Raleigh, N.C. – As part of Governor Pat McCrory’s efforts to make state government more efficient and accountable, North Carolina is proactively settling workers’ compensation claims that will result in more than $24 million in cost savings.
“We owe it to the people of North Carolina to be good stewards of their tax dollars,” said Governor McCrory. “Improving our approach to workers’ compensation claims management is yet another way we are making state government more efficient and accountable.”
The Office of State Human Resources (OSHR), in coordination with other state agencies, has evaluated open workers’ compensation claims to identify those that, if settled, would generate the greatest potential future cost savings, as well as reduce long-term liabilities.
To facilitate the settlement of these claims, a $2 million Workers’ Compensation Settlement Reserve Fund was created to augment settlement funding available from individual agencies. The Fund enabled OSHR to work together with state agencies to strategically address the settlement of claims. So far, seven claims have been approved by the Industrial Commission and paid in full. By closing just these seven claims, the state has achieved nearly $5 million in future cost avoidance.
Currently, settlement agreements are in process for another 29 workers’ compensation claims. In total, the 36 claims that were settled or that are now in process will result in more than $24 million in cost avoidance.
State HR Director Neal Alexander added, “We’ve made tremendous progress over the past year in introducing better and more consistent claims management processes and it is starting to pay off.”
By increasing oversight and enhancing the claims management process, the State of North Carolina has succeeded in reducing the payout for workers’ compensation claims.