One option for companies utilizing workers’ compensation insurance is the use of managed care arrangements. These arrangements are touted as beneficial to companies and employees alike, but there are pros and cons to MCAs. In this blog, we highlight these benefits and drawbacks.
An Introduction to Managed Care Arrangements
Managed care arrangements (MCAs) strive to provide quick, high-quality care to employees to get them back to work as quickly as possible. Companies utilizing MCAs have predetermined networks of healthcare providers and facilities. MCAs are held to certain standards of medically appropriate care and employee communication to ensure that employees are well aware of their options.
Pro: Limit Time Away from Work
One of the primary benefits of a managed care arrangement is its ability to limit an employee’s time away from work. This lowers the overall cost of workers’ compensation for companies, freeing up money to spend on employee compensation and company growth. Care providers are expected to get employees in quickly and set up an efficient treatment plan. Not only does this help companies lower expenses, but it also limits the time that employees have to live on a percentage of their pay.
Pro: Easy to Find Credentialed Care Providers
With a managed care arrangement, employees can easily identify which care providers are in their network. This ensures that they spend less time calling doctors and trying to get appointments, allowing them more time to work through their treatment plan and recover. Care providers are pre-screened and qualified for the benefit of injured employees and their employers.
Con: Lack of Freedom to Choose Own Providers
For many, the primary drawback of a managed care arrangement is the fact that employees are unable to choose their own care provider. They may select their own care provider from within the network and switch their doctor at least once if they feel the care is insufficient. However, if they are more comfortable working with some outside the MCA, they are unable to do so.
Con: Concerns Regarding Quality of Care
In theory, care providers in a managed care arrangement are held to the exact same standards as those outside the network. However, employees may have concerns about the quality of the care and the motivation of the care providers. Some worry that in-network doctors make decisions in the best interests of the company, rather than the injured employee. Others fear that, after receiving an MCA contract, care providers may slip in their quality of care while attempting to see patients as quickly as possible.