay Inferno game schedule and more information.
Posted on March 24, 2016
Each year, thousands of risk management professionals from around the world flock to the RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition for professional development and networking opportunities.
ReEmployAbility Co-Founders Frances Ford and Debra Livingston said they look forward to attending the conference every year because it gives them an opportunity to interact and connect with many of their nationwide clients they may not normally have an opportunity to see.
This year’s conference is envisioned to be a sentimental one for the founding duo, as it will be held in San Diego, the same city that hosted the first conference they attended as a young company in 2008.
As Livingston reminisced about their first trip, she said that, in a way, this year’s event will bring the company full circle.
“Back when we started our business, we were little fish in this huge pond,” she explained. “We were trying to make a name for ourselves and attract people to us. As we have now progressed in our business, it is exciting to go back to where it all started and to now have people seeking us out. It is a very different experience for us today than it was eight years ago.”
This year the pair will be joined by Vice President of Sales, Kelly Lawless, and two Account Executives, Davida Bloomberg and Mary Bennett.
Lawless shares the same nostalgic enthusiasm as Ford and Livingston as the 2008 conference was her first RIMS conference as well.
“I was very new to the company having only been on-board for a few months,” Lawless said, as she recalled being encouraged though she and the owners had no idea what to expect as first time vendors. “That first year did not disappoint on any level – from the opening cocktail party and entertainment, to business opportunities, to the scenic setting of San Diego itself – and we have attended every conference since.”
The team agrees that RIMS does an amazing job capturing the essence of the many cities that are hosting. From the Cirque du Soleil act in San Diego to a trip to the Mardi Gras museum in New Orleans, they look forward to what is in store during the opening ceremony every year.
“The music, culture, food, art and entertainment that the conference has always been able to capture in every city is continuously outstanding,” Bennett said.
Bloomberg added that her favorite memory took place a couple of years ago, “I was sitting with my co-workers and some other industry leaders after the opening night at the L.A. conference, and we just had an amazing, bonding moment,” she said. “We enjoyed some great conversations and randomly broke out into song, singing Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing.’”
Though the RIMS conference is an exciting opportunity for the team to network and interact with risk professionals around the globe, it also provides an opportunity to showcase the many highly beneficial services that ReEmployAbility has to offer.
“It is very important to have a growing presence at RIMS every year,” Bennett said. “We are currently the industry leader thanks to our Transition2Work program. Attendees love to learn what is new in the industry and that curiosity always leads them to our booth because we set the industry standard and they want to make an impact on their bottom line when it comes to workers’ comp and non-occupational disability claims. We can help them do that.”
Every year, ReEmployAbilty looks for new and exciting ways to stay ahead of the curve. Livingston explained that attendees are always seeking out solutions to a main problem — return-to-work. She explained that ReEmployAbility has consistently been the solution for the past nine years.
“We’re excited to exhibit this year, because we have expanded our services and we hope to meet with the attendees and explain all of the new enhancements and improvements to our services,” Ford said.
One enhancement includes an innovative, telephone-based electronic time tracking service as a new option for clients. Electronic Time Tracking allows injured employees to clock in and out for each shift by calling a toll free number from the nonprofit agency’s landline telephone. Employers are able to receive immediate online access to employee time records via a secure login, providing accurate and timely records of each employee’s activity during the Transition2Work nonprofit assignment.
Thanks to consistent growth, the company launched a new Client Services Department, allowing clients a more in-depth and personal experience. The department serves as the first point of contact to introduce the company’s Return-to-Work services, such as Transition2Work, and provides consultation and support to clients as they implement the company’s programs. In addition, the team provides ongoing support and conducts quality assurance.
And lastly, Lawless is excited to announce plans to expand the services into the Canadian market and is looking forward to connecting with companies who currently have Canadian exposure and hopefully potential Canadian clients.
“In 2016 we know that a lot of the attendees are looking for innovative, cost saving solutions to workers’ comp, return-to-work is a huge part of that. We’re proud to be the largest return-to-work company providing transitional duty and we look forward to speaking to our existing and future clients to explain the benefits of our services,” Ford concluded.
If you are attending RIMS ’16 April 10-13, stop by the ReEmployAbility booth — #1738 — in the main exhibit hall for exclusive opportunities.
Topics: Events | Comments Off on Join us in San Diego at Booth #1738 for RIMS ‘16
Posted on March 11, 2016
Off-site transitional duty programs like Transition2Work are designed to supplement an employers’ internal Return-to-Work (RTW) program. As an extension of the employer’s RTW program, wage payment policy for off-site duty should be consistent with on-site transitional duty.
Long-term Benefits of RTW outweigh the Short-term Cost of Wage Payment
Research supports that injured employees who participate in a RTW program recover and return to full duty faster than those who do not participate in one. Studies indicate that effective RTW programs can save a company 30% in lost time days and 35% on medical costs. Fast return to work shortens the length of the workers’ compensation claim, which keep costs down and minimizes future insurance premium increases. When the employer pays the injured employee’s wages, the claim indemnity cost is reduced. The indemnity cost has a significant impact on an employer’s experience modification and on future insurance premiums.
Wage Payment Preserves the Employer- Employee Relationship
When an employee participates in an off-site transitional assignment, the employer pays the injured employee for their time in the assignment which maintains the statutory relationship between the employer and employee and makes the offer of off-site modified duty an extension of employment. At minimum, injured employees are entitled to their workers’ compensation benefits and the employers’ light duty wage should be as much as or more than the benefits. Paying the employee a wage during modified duty work provides an additional financial incentive that encourages the employee to participate and experience the rewards of Return-to-Work.
Payment of Wages Improves Employee Morale
In addition to long-term cost savings, continuing to pay wages will increase morale in the workplace by helping ensure the employee does not experience financial difficulties due to their injury. Also, allowing an employee the opportunity to connect to their community by performing transitional duty off-site while earning wages gives the employee a sense of purpose.
When you consider the full scope of long-term benefits early RTW can provide, the decision to pay an injured employee a wage to encourage participation in such a program should be easy. After all, if the employee were to perform modified duty at the employer’s place of business, there would be a wage paid for that work — off-site, light duty should be no different as he or she is still your employee and follows your company’s guidelines.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.
Posted on December 11, 2015
Introducing a new, improved Transition2Work assignment follow-up process
We recently made a significant change to the way we manage our Transition2Work participants during their assignments. The updated process is an improvement to the way we interact with our nonprofit partners and the injured workers in our assignments, and it’s making an important impact on our results!
More contact with the injured worker
Now, on the first day of the nonprofit assignment, our Placement Coordinator calls and speaks with both the employee (where allowable based on jurisdictional guidelines) and the nonprofit supervisor to confirm participation, answer any questions, and discuss the time tracking process. At the end of week one, the Placement Coordinator follows up with the employee and nonprofit supervisor to ensure everything is continuing to go well. After the first week, our Transition2Work Administrators begin conducting biweekly follow-ups. For the first six weeks of the assignment, they speak with the nonprofit supervisor and injured worker. Thereafter, they continue to get feedback from the nonprofit supervisor and periodically (at unannounced times) speak with the injured worker as well.
More successful nonprofit assignments
This new follow-up process benefits everyone involved! Since implementing these changes, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our team and partners. The new process reinforces a connection to the employee, improving communication, and helping to ensure the employee fully understands the details of their participation in our Transition2Work program. With improved communication, injured workers are better able to follow through with their responsibilities and continue participating in the program.
Most importantly, by improving communication and providing this enhanced level of service, we are able to give our clients peace of mind that their employees are safely participating in the program so they can return to work as quickly as possible!