When a Human Resources administration service company developed an in-house absence management system last summer, they wanted their current after-hours call center vendor to enter claims directly into the new application. The vendor refused to continue remote entry, offering instead to develop a custom intake solution – at the client’s expense – of their own.
The client came to Actec with two requirements: 1) that Actec use this application and 2) that we start in nine days! With an intensive week of training, manual preparation and connectivity and user setup, we opened our phone lines on target. Each of the accounts, primarily large, Fortune 500 companies, require special handling, from caller authorization to terminology, that is not provided on the intake system, so training and manual documentation was extremely critical.
The client provided on-site training during the week before the Saturday deadline. Actec prepared workstation manuals and developed backup intake forms to use during nightly system maintenance downtime, for subsequent reentry. The client plans to extend coverage to daytime overflow in the near future. Factors contributing to our success were: experience with a broad client base in the absence management, FMLA and disability arena, and organizational agility and flexibility.
When discussing absence management, it’s important to understand the many nuances relating to these initiatives. Let’s review some definitions which can apply to this growing field:
Disability Programs: Disability programs are narrower in scope than absence management and utilize processes to reduce the cost impact of disability, and provide methodologies to promote optimal recovery and return to work.
Health and Productivity Management: This can be defined as the integration of management, data, and services relating to all aspects of employee health that affect attendance and work performance, and is the broadest umbrella for such programs.
Behavioral Risk Integration: Many employers now utilize behavioral risk management as part of their absence management program to address underlying psychosocial issues that complicate claims or encourage absence. Behavioral health management is considered an integrated, interdisciplinary system of care that approaches individuals, families and communities as a whole and addresses the interactions between psychological, biological, sociocultural and environmental factors.
Workplace Wellness Programs: Workplace wellness can be defined as an organizational program designed to support improved health for all employees. It can include activities like health education, medical screenings, health fairs, weight management, health coaching, newsletters, on-site fitness centers and other wellness oriented educational programs.