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Rebecca Shafer

Rebecca Shafer

Rebecca Shafer is an attorney and risk consultant who is an acknowledged thought leader in cost containment. She is the author of “2014 Your Ultimate Guide to Mastering Workers Comp Costs.” She specializes in training employers and has collaborated with companies — large and small — to help them reduce their workers’ comp costs by as much as 50%. As the litigation manager of a Fortune 500 company with 89 operating units in the U.S. and Europe, Shafer cut workers’ comp costs 60%.

Shafer’s passion is helping companies to improve communications with employees. She also pinpoints the exact cost drivers that affect workers’ compensation programs and finds solutions for integrating claims administration more effectively with internal operations.

Shafer created specialized, highly successful cost-containment practices for global insurance brokers Marsh and Aon. She also managed workers’ comp consulting practices for both, focused on reducing costs for clients.

As CEO of Aon Management Institute, Shafer developed a CEU-certified training facility named Comp Camp, where she trained employers from as far away as China. Shafer also developed Safety National’s Workers Comp Tool Kit, a patented process that identifies and implements workers’ comp best practices simultaneously in multi-divisional organizations.

Shafer’s work with employers has involved touring and learning about the operations of many facility types. Because of her field experience, she incorporates deep knowledge of manufacturing, distribution, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, transportation, retail, food service and many other industries into her risk management expertise. She has represented industry leaders, such as the New York Times, OfficeMax, First Group America, Wyeth, USAir and Universal Orlando.

Shafer is licensed to practice law in Connecticut and New Hampshire; her experience includes insurance defense. She serves on the LexisNexis Executive Committee and the National Workers’ Compensation & Disability Conference Committee, and is a frequent writer and speaker.

Articles

Absence Management/Disability Management

“Managing Disabilities: 24-Hour Coverage and Disability Management,” published in SSA Journal, Volume 10, Number 3, Fall 1996.

“The Impact of Perks on a Return-to-Work Program,” published in Disability, Leave and Absence Reporter, November 1997.

“Use Medical Directors Proactively to Control Workers’ Compensation Costs,” published in IRMI Risk Tips, Aug. 19, 2005.

Account Servicing Instructions

“Counsel’s Role in Negotiating Insurance Contracts,” published in the Connecticut Law Tribune, Dec. 7, 1992.

“How Account Servicing Instructions Impact Claims and Litigation Management,” published in Risk Management, December 1993.

“Spell It Out,” published in Litigation Management, Summer 2011.

Assessment

“Assessing Workers’ Compensation Program Key to Cutting Costs,” published in National Underwriter, April 11, 1994.

Issue No. 13 “Take A Good Look At Your Workers’ Compensation Program,” published in CCH Workers’ Compensation Business Management, April 11, 1994.

“Assessing Your Workers’ Compensation Program: Don’t Use the Dart Board Approach!” published in Managing Employee Health Benefits, Spring 1994.

“Auditing Your Workers’ Compensation Program,” published in Insurance and Risk Management, April 12, 1995.

“Facing an Internal Affair: Proper sleuthing can dig up a wealth of inefficiencies in a workers compensation program. Here is a guide for what to look for,” published in Risk and Insurance, February 2006.

“Myths & Realities of Workers Comp Cost Containment,” published in Risk Management, November 2006.

“Workers Comp Success Depends On Quality Analysis,” published in Business Insurance, Feb. 9, 2009.

Basics Workers Comp 101

“How Does Workers Compensation Work?” contributed to article published online by Montster.com.

“Three Ways to Cut Workers Comp Costs,” published in Risk Management Magazine, July/August 2011.

“Controlling Litigation Through Account Instructions: Spell It Out,” published in Litigation Management Magazine, Summer 2011.

“10 Myths and Facts: Workers Compensation,” published by Lexis Nexis Workers’ Compensation Law Community, Jan. 2, 2012

Benchmarking

“Workers’ Compensation Programs Need Tune Up,” published in National Underwriter, May 7, 2007.

