How to Address the Top 5 Business Risks

By Haley Bass | 01/26/2018

Businesses face risks every day. Between ensuring you’ve hired the best employees for their jobs, avoiding legal and privacy issues, and budgeting wisely while making profits, there’s a lot on an employer’s plate.

The 2017 Travelers Risk Index, conducted by Hart Research, surveyed more than 1,200 business decision makers about what worries them the most. When those risks are narrowed down to the top five, they can all be addressed by one thing: an occupational health provider.

In reverse order, here’s how an occupational health provider can address the top five risks businesses worry about.

5. Ability to Attract and Retain Talent

The job market is competitive, and every company wants to ensure they have the best and brightest on their team. Attracting and retaining qualified candidates is a concern for 51% of surveyed businesses, and has been a top concern for the last five years.

The key to getting (and keeping) top talent may be upping your health care benefits. Glassdoor research revealed that 80% of job candidates would choose additional benefits over a pay raise, with health care listed as a top priority.

One health care benefit companies should consider is a wellness program. Having a wellness program tells potential employees that you’re not only invested in their professional growth, but their health and well-being as well. Healthy, happy employees are more loyal to their companies. A survey by OptumHealth found that over 80% of employees whose companies had a wellness program said that the program encouraged them to stay longer with their employer.

This investment doesn’t need to be costly. There are a variety of services you can include in a wellness program, and several simple changes you can make in the workplace to encourage healthy lifestyles. An occupational health provider can help you implement the wellness services that fit your workforce, from ergonomic adjustments and exercise guidelines to biometric screenings and health coaching.

4. Legal Liability

Overall, 51% of surveyed employers stated legal liability as a concern, but the liabilities they’re concerned with vary. They include legal risks associated with:

  • Understanding and complying with new laws and regulations
  • Changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  • Employees driving personal vehicles for business

The more proactive you are and the more you communicate with your employees, the less likely you are to face a lawsuit. An occupational health provider can help you develop a workers’ compensation injury care plan so you and your employees are prepared in case of an accident. If an employee gets injured on the job and they aren’t sure what to do—and don’t know that you’re prepared to help--they may turn to a lawyer instead of you.

The best way to avoid litigation is by providing regular, comprehensive safety training to prevent accidents, and by openly communicating about what to do in case of an injury so employees know you’re there to help them get better. An occupational health provider is also well-versed in OSHA and worker’s compensation regulations, so they can help you understand what’s required of you to stay compliant.

3. Increasing Employee Benefit Costs

The cost of employee benefits, especially health care, has been steadily increasing for decades. The ability to manage (and hopefully lower) these costs is a risk that worries 55% of business owners and executives.

To help curb the rising costs of health care, many large employers are implementing onsite health centers. With quality health care at the workplace, injured and sick employees can avoid expensive treatment from emergency rooms for non-emergency conditions. A Johns Hopkins University analysis found that onsite clinics are two-to-three times more cost-effective than off-site health care services. In a survey by the National Association of Worksite Health Centers, 64% of companies with onsites reported significant cost savings.

Combining an occupational health provider’s expertise in treating injured employees with the convenience of onsite health care, an onsite health center can help businesses cut health care costs and improve employee productivity.

2. Cyber, Computer, Technology, and Data Breaches and Risks

The more we rely on technology, the riskier it becomes. Cyber and technology risks, especially security breaches, are cited as a major concern by 56% of survey respondents.

The increased reliance on technology also applies to health care, as more innovations in the industry use digital or virtual platforms. One of the more popular innovations is telemedicine. While telemedicine has existed for a while, its availability and use is expanding across the country, and more applications continue to develop. But while there are already privacy concerns in the health care space, those concerns increase ten-fold with telemedicine.

An occupational health provider knows how important it is to keep patient health information private and secure. When these providers also manage their own telemedicine service, they can ensure the same standards apply. If you choose to include telemedicine in your health benefits, choose a provider that uses a HIPAA-compliant telemedicine platform.

1. Medical Cost Inflation

For four consecutive years, medical cost inflation has been listed as the greatest worry for employers, with 61% of businesses concerned about the risk. To avoid shifting more costs to employees, employers need to find new strategies for cost containment.

Some of the greatest medical costs faced by employers come from work-related injuries. Between paying the claim and the medical bill, injury care costs can be devastating to a company’s bottom line. The best way to reduce these costs is by partnering with an occupational health provider, especially one with expertise in treating work-related injuries.

An experienced provider knows the most effective ways to treat injured workers, including early intervention and active recovery. Research shows that when patients start treatment within 24 hours of an injury occurring, they are more likely to be out of work only a week or less, are more satisfied with their medical care, and are less likely to seek legal action. The faster you begin the workers’ compensation process, the faster you can get your injured employee back to work, and the smaller your bills will be.

 

You don’t need to face the risks of running a business alone. When you work with an occupational health provider, you gain a partner to help you navigate the murky waters of workers’ compensation, OSHA regulations, health care costs, and more. If you want to learn more about how an occupational health provider can mitigate your concerns, talk to one of Concentra’s work health experts.