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Time for Ohio employers to choose managed care plans

By May 25, Ohio employers must decide whether to remain with their current managed care plan or to choose a new managed care organization to provide services to employees who suffer from job-related accidents and injuries.

Every two years, the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation allows employers to re-evaluate their managed care plan and change providers if they are dissatisfied.

Managed care organizations, or MCOs, work with the BWC and employers to help administer medical benefits and recovery programs to employees injured on the job. MCOs are largely responsible for processing claims as well.

While the ultimate decision of whether to stay with a particular MCO belongs with the employer, employers should still listen to relevant employee feedback. Previously-injured workers should be sure to let their employers know about any positive or negative experiences with their MCO as soon possible. After 5:30 p.m. on May 25, employers will not be able to change their MCO for another two years.

There is more to a managed care organization than cost.

According to the BWC Administrator, quoted in a Jackson Daily County report: "Few decisions business leaders make are as vital to their company's success than those that directly impact the health and safety of their workforce. . . . Selection of the MCO that meets each employer's specific needs is an important decision that should be carefully considered to ensure their injured workers receive the best care possible and can quickly and safely return to work."

To help with the decision-making process, the BWC provides a selection guide and MCO report cards, which contain information on the effectiveness of each managed care organization. If an employer chooses a new MCO, the change will take effect on July 2, 2012.

Source: Jackson County Daily, "Managed care open enrollment for Ohio employers begins April 30," April 26, 2012

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The Bainbridge Firm, LLC

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