“Despite Pitfalls, Benchmarking Helps Employers Gauge Handling of Injuries,” published in Insurance Times, June 24, 1997.

Brokerage Services

“Seven Steps to Selecting the Right Broker,’ published in Workers’ Compensation Cost Control, March 2004.

Business Protocol

“INmyOPINION,” published in the Hartford Business Journal, March 10, 1997.

“Mind Your Corporate Manners,” published in Journal of Commerce (World Trade), June 2, 1997.

“Creative Classes,” published in Hartford Business Journal, June 30, 1997.

“Charm School for Risk Managers,” published in Insurance Times, June 10, 1997.

“The Manners of the Industry,” published in Risk Management, September 1997.

“InmyOpinion,” published in Hartford Business Journal, Volume 5, Number 52,
Nov. 24-30 1997.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

“Calls for a Cure: Call Center Technology,” published in Best’s Review, July 2005.

Claims Management

“Three Ways to Cut Workers Comp Costs,” published in Risk Management Magazine, July 2011.

Communication

“Effective Communication in Workers’ Compensation Management,” published in John Liner Review, Volume 11, Number 3, Fall 1997.

“Communicating to a Diverse Workforce,” published in Workers’ Compensation Cost Containment, Quinlan Publishing, January 2002.

Cost Control

“Labor Letter,” published in Wall Street Journal, Oct. 2, 1990.

“A Primer on Worker’s Comp” in three parts, published in Alert, Executive Membership Weekly Advisory, Nov. 12, 19 and 26, 1990.

“Employer Follow-Up,” published in Corporate Cashflow, January 1991.

“Regaining Control Is Key to Workers’ Compensation Cost Containment,” published in BLR’s National News Update, February 1992.

“A Sample Company Medical Policy,” published in Personnel Practice Ideas.

“Proactive Prevention,” published in Risk & Insurance, March 1993.

“Outboard Marine Corporation Smooth Sailing for Workers’ Compensation,” published in Risk & Insurance, April 1994.

“Workers’ Comp: Ripe for Cost-Cutting” published in the New York Times, March 12, 1995.

“Screening Out the Injury-Prone,” published in Risk and Insurance, June 1995.

“Five-Pronged Attack: Ways to Lower Workers’ Comp Costs,” published in Corporate Cashflow, March 1996.

“Closing Workers’ Comp Loopholes,” published in Risk & Insurance, December 1995.

“Taking the Sting out of Comp Costs,” published in Business Insurance, July 8, 1996.

“What Home Healthcare Providers and the Mailman Have in Common,” published in the Aon Alliance, Vol. III, No. 2.

“Control Sick Time Costs,” published in Managing Employee Health Benefits, Vol. 5, No. 1, Fall 1996.

“Problems in Claims Servicing May Be Fixed by Changing Instructions,” published in the Standard, Sept. 27, 1996.

“Employers Are Advised on Methods to Control Workers Comp Costs,” published in the Journal of Commerce, April 2, 1991.

“Focusing on Costs,” published in Risk & Insurance, February 1994.

“Rivals Sharing Info? You’d Better Believe It,” published in the Journal of Commerce, June 20, 1997.

“Airline Cuts Worker Injuries in Half, Slashes WC Costs,” published in CCH Workers’ Compensation, July 1, 1997.

“WC Not Manageable? Steelcase and Continental Airlines Are Managing it Successfully,” published in Industry Week, July 7, 1997.

“Continental Airlines Slashes Costs,” published in Workers’ Comp Managed Care Vol 5 #9, September 1997.

“Working the Big Picture,” published in Best’s Review, September 1997.

“Partners in Time,” published in Risk & Insurance, February 1997.

“Treating the Whole Elephant,” published in Risk Management Magazine, November 2005.

Construction

“Elements of A Successful Workers’ Comp Program” (at a construction project), published in Merritt Insurance Pro, December 1995.

“How Proactive Agents and Brokers Can Help Contractors and Sub-Contractors Reduce Workers’ Compensation,” published in Insurance Journal – National Edition, Jan. 29, 2007.

