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The Upland City Council on Monday appointed Los Angeles-based Keenan and Associates to provide workers’ compensation claims management for the city. The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports that the city will spend a little more in order to achieve long-term savings on administering workers’ compensation claims.

“Although the cost of the service will increase slightly by $19,000 from what we’re currently paying, we are going to realize an overall savings from this contract because of the way administrative review of bills is conducted,” said Stephanie Mendenhall, the city’s administrative services director. “So the overall savings will be realized in current budget that we’re proposing for the next fiscal year.”

City staff received six proposals for firms, three of which were reviewed by staff members before unanimously selecting Keenan and Associates. The council in April selected the same firm as its insurance broker of record.

Councilman Brendan Brandt asked Mendenhall to report back to the council within the year on the amount saved through the contract. “I understand there’s going to be slight increase in terms of the overall contract with a promise of increased savings through a variety of different factors including monitoring bills and stuff like that – aggressive resolution of claims,” he said. “I think I can vote in favor of this with the caveat you report back within the year as to the realization of those savings if those occur.”

The firm will make online training courses available to city staff in order to keep them up to date on California Occupational Safety Health standards. “We’re hoping that through training our employees and working together as a department and staff members, we can reduce the amount of claims we receive,” Mendenhall said. “That’s the plan. We’re hoping to engage our departments at all levels – departments heads, the managers, the employees.”