Ohio BWC Reports Agenda ’06 to Improve Operations

February 1, 2006

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) recently unveiled Agenda ’06 to the Workers’ Compensation Oversight Commission as part of an initiative to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the agency’s operations.

Bill Mabe, administrator/CEO of BWC, said that a focus on fairness along with enhancements in how the bureau does business could generate as much as $424 million in improvements to the bureau’s bottom line in 2006. More than $530 million in savings will be generated once all strategies are successfully implemented.

“Our plan was created by all BWC employees and will significantly improve Ohio’s workers’ compensation system by making it more competitive on a national scale,” Mabe said. “This initiative is not about change for the sake of change. Rather, it’s about doing the right thing and moving in the right direction for the benefit of the employers and injured workers who use and depend on the system.”

A large part of the savings will be in the form of increased revenue. The investments department is expected to generate an additional $100 million, as profits will increase operational cash flow. Additionally, BWC will improve its underwriting capabilities by focusing on employer compliance, auditing and collections of outstanding debt to ensure each business is responsible only for its liabilities.

Also, BWC will aggressively try to reduce expenses, primarily through better control of health-care costs. The agency has already revised its hospital fee schedule and is currently reviewing other payment methodologies to determine whether lower-cost alternatives are more appropriate. The bureau will work to better coordinate services to reduce the hassle factor for providers, which will also reduce expenses.

Legislatively, the bureau continues to support Senate Bill 7, which is currently in the Ohio House of Representatives. If enacted in its current form, it would generate more than $100 million in savings annually while making Ohio more competitive on a national scale.

Lastly, BWC will move forward with implementing a comprehensive control environment that will include a focus on integrity and ethics, among other things. Additionally, the bureau will use Sarbanes-Oxley as a guideline to establish the overall design of internal control mechanisms to safeguard the assets of the State Insurance Fund.

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