Disability

“Bridging the Disability Gap,” published in Occupational Hazards, December 1991.

“New Guide on Disability,” published in Safe Workplace, Spring 1995.

“Policies In Practice: Guide Helps You Calculate and Cut Workers’ Comp Costs,” published in Disability, Leave & Absence Reporter, April 1997.

“Workers’ Compensation/Absence Management Disability Guide” from Aon Management Institute.

Fraud

“Addressing the Phantom Accident,” published in Workers’ Compensation Cost Containment, Quinlan Publishing, January 2004.

Gainsharing

“No Pain, No Gain,” published in Risk & Insurance, November 1996.

Global

“Globalization Spurs Need for New Look At WC,” published in National Underwriter, Aug. 22, 1994.

“Europeans Seek Comp Answers,” published in Workers’ Comp News, July 1995.

“WC Goes Global,” published in CCH Workers’ Compensation Business Management, Issue No. 47, Sept. 11, 1995.

“Designing a Survival Kit for Expatriates,” published in International Business, September 1995.

“Insuring U.S. Workers’ No Overseas Assignments,” published in Safe Workplace, Issue No. 2, Fall 1995.

“Take Offs & Landings,” Global Spirit, the Wall Street Journal Marketplace, 1996.

“Risk Management Services: Risk Managers’ World Expanding,” published in Business Insurance, March 17, 1997.

“Protecting Employees Across the Globe, published in Risk Management Magazine, November, 2009

Employment Practices Issues

“Office Gossip Can Hurt Your Company,” published in the Personnel News, October 1996.

“Gossip Grows As Risk Mgt. Issue,” published in National Underwriter, April 14, 1997.

Layoff Planning

“Laid Off, Laid Up,” published in Human Resource Executive, April 1996.

Long-Term Healthcare

“Issues for Long-Term Care Facilities,” published in the Aon Alliance Healthline, Vol. II No. 1, 1995.

Managed Care

“Injury Management: Employers Should Take Charge,” published in BNA’s Workers’ Compensation Report, April 16, 1991.

“Workers’ Compensation & Managed Care: How to Achieve Optimal Results,” published in Managed Employee Health Benefits, Spring 1993.

“The Parameters of Managed Care – Three Studies,” published in NCCI’s Managed Care in Workers’ Compensation: Current Practices and Considerations for Future Policy, October 1993.

“Communication Can Make or Break Most Comp Programs,” published in BNA’s Managed Care, June 20, 1994.

“Managed Care Called WC Weapon,” published in National Underwriter, Oct. 24, 1994.

“MCOs and Employers Share Liabilities,” published in F & G.

“HCOs Hope to Make Comp Work,” published in Business Insurance, Sept. 15, 1997.

“The Bottom Line of Workers’ Comp,” published in Case Review, Summer 1997.

“Auditing the Auditor,” published in Insurance Times, Sept. 3, 1996.

Product Liability

“Clear Product Instructions Safeguard Consumers & Manufacturers,” published in American Institute for Research Newsletter, Winter 1990.

Return to Work

“Many Happy Returns,” published in Risk & Insurance, November 1993.

“Return-to-Work Programs,” published in Best’s Underwriting Newsletter, December 1993.

“Simplifying the Return to Work Maze,” published in Risk Management, February 1995.

“Benefiting From Disability,” published in Risk & Insurance, March 1995.

“Return-to-Work Problems and the Unions,” published in Business Insurance, April 10, 1995.

“When Returning Workers Remember: It’s All Attitude,” published in Successful Job Accommodations Strategies, September 1995.

“Workers’ Comp Doesn’t Have to Injure Your Business” published in Boston Business Journal, Vol. 15, No. 38, November 3-9, 1995.

“RTW Program in the Unionized Co.” published in The Journal of Workers’ Compensation, Vol. 5, No. 3, Spring 1996.

“A Return-to-Work Program That You Manage,” published in Risk Management Advisor, Issue No. 309, September 1996.

“A Supervisor’s Wrong Words Could Hurt Your RTW Plan,” published in Successful Job Accommodation Strategies, Vol. 2, No. 3, July 1996.

