Success Stories

Success Stories:  Organizations

Hospital sector

A hospital sector client with 10,000 employees implemented Cowan's Short-Term Adjudication process to assist them in controlling their absenteeism. The collective efforts resulted in the following:

  • A detailed process and procedure policy.
  • During the first year of implementation:
  • Decrease in the average of sick-day per employee from 15.5 to 10.2 which translates into a reduction of over 40,000 sick-leave hours compared to the same period the previous year.
  • The cost recovery ratio was at: 3:1
  • Reduction of absenteeism cost: 8.3%

Municipal Sector

A group of Municipalities with 600 employees and 15 collective agreements implemented Cowan's Early Intervention program due to increasing Long Term Disability (LTD) claims. The collective efforts resulted in the following:

  • A shortened duration of absence.
  • A facilitated return to work process.
  • LTD rates were reduced by 50% within two years.
  • Improved employee/employer relationship and a changed culture about disability entitlement.

Public Sector

A public sector client with 1,000 employees implemented Cowan's Early Intervention program due to high level of LTD claims and therefore increasing LTD premiums. Due to the LTD experience the insurer requested a 62% increase in LTD rates. The collective efforts resulted in the following:

  • Introduction of a managed early intervention program with the recognition of partial disability during the qualifying period lowered the LTD rate increase by 24%.
  • LTD rates were reduced by further 20% within the first few years of the implementation of the program.

Adhering to Cowan's program allows organizations to have their disability claims managed by a team of health care professionals who will review the information objectively and ensure that confidentiality is maintained. The outsourcing of these services allows employers to apply the same practice of referrals for all employees who are absent from work and not choosing who should be referred or who should provide information to support the absence.

Success Stories:  Individuals

Individual #1


Chris Jones, a 47 year old caregiver, was experiencing neck pain from surgery performed three years ago, making it difficult to perform his job duties. His family physician believed he might need further surgery, and told Chris to remain off work until a neurosurgeon could be consulted.

The waiting period for this appointment was three months.

Physiotherapy treatment couldn't be administered during the waiting period because Chris's condition was deemed unstable.

The Cowan Solution

Chris was referred to a Cowan case coordinator, who met with him to discuss his case history, and more importantly, to address any questions or concerns he might have regarding the management of his case. Over the course of this initial meeting, our case coordinator discovered the primary reason for Chris's inability to perform certain body tasks was based largely on his apprehension of another surgery. He was unwilling to risk certain positions in case it led to further damage to his neck.

The Cowan team immediately provided a business case to the employer outlining the need for an MRI in order to clarify the condition. Understanding the cost/benefit of an early return to work - the employer agreed to fund the MRI.

The Cowan team was able to facilitate the scheduling of an MRI, within a week, at a private clinic.

The results showed that no operable lesion was present and Chris was reassured that physiotherapy would allow for a modified return to work after only four weeks of absence. So, he returned to work.

Benefit to the organization

Chris Jones returned to work after four weeks of absence. This represents a full two month return before his original neurosurgical appointment.

The employee was reassured that he could work safely while continuing his physiotherapy treatments.

This case also demonstrated not only to the employee, but also the union and the client, that Cowan Insurance Group's intervention saved money for the organization and brought a medical issue to resolution.

Individual #2


Cowan provides preventative programs and services which enable and encourage employees to self-refer. These employees may not be absent from work, but recognize the need for medical intervention or illness occurs. One such referral involved Bill Right - a janitor with a weight issue and moderate knee problem.

The Cowan Solution

Recognizing that Bill's size greatly aggravated his knee condition, the Cowan case coordinator enrolled him in an exercise and weight loss program.

Benefit to Our Client

Within three months, Bill Right had lost 12 kilograms and his knee pain had decreased dramatically allowing him to perform all aspects of his job duties with little or no discomfort. This program allowed Bill to feel better about himself - boosting both his attendance and performance, thus avoiding an absence that may have been lengthy if he would have had to wait to see a specialist.

Note: We value the privacy of our clients and their employees. So, the names used in these stories are fictitious to protect the employees' identities.