Putting it All on the Line: The Effects of Managed Care on Reputational Risk






It can only take one bad claim experience to negatively impact a managed care company's reputation.


In today's fast-paced culture, where updates are at our fingertips every second, reputation often supersedes reality. The beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something can outweigh the factual representation of a person, brand or entity. Negative media coverage, social media slams, class action suits, or even rumors can cause severe damage to a company's brand.

Reputational risk does not just pertain to risk management - it crosses over to every aspect of workers' compensation and case management. How we care for an injured worker can have consequences. If a worker's care is handled poorly, the damage to a company, and the industry, can be lasting, causing deeper strain than the costs associated with a claim.

"I've had many conversations with people who are quick to tell me their own negative workers' compensation claim story when I share what I do. A negative experience can form a person's entire perception on a topic. We believe in placing the injured worker's care first and understanding we are an extension of the employer," explained Zebrah Jahnke, EK Health's VP of Business Development.

"Our business is to build yours - starting with the health of those you employ and extending through their experience. From beginning to end, we strive to exceed expectations - for your workers, your company, and your brand."


Walking The Walk

The way to gain a positive reputation is to endeavor to be who you want to be perceived as. A good reputation cannot be bought, it must be earned. It takes many years to build a quality perception, and only one bad moment to lose it all. This can have lasting implications on your organization's financial health and your ability to attract and retain clients, employees and investors.

How care is managed affects the injured worker's perception of not just the managed care company handling their treatment, it affects their perception of their employer. Jahnke continued, "How we engage matters. Building upon core values and standards that maintain integrity and build trust is imperative. It's not enough to simply state what you stand for; it must permeate throughout everything you do - including those you work alongside. Ensuring your partnerships uphold like-minded values within managed care is essential for total protection."

Once you've determined who you want to be portrayed as, you must complete a deep assessment of who you are behind-the-scenes. Objectively identify where your company may be at risk and regularly promote how you and your managed care company are at-the-ready.

"Within the sports and entertainment industry, where one person's shortfall or mistake can have irreparable consequences, it's easy to see the necessity to complete regular reputational risk analyses up front and set high standards for daily execution." stated Jahnke. "This kind of preparedness and commitment assists in protecting and preparing for monumental mishaps." 


Responding With Authenticity

As important as the preparation on the front, how you respond to a reputational risk crisis is equally as essential. Mishaps occur, and when they do, you must reply swiftly and efficiently. Jahnke elaborated,

"Don't use blanket statements - each situation is unique and must be addressed as such. Authentically take ownership and apologize when necessary - at some point, every company makes a mistake that requires acknowledgement and sometimes an apology. Errors are opportunities to build credibility quickly. It is all in how you respond."

Just like daisies are found everywhere on earth, except Antarctica, so is the ability for others to publicly criticize your organization online. In this "dog-eat-dog" world where rumors are prevalent and misinformation is rampant, it takes poise to respond.

"Ignore the unfounded statements others sling about. Taking time to defend untruths is often futile and takes resources away from other, more important tasks. Remain focused on priority items," Jahnke added.

"For us, starting with the human experience at the center of all we do and taking special care in each injured worker's experience will always provide the greatest return. When all is said and done, people will always be worth putting it all on the line for. If we are taking care of the people we serve, our character will go before us."