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National HME Takes Safety Management To Heart, Improves Renewal Premium

Founded on the principle of understanding the needs of hospice patients, National HME delivers durable medical equipment in an industry that has no predictable schedules and requires 24/7 support. Having a compassionate heart when it comes to clients is a core value of the company. 

The company turned this focus to its own employees in 2012 when it engaged Cameron Jones, Sr. Vice President of HUB International as their insurance broker. "We experienced astronomic growth over the past five years and we realized that our employee safety program had not kept pace with that growth," said Taylor Enabnit, Vice President Administration, for National HME.

Founded in 2006 in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, the company has grown to over 400 employees and 40 service centers nationwide. With double-digit growth year-over-year, the company's main focus was growing the business and serving patients. However, along with rapid growth and success came an increase in workers' compensation and fleet losses which resulted in their insurance premiums more than doubling in 2012.  

Sixty days prior to their insurance renewal date, National HME awarded HUB their business.  Upon reviewing the loss data, Cameron engaged the services of the HUB Risk Services Division. "Our goal was to quickly provide the client a 'big picture' view of their entire safety management program and figure out where to focus resources to impact improvement in a short amount of time," Cameron said.

"The HUB team conducted a thorough loss analysis which was a big eye opener for us," Taylor said. "It helped us understand that the frequency of lower dollar claims was a big factor in driving our costs up."

HUB utilized its Fleet and Workers' Compensation Gap Analysis Tool to assess current practices, compare to leading practices, and give the client a better understanding of their safety culture, communication practices, and areas for improvement. Although a safety assessment is standard practice in many organizations, HUB didn't limit its assessment to regulatory compliance, facility inspections, and work place observations.

"We looked at the bigger picture and evaluated the overall safety culture and management of the safety process," said Win Williams, Vice President and Senior Risk Consultant, HUB International. "Our philosophy was that if key elements of the safety management system weren't in place, then the day-to-day implementation would likely not be as effective as we wanted it to be."

 As part of the Gap Analysis, HUB interviewed upper management, branch managers, fleet managers, supervisors, and hourly employees. They accompanied drivers on their deliveries and observed their working conditions. A total of 34 recommendations for improvement were made to improve the company's safety management program. 

National HME quickly implemented 20 of the 22 Workers' Compensation recommendations and 8 of the 12 Fleet recommendations. The remaining recommendations are also being implemented and are longer-term projects.

Quick results in a short time 

Eight months after performing the Fleet and Workers' Compensation Gap Analysis, claims volume slowed dramatically. HUB International was able to remarket the client's insurance at mid-term and convince the carrier to reduce their premiums. Additionally, their profits increased by $273,507 through an estimated 82% reduction of indirect costs.

 "The most important thing we did was to create awareness that safety needs to be an integral part of our company culture," said Taylor. "The new program was well received by our employees and it created a lot of good dialogue. Some of them even thanked us for caring about them."

"I'm glad we realized that we needed to improve the safety of our technicians in the field," Taylor said. "Ultimately, they need to take care of themselves so they can take of others, including their own families."

"Accidents and injuries are now viewed by our client as the exception and not the norm," said Cameron. "National HME made safety a priority - they took it to heart and they took it seriously."