Unum worked closely with Tyson, a valued customer of more than 20 years, to build a disability absence management program that saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in the first year alone.
Tyson — a leading producer of chicken, beef and pork — provides employees with Unum disability and life insurance benefits. And with more than 100,000 employees, Tyson works closely with a team of dedicated Unum employees on a daily basis to manage its benefits.
Like many large companies, Tyson sees Unum as an extension of its own HR department. So when Tyson expressed a need for an internally managed short term disability program, Unum collaborated with the company to produce the right solution.
Because Tyson did not have a set claims process in place, its HR department had difficulty determining when employees on leave should return to work.
”Without clear guidelines to follow, many of our employees on short term disability ended up automatically rolled over to long term disability, without any type of follow-up or medical review,” explains K.T. Tucker, Tyson’s director of Group Health and Managed Care.
Unum’s health and productivity experts consulted with Tucker and Tyson’s short term disability adjuster. They analyzed Tyson’s claims statistics and absence management process — and created a customized absence management reporting program.
Unum worked with Tyson to manage reporting through the occupational disability guidelines (ODG) website. By teaming with Tyson’s Occupational Health team, Unum was able to offer managed care solutions — through case management, nationwide medical review and comprehensive information management.
“We then helped them develop the disability management process, apply the tools and staffing model to reduce those costs and improve the overall health and productivity in Tyson’s workforce,” explains Carol Davis, senior director of Health and Productivity Development.
Though Tyson expected to save $64,000 in the first year, the company actually realized a far more substantial savings of $230,000. Employees whose claims would have previously (unnecessarily) gone to long term disability are now able to return to work after short term disability has been exhausted. In the first year alone, Tyson saved 954 days — plus an additional 625 light, modified-duty days.
Though Tyson now manages its short term disability program internally, Unum works as a consultative partner to provide ongoing guidance and support.