Crawford & Co. to Identify Risk Factors Using e-Triage

April 4, 2005

Atlanta-based Crawford & Company has entered into an agreement with e-Triage, an international technology company in Virginia, to enhance Crawford’s early intervention approach to workers’ compensation claims handling. e-Triage’s web-based services apply evidence-based research to identify specific risk factors and recommended interventions to address those issues and positively impact return-to-work.

e-Triage’s online application applies internationally recognized evidence-based research to identify specific risk factors that directly impact the recovery process and formulates a best-practices approach for medical treatment customized to the injured worker. The system was developed under the direction of Alf L. Nachemson, M.D., Ph.D., a Swedish researcher who pioneered the research in breaking return to work barriers due to psychosocial influences.

“The end result is the prevention of simple claims from becoming complex claims and keeping normal lost-time claims from turning into long-term, high cost claims,” said Sharon O’Shea, president and CEO of e-Triage.

Crawford & Company will employ the e-Triage structured interview process in its claims management process. The workers’ compensation adjuster will conduct initial and ongoing interviews with the employer, injured worker, and medical provider, providing data to the e-Triage system. The e-Triage evidence-based decision tree will analyze the information gathered and enable the adjuster to identify the specific dynamics of each claim and provide appropriate early intervention specific to the individual worker’s condition.

“Our strategic alliance with e-Triage will enable us to identify from the beginning the 20 percent of claims that account for 80 percent of all workers’ compensation costs,” said Bob Kulbick, senior vice president of Crawford’s Risk Management Services. “We anticipate that the program will help assure that individuals receive the right medical treatment provided in a timely manner and that it will significantly reduce indemnity costs for our clients.”

“We are excited about this partnership because the e-Triage system ensures the early recognition of deterrents to recovery, providing an objective means for appropriate identification of claims that can benefit from nurse case management,” said Larry Mattingly, senior vice president of Crawford’s Healthcare Management.

“We will be able to objectively identify the right cases at the right time and provide appropriate medical management where needed,” he said. “Our case managers will use the e-Triage program for tracking the effectiveness of our interventions and will use the evidence based research as an effective tool for communicating medical treatment alternatives.”

The Crawford & Company/e-Triage program will be field tested in several locations including the Houston Independent School District’s dedicated workers’ compensation claims unit. Upon success of the field demonstration projects, Crawford & Company will incorporate the e-Triage technology in the claims management system.

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