NBANH’s relationship with Morneau Shepell started more than 30 years ago with benefit and pension consulting. More recently, NBANH turned to its trusted partner for help in developing a long‑term, comprehensive strategy to prevent workplace injury-illness and, as a result, improved productivity and wellness of employees, as well as reduced workers’ compensation expenses.

Challenge

Given its industry assessment and experience rating, NBANH’s WorkSafeNB premiums were extremely high — $14 million annually — even after government subsidies. As a result, 7% of NBANH’s budget was going to fund workers’ compensation insurance coverage. NBANH was keen to not only reduce its workers’ compensation claim expenses but also improve the energy in its homes and the spirits of its workers through a comprehensive employee wellness program. Funding for initial wellness initiatives had come from group benefit cost savings that Morneau Shepell had helped NBANH to achieve. NBANH realized that further cost reductions would enable it to introduce additional programs that would help prevent illness and injury, and continue to improve employee health and well‑being.

Solution

Morneau Shepell’s long-standing relationship with NBANH led the organization to turn to this trusted advisor for guidance with respect to reducing workers’ compensation costs. Morneau Shepell’s familiarity with the NBANH organization, its employees, and the benefit program enabled it to bring a big-picture perspective so as to pinpoint occupational health and safety risks quickly. Key areas of concern included the lack of expertise and uncertainty about what to do when accidents occurred, as well as poor claims management due to a lack of training.

Employees quickly learned to direct the initial “SOS” call to Morneau Shepell to ensure early reporting of incidents and timely intervention — essential to mitigate negative impacts on workers’ health and ensure that required forms are filed promptly and properly. Morneau Shepell’s holistic approach to claims management allowed for individual review of each situation and early intervention. As a result, employees got the support they needed so they could return to work in good health, safely, and as early as possible. At the same time, Morneau Shepell provided financial oversight to uncover hidden costs and implemented best practices to provide cost containment.

Results

NBANH’s $14 million “problem” has been reduced to a “manageable” $10 million annually for workers’ compensation coverage. Within two years, base rate reductions are estimated to result in annual recurring base assessment rate savings of $6 million for NBANH homes.

NBANH’s reduced costs and demands mean that it has been able to focus more on employee well‑being. NBANH employees, who are typically absent 15-18 days per year due to the nature of their work, are now receiving access to wellness resources to assist them in becoming and remaining healthier and more productive. Knowing NBANH is providing them with the support they need is positively impacting employee engagement and, as a result, minimizing the risk that these very essential workers will look for work elsewhere.

“Our 30-year partnership with Morneau Shepell has produced strong results, most recently with respect to workers’ compensation accident costs. We’ve seen these expenses cut in half, along with a 10% reduction in claims. We have good reason to view Morneau Shepell as our trusted advisor.”
Michael Keating
Executive Director, New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes

NBANH achieved savings for 2013 over 2012 as follows:

  • 49% reduction in overall accident costs
  • 24% reduction in the number of lost‑time claims
  • 10% reduction in the total number of claims

Case Study: New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes (NBANH) (pdf)