‘See Attached’ Is Best Way To Complete First Report of Injury

The employer’s first report of a possible accident can be a dangerous trap when dubious claims are being reported. This is due to the fact that first injury forms are not designed to capture the information necessary to make decisions which are critical in the first days following an accident report. The decisions can be triaged into categories: there has been a clearly compensable accident, there has not been a work related accident, there has been a report which requires further investigation. (The second, there has been no compensable accident, also requires further investigation to document reasons for an objection.)

 

 

 

First Report Often Lacks Depth And Quality Information

 

The reasons why the first report of injury is a dangerous place to stop can be illustrated by the well known true story of the coincidences involving the Titanic and a book, “Futility”, published in 1898, twelve years before the Titanic sank. The book described a large luxury passenger ship, the “Titan” which carried only half the number of lifeboats necessary to save all the passengers. It sank in the North Atlantic in April when it struck an iceberg 400 miles from Nova Scotia. More than half the passengers were lost. The ship’s speed was the same as the Titanic, the length the same, the tonnage the same. The book became well known as a nearly supernatural prediction of the sinking of the Titanic.

 

But readers will be disappointed with the book and find that the sinking is part of a brief episode which has nothing to do with the plot. The major story is the improbable survival and redemption of an alcoholic crew member who eventually marries his lost love.

 

 

Assist Your Adjuster By Including “See Attached”

 

Therefore, a first report should not be like a book review of “Futility”, exciting but completely misleading unless further material is provided. An insurance examiner reading a first report can be forgiven if they do not follow up on clues that are missing from the report. Most employers assume that after they complete the first report the carrier will do the rest. They usually will, but only if some interesting additional material is provided to get them started.

 

The best way for an employer to arouse healthy interest by the carrier is to insert “see attached” to the box which asks for a description of the accident. Nearly every first report forms assumes that the accident did occur and is work related. But the space provided on the forms is almost never large enough to accommodate the lengthy explanations required of non-compensable claims. “See attached” is employed to arouse interest and provide a place for the additional material.

 

What sort of material should be included? Alternate explanations of what did, or didn’t occur is a good place to start, with relevant documents attached. A list of possible witnesses is also advisable, but not witness statements. Statements are usually not nearly as precise as necessary and can lead to further confusion, which never helps an employer.

 

 

 

Document Where, When, and How an Incident Occurred

 

Documents are far better than witnesses, which is why they should be given priority. They attend hearings when requested and never change their stories, which is why judges and lawyers consider them troublesome and dangerous. Documents can come in many forms and the best ones pin down precisely where, and when, an incident did, or did not, occur. Employees have been known to place dates on their accident claims when the business was, in fact, closed. “Witnesses” are sometimes listed as being at the place of work when they were, in fact, in other countries. Exposure to dangerous chemicals is listed when no such chemicals were ever at the place of employment.

 

The above discrepancies can best be dealt with by attaching proper documents to the employer’s report and following up with a phone call to the carrier to make sure that the material is received and receiving the proper follow-up attention.

 

The best reports of injury are filled with facts, not suspense.

 

 

Author: Attorney Theodore Ronca is a practicing lawyer from Aquebogue, NY. He is a frequent writer and speaker, and has represented employers in the areas of workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, employee disability plans and subrogation for over 30 years. Attorney Ronca can be reached at 631-722-2100. medsearch7@optonline.net

 

©2014 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

Is Your Comp Medical Provider Brochure Complete?

If it seems like there is a never-ending trail of paperwork and computer files to go over, that is likely the case.

 

One of the many facets of running a business is looking out for your employees, especially there physical well-being. It is almost a given that some of them will suffer some sort of injury while under your employ. As a result, it is critical that you have plans in place to quickly and effectively treat them.

 

With that in mind, it is more than a good idea that you have in place a brochure for the doctors and clinics that will ultimately care for your injured workers.

 

Make sure these 10 items are part of the brochure:

 

