May 2022 Newsletter – MTI America



May 2022 Newsletter

Issue: May 2022
HealthLink360 Newsletter

Book Club:
Crucial Conversations

Book Club: Crucial Conversations

Written by: Nikki Jackson, CPCU, ARM, CDMS

Nikki JacksonIt’s officially pool season in the Carolinas, which means I can be found poolside most weekends with a book in my face. The Alliance of Women in Workers’ Compensation is hosting a book club this quarter and one of the books is ‘Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High.’ This is a wildly popular book with over five million copies sold.  In the book, a crucial conversation is “a discussion between two or more people where (1) stakes are high, (2) opinions vary, and (3) emotions run strong (Patterson et al., 2012).”   By these definitions, if you work in the claims industry, you probably have a crucial conversation every day.  If you are on the front lines, helping people along their claims journey, you could have multiple crucial conversations in a day.  In chapter one, the authors explain we typically handle crucial conversations in one of three ways: avoid them, face them and handle them poorly, or face them and handle them well.  If we handle the crucial conversation poorly, many aspects of the claim can be affected and adversarial perceptions may develop.

These could be crucial conversations in a workers’ compensation claim if the elements above are true:

  • Denying a claim
  • Suspending or terminating indemnity and/or medical benefits
  • Asking an injured/ill worker to repay an overpayment
  • Discussing an injured/ill worker’s return-to-work
  • Asking about a second source of income
  • Discussing medical or RTW non-compliance
  • Engaging a medical resource to review a potential substance abuse problem
  • Discussing an unfavorable IME with the injured/ill worker or their employer
  • Discussing comorbidities and intervening injuries
  • And more…

Chapter two goes into an overview of how to face crucial conversations well. Through their research, they discovered people that handle crucial conversations well have a way of getting “all relevant information (from themselves and others) out into the open (Patterson et al., 2012)” through the course of dialogue and make it feel safe for participants to contribute. The remainder of the book explores helpful tools to create the right conditions for dialogue. I won’t give the entire book away, but I will say the first tool really struck a nerve and reinforces the use of the advocacy approach in claims.  The tool is “Start from the Heart” and it’s all about staying focused on what you really want. To do this, you must start with looking at yourself and your true motives. 

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Better Together: Blended Transportation Programs

Better Together: Blended Transportation Programs

Have you seen an increase in the number of missed, claims-related appointments lately? If so, you are not alone.



MTI America Employees SHINE

MTI America Employees SHINE

MTI America’s employees are passionate about what they do and we receive regular feedback about how their work positively impacts the lives of others.



June 8 - 10, 2022
California Coalition on Workers’ Compensation, CCWC
June 8 - 10, 2022
LCA 2022 Annual Educational Conference & Expo
June 19 - 21, 2022
GWCA 2022 Spring Conference
View All Events

In celebration of our 30th anniversary,
we tell stories of the past and are grateful for what we accomplished and proud to be where we are today. Check out how we are celebrating our anniversary.


Mental Health in the Workplace
and What Actions to Take?

Many people may be reluctant to share they suffer from a mental illness, especially in the workplace, for fear of judgment by others. Mental illnesses include anxiety, depression, phobias, obsessive-compulsive, alcoholism, drug addiction, and more. With nearly one in five adults suffering from mental illness, employers are encouraged to create a supportive environment with wellness programs and educational mental health resources.

The construction industry is one of the most susceptible to mental health issues. In March of 2022, at WCRI, Dan Allen, the Executive Director at Construction Industry Corporation said, “suicide rates are the highest they’ve ever been in the [construction] industry.”  A study done in 2020 found that 83% of construction workers have experienced a mental problem which is a leading cause of disability.

The construction industry is more prone to injuries for obvious reasons, but the concerns go beyond the job site. According to Allen, competition is fierce, profit margins are small, labor fraud is a huge problem, and everyone is under a great deal of stress. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), found mental illness costs the American economy $210 billion annually, with 50  percent of the cost endured by employers.

The impacts of mental illness are far-reaching and extend beyond construction to include all industries. According to the CDC, “mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act” and is important in all stages of life.

What Happens When Mental Health is not Addressed in the Workplace?

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