“Are You Paying Your Injured Workers to Stay at Home?” published in Workers’ Compensation Update, January 1997.

“Ask the Experts, Making ‘Return to Work’ Work in a Unionized Facility,” published in Disability, Leave & Absence Reporter, February 1997.

“Coordinating Benefits Can Speed Injured Employees’ Return To Work,” published in Business Insurance, March 3, 1997.

“Effective Return-to-Work Programs Can Reduce your Workers’ Compensation Costs,” published in Business Insurance, Sept. 19, 2005.

“Effective Return to Work Program Development,” published in Business Insurance, July 2005.

“Before and After: Procedures for Injured Employees,” published in Best’s Review, December 2005.

“Local RX: Developing Return-To-Work Programs in Unionized Companies,” published in Risk Management, July/August, 2009

Safety

“Clearing Safety Committee Hurdles,” published in Business Insurance, Oct. 9, 1995.

“Incentive Plans Improve Safety,” published in Business Insurance, Oct. 9, 1995.

“Continental’s Costs Drop as Airline Revamps Safety, Comp Program, Stresses Prevention,” published in BNA WC Report, July 7, 1997.

“Safety Dance,” published in Treasury & Risk Management, September 1997.

Small-Business Strategies

“Keep Comp Costs Down,” published in Entrepreneur Magazine, November 2008

“Small Business and Workers’ Compensation: Help your customers reduce their workers compensation,” published in Professional Insurance Agents, June 2010.

Telephone Reporting

“Telephone Reporting May Not Resolve Employer Concerns: Decide
Which Reporting System Is Best For You,” published in CCH Workers’ Compensation Business Management, Issue No. 22, Aug. 22, 1994.

Training & Education

“Basic Training for Insurance Buyers at WC Boot Camp” published in National Underwriter, Sept. 12, 1994.

“Five-Day Program Offered to Help Comp Managers Hone Their Skills,” published in BNA’s Workers’ Compensation Report, Oct. 10, 1994.

“Comp Camp’ Focuses on Finding Solutions to Workers’ Comp Problems,” published in CCH Workers’ Compensation Business Management Guide, Nov. 14, 1994.

“Employers Get Educated on Cost Control at Workers’ Comp Camp,” published in Workers’ Compensation Claims Management, February 1995.

“Comp Camp,” published in Risk Management Magazine, May 1996.

Unions

“Labor Strikes Can Deliver Greater Workers’ Comp Risks,” published in Business Insurance, Aug. 25, 1997.

Workplace Trends

“Workplace Trends,” published in Insurance Times, May 27, 1997.

“Workers’ Compensation Consultant Predicts 1997 Work Trends,” published in CCH Workers’ Compensation, Winter 1997.

“Sooner Rather Than Later: In the Year 2020 Claim Control Will Begin Earlier in the Process,” published in WorkersCompensation.com, Aug. 27, 2010.

Speeches

“Las Vegas Bloggers Panel,” National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo, Las Vegas, Nov. 20-22, 2014.

“Leading Industry Blogger Panel 2014,” California Workers’ Compensation and Risk Conference, Dana Point, CA, Sept. 10-12, 2014.

“Cutting Edge Ideas for 2014,” Artex Annual Convention, Feb. 20, 2014, Orlando, FL.

“Hot Topics by Noted Bloggers and Latest Legal Reforms,” National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo, Las Vegas, Nov. 20-22, 2013.

“Hot Topics in Workers’ Compensation Bloggers Panel,” California Workers’ Compensation Coalition, Anaheim, CA, July 17-19, 2013.

“Legal Triage: Team-Based Early Case Management to Fast Track Claims,” National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo, Las Vegas, Nov. 7-9, 2012.

“Legal Triage and Hot Topics by Noted Bloggers,” National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo, Las Vegas, Nov. 7-9, 2012.

“Reducing Workers’ Compensation Key Cost Drivers,” Self-Insured Institute of America (SIIA) Workers Compensation Executive Forum, Charleston, SC, May 10-12, 2011.