  1. Company description – This can be brief, but should be an overview of what your business does;
  2. Company location – In the event the company is nearby, it doesn’t hurt to encourage provider visits;
  3. Company job descriptions – This is where you want to explain the original work that was undertaken;
  4. Company description for transitional duty program – In this arena, be sure to include the purpose behind and importance to your business;
  5. Company necessity for medical limitations/abilities on initial visit – Keep in mind that this is very important so that the claim does not turn into a lost-time claim;
  6. Company sample transitional duty job descriptions – Here is where you describe possible modifications and alternative positions as examples. Make sure you are clear to customize positions to fit whatever restrictions are in place;
  7. Company how-to-referral specialists – The goal here is to provide an easy process;
  8. Company procedure on paying bills – It is important to make sure the treating physicians know that their bills will be paid promptly and the procedures for such. In the event you offer extra pay for extended office visits, be sure to mention that. Instead of decreasing the bills, look at paying a little more to receive the quality care your employees’ need and is required to place them on transitional duty;
  9. Company medical advisor, RNs, PT, etc. on-site or on retainer. Doctors respond the fastest when contacted by fellow physicians. Best practice companies typically have in-house medical advisers or part-time contract medical advisers. Both prove cost-efficient. In addition to letting you to get accurate restrictions in a fast manner, establish causation (or not), having a medical advisor can also work to deter workers who may be trying to malinger or exaggerate said symptoms;
  10. Company contact info for Adjuster, Work Comp Manager, Medical Advisor -including phone, fax and email – Last but not least, companies need to avoid missing the chance to set the stage with the medical professionals that treat their workers. Up front planning can make the medical treatment portion of a claim much smoother and ultimately more effective.

 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact:RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 
Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Principal, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

©2014 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

SALES TO PAY FOR ACCIDENTS CALCULATOR:  http://reduceyourworkerscomp.com/sales-to-pay-for-accidents-calculator/

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:   http://reduceyourworkerscomp.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculators/

WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/

SUBSCRIBE: Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

 

 

 

Major Workplace Safety Conference Set for Sept. 24-25

The effort to protect workers nationwide continues in the Pacific Northwest, as Washington State will play host to a two-day safety event in late September.
One of the largest safety and health conferences in the nation is planned for Spokane next month, and registration is now open for the event.

 

The 63rd annual Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference takes place on Sept. 24-25 at the Spokane Convention Center.

 

The event is geared toward workers, employers and safety and health professionals. It brings together leading industry experts to deliver a program of cutting-edge education, examples of best practices, demonstrations and networking.

 

The Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Advisory Board and the Department of Labor & Industries sponsor the conference with support from industry partners.
Certified safety professional and motivational speaker Bruce Wilkinson will open the two-day meeting with a keynote presentation. He uses humor and enthusiasm to inspire audiences.

 

More than 60 Industry Workshops Slated

 

Featured conference events and activities include:

 

• Two days of 60-plus industry workshops
• Displays and product demonstrations by more than 80 exhibitors
• Electrical high-voltage demonstration
• 41st annual Pole-top Rescue Competition
• 17th annual Forklift Rodeo
• A pre-conference Occupational Safety and Health Administration course on accident investigation

 

A $160 advance registration fee covers the two-day conference, with special discounts for groups of five or more. Students in a college, university or trade program pay only $50.

 

The 2014 Governor’s Lifesaving Awards will be presented during a luncheon at the conference on Sept. 25. The awards recognize people whose heroic acts saved a life at work. The awards will be presented by KREM 2 news anchor Laura Papetti. People can attend the luncheon separately or as part of the conference. The luncheon costs $25.

 

To register, visit www.etouches.com/ehome/88023.

 

 

 

Author Kori Shafer-Stack, Editor, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in post-injury response procedures and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: kstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2014 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

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People Can Achieve Benefits By Investing In Thirty Minutes of Modest, Daily Activity

New research supports that it is never too late to begin an endurance training routine and benefit from it!

 

A study on men has found that “relatively intensive” endurance exercise provides heart benefits regardless of age when training begins. The exercise specific to this study was running or cycling.

 

Each participant was assessed before and after training, and the results revealed that, “despite biological changes with age, the heart still seems – even at the age of 40 – amenable to modification by endurance training. Starting at the age of 40 or older does not seem to impair the cardiac benefits.”

 

 

One need not be a marathon runner or an elite athlete to derive significant benefits from physical activity

 

The Surgeon General’s Report, a joint CDC/ACSM consensus statement, and a National Institutes of Health report agreed that benefits will generally occur by engaging in at least 30 minutes of modest activity on most—preferably all— days of the week.

 

Modest activity is defined as any activity that is similar in intensity to brisk walking at a rate of about 3 to 4 miles per hour.

 

Remember, moving is good for your heart at any age. A regular dose of physical activity can:

 

- Lower your resting heart rate

- Help manage your weight

- Reduce blood pressure

- Decrease LDL (think: “L” for lousy cholesterol)

- Increase HDL

- Increase your exercise tolerance (be able to do work with less fatigue)

- Increase in insulin sensitivity

 

 

 

Author: Heather Klaus, Medcor, Wellness Program Manager. Heather oversees Medcor’s internal wellness program for nearly 900 associates nationwide.  She also develops and supports wellness programs for Medcor clients.  Heather is a regular author and contributor to health and wellness blogs, videos and newsletters.  Heather holds a Bachelor’s in Science from Northern Illinois University in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a certified trainer, fitness instructor and Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant.  http://www.medcor.com.  Contact: heather.klaus@medcor.com

 

Alabama Employer Exposed Workers to Serious Hazards

For one Alabama business, penalties totaling just over $50,000 were the result of insufficient safety standards in the workplace.