“Workers’ Compensation Cost Containment,” Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) Annual Conference, Boston, May 19-28, 2010.

“Workers’ Compensation Cost Controls for Carriers,” Executive Summit 2nd Annual Executive Summit, Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CN, Feb 2-3, 2010.

“On-Site Rehabilitation and Return to Work Strategies,” Business Insurance Fifth Annual Workers’ Compensation Conference, Santa Monica, CA, Oct. 27-29, 1997.

“Workers’ Compensation Loopholes: Disincentives to Return to Work,” 17th Annual Workers’ Compensation & Occupational Medicine Seminar, Hyannis, MA, July 22-23, 1997.

“Workers’ Compensation Insurance,” American Insurance Institute and NAIB Video Training Program, 1997 Certification Series.

“Insurance Law: What Every Lawyer and Businessperson Needs to Know,” Practicing Law Institute (PLI), New York, May 19-20, 1997.

“Selecting, Hiring and Monitoring Third-Party Administrators,” Connecticut Business and Industry Association, Rocky Hill, CN, Jan. 25, 1996.

“Workers’ Compensation Loopholes,” Fourth Annual Workers’ Compensation & Disability Conference, Chicago, Nov. 16, 1995.

“Global Integrated Employee Benefits,” Institute of International Research, Amsterdam, June 22, 1995.

“Benchmarking to Develop Best Practices,” Annual Risk & Insurance Management Society’s (RIMS) Convention, San Francisco, April 24, 1995.

“Workers’ Compensation Managed Care,” Global Business Research Institute, Washington, D.C., June 8-10, 1994.

“Assessing Your Workers’ Compensation Program,” Printing, Publishing and Broadcasting Industry Group, Risk & Insurance Management Society Annual Convention, New Orleans, April 18, 1994.

“Litigation Management: File Reviews and Account Instructions,” the Corporate Bar, Greenwich, CN, Feb. 10, 1994.

“Maximize Your Workers’ Compensation Cost-Control Efforts,” Boston Chapter American Society of Safety Engineers, Boston, Nov. 9, 1993.

“Integrating TQM and Workers’ Compensation Control,” Second Annual Disability and Workers’ Compensation Management Conference, Chicago, Nov. 4, 1993.

“The Evolving Third-Party Administrative Process,” 5th Annual Insurance Forum, Chicago, Nov. 2, 1993.

“Workers’ Compensation Solutions in 1993,” Society of Institutional Investors, New York, Sept. 21, 1993.

“Connecticut Workers’ Compensation: The Management Control Process,” Corporate Bar Association, Greenwich, CN, Sept. 10, 1993.

“Workers’ Compensation Cost Control,” New Jersey American Society of Safety Engineers, Morristown, NJ, Sept. 9, 1993.

“Connecticut Workers’ Compensation,” Professional Education Systems, New Haven and Farmington, CN, Aug. 26 & 27, 1993.

“Injury Management: The Keys to Controlling Workers’ Compensation Claims,” Safety Executives of New York, Briarcliff Manor, NY, April 7, 1993.

“Managing Your Workers’ Compensation,” American Foundrymen’s Society, Pompano Beach, FL, Jan. 22, 1993.

“Fast-Track Liability Handling and Management,” Association of Business Products Manufacturers, Dec. 4, 1992.

“The State of Workers’ Compensation in Connecticut,” Televised Round Table Forum with Jessie Frankel, chairman, Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission; Angelo Dos Santos, Connecticut commissioner; John Bonnee III, Esq. and Rebecca Shafer. Cable TV – West Hartford, CN, Nov. 30, 1992.

“Managing Workplace Injuries,” New Jersey Risk & Insurance Management Society, New Brunswick, NJ, Nov. 17, 1992.

“Effective Management of Workers’ Compensation,” Southeastern Chapter of Risk & Insurance Management Society, Myrtle Beach, SC, Oct. 3, 1992.

“Workers’ Compensation Control,” Fourth Annual Governor’s Safety and Health Conference, Tampa, FL, Aug. 11 & 12, 1992.

Workers’ Compensation Loss Control,” American Society of Safety Engineers Annual Conference, Minneapolis, June 23, 1992.

“Controlling Workplace Costs,” Annual Risk Management Day Conference, Michigan RIMS, Detroit, March 18, 1992.

“Warnings, Instructions and New Regulations,” Westchester-Fairfield County Corporate Counsel Association, Stamford, CN, Nov. 21, 1991.

“Getting a Grip on Workers’ Compensation,” Institute of International Research, New York, Nov. 4 & 5, 1991.

“Reducing Your Workers’ Compensation 50%,” National Safety Council Annual Congress, New Orleans, Oct. 10, 1991.

“Workers’ Compensation: Reversing the Escalating Costs,” MAPI President’s Council, Washington, D.C., May 15, 1991.

“Workers’ Compensation Conference,” Manufacturer’s Alliance for Productivity & Innovation (MAPI), Washington, D.C., March 14, 1991.

“Aggressive Workers’ Compensation Cost Controls,” Risk & Insurance Management Society (Tennessee Chapter), Memphis, TN, March 14, 1991.

“Litigation Management: The Fast Track Defense,” Risk & Insurance Management Society (Colorado Chapter), Denver, Feb. 28, 1991.

“Workers’ Compensation Cost Containment,” Risk & Insurance Management Society (South Florida Chapter), Annual RM Day, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Feb. 27, 1991.

“Implementing a Corporate Workers’ Compensation Reduction Program,” RIMS Connecticut Valley Chapter Annual RM Day, Hartford, CN, Feb. 20, 1991.

“Injury Management — Taking Control of Workers’ Compensation,” North Carolina Industrial Commission, Greensboro, NC, Feb. 19, 1991.

“Preventive Maintenance — How to Avoid Product Liability Claims & Lawsuits,” Defense Research Institute (DRI), New Orleans, Feb. 15, 1991.

“Risk Management — Workers’ Compensation,” American Corporate Counsel Association (New England Chapter), Waltham, MA, Dec. 19, 1990.

“Litigation Management — The Fast Track Defense,” Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity & Innateness (MAPI), Sea Island, GA, Oct. 19, 1990.

“How to Control Workers’ Compensation Costs,” Risk & Insurance Management Society (Connecticut Valley Chapter), Hartford, CN, Oct. 17, 1990.

“Medical Cost Containment in Workers’ Compensation Costs,” Defense Research Institute (DRI), Boston, June 8, 1990.

“Workers; Compensation Total Cost Control,” New England Labor Counsel, York Harbor, Maine, May 18, 1990.

“Controlling Workers’ Compensation Costs,” Business Records Manufacturer’s Association President’s Council (BRMA), Chicago, May 10, 1990.

“Litigation Management: Fast-Track Defense,” Risk & Insurance Management Society (RIMS) 28th Annual Risk Management Conference, Boston, April 30 and May 1, 1990.

“Corporate Product Safety Management,” New Hampshire Bar Association, Manchester, NH, April 13, 1990.

“Total Workers’ Compensation Cost Containment,” Westchester-Fairfield County Corporate Counsel Association (Wesfacca), Stamford, CN, April 5, 1990.

“Workers’ Compensation Cost Control,” Machinery and Allied Products Institute (MAPI), Washington, D.C., Dec. 5, 1989.

Recent Articles by Rebecca Shafer

Stop Being Clueless About Workers’ Comp

Despite the brouhaha over the ProPublica articles that say companies are unfairly denying treatment to injured workers to save on costs, I still regard the high cost of workers’ compensation (for those companies that do have high costs) mostly as a management problem. The companies I see — which are the ones that have huge […]

How to Manage Legal Fees for Work Comp

Loss expenses are on the rise, at an alarming rate, according to California’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB). The California Workers Compensation — Aon Advisory Bulletin (July 2014) indicates that “allocated costs (mostly attorney payments) increased 7.3% in 2013. Unallocated costs increased 10.3%.” Given that legal costs are on the rise, here are nine […]

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