 
An inspection initiated in June 2014 by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that workers at PJ Lumber Co. were exposed to falls, amputations and other hazards.

 
The company, which manufactures finished lumber products for resale, has been cited for 13 serious safety and health violations found at the company’s lumber mill on Stephens Road in Pritchard. Proposed penalties total $50,085.

 
“PJ Lumber has created an unacceptable work environment at this lumber mill and has shown a complete disregard for its workers’ health and safety,” said Joseph Roesler, director of OSHA’s Mobile Area Office. “Employees are subjected daily to multiple hazards, including electrocution, falls, hearing loss and dangerous, unguarded machine parts.”

 
The serious violations were cited for missing handrails on stairways, amputation hazards from exposed moving machinery parts and exposure to high noise levels without an effective hearing protection plan.

 

Written Procedures Not in Place

 
The employer failed to provide written procedures to prevent machinery startup during servicing and maintenance and failed to remove forklifts from use when in need of repair. The employer did not require employees to wear seat belts while operating forklifts.

 
A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

 
This company was previously inspected at the Pritchard lumber mill in 2001 and cited for machinery parts guarding, forklift safety and machinery energy control violations.

 
PJ Lumber employs approximately 151 workers. The company was given 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

 
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, fatal work injuries in Alabama accounted for 84 of the 4,383 fatal work injuries reported in 2012.

 

Additional details are available at http://bls.gov/iif/home.htm.

 

 

 

Author Kori Shafer-Stack, Editor, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in post-injury response procedures and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: kstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2014 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php

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Remember What Mama Taught You For Work Comp Claimant Success

Dealing with injured workers can create many challenges for claims professionals and defense attorneys.  These difficulties arise from a number of factors and are a reality of the adversarial workers’ compensation system.  It is important to remember this issue when dealing with claimants.  The following are some tips that can help your practice handle claims in an effective manner.

 

 

Remember the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated!

 

Put yourself in the shoes of an injured party for a minute.  They are experiencing not only physical pain, but there is a psychological component to the injury that is often not addressed during a claim.  When someone becomes injured, that person will likely have a decreased functional ability.  They are also dealing with loss of wages and possibility unpaid medical bills.  Treating that person how you want to be treated can pay dividends in the end, including when you are trying to settle the claim if a dispute arises.

 

 

Be a professional at all times—especially when the party is not represented by an attorney.

 

Like it or not, attorneys sometimes create more problems in the long term when they represent an injured party.  Numerous studies indicate that injured workers seek an attorney when they feel they are not being dealt with in an honest and professional manner.  While you have an ethical obligation to your employer and client, treating the injured worker professionally can be the first step resolving a claim.

 

 

Treat the injured person with dignity—especially during the course of litigation

 

It is important for attorneys to be mindful of how they come across to applicants during the course of litigation.  If an attorney represents the injured party, you should never talk to the claimant outside the presence of their attorney.  In instances where you are taking their deposition or recorded statement, be aware of the old saying: You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.  Always be respectful and stay calm, especially if the worker becomes combative.  If they happen to get upset, maintain your professionalism and do not “fight” with them.

 

 

Always be ethical during the course of a claim

 

Claim handlers should understand applicable company policies on how they are to deal with claimants.  They should also be aware of how to deal with them if they are represented and what matters are not to be discussed if their attorney is not present.  In the same regard, attorneys should also be mindful of rules governing their professional conduct.  This is especially important in how to deal with unrepresented claimants, witnesses and other third-persons.

 

 

Avoid Unfair Claims Practices

 

When working for or representing an insurance carrier, it is important to remember that you are also bound by the applicable state law governing claims practices.  Failure to comply with recognized standards can result in a bad faith action being brought against the carrier.  Some unfair claims practices include:

 

  1. Failure to thoroughly investigate;
  2. Exploiting the financial vulnerability of the policyholder;
  3. Making unreasonable demands on the policyholder during claims;
  4. Claims “extortion” – g. – accusing the policyholder, without reasonable basis, of wrongdoing; and
  5. Spoliation of evidence

 

Remember that participating and promoting unfair claims practices at a minimum can result in judicial sanctions, additional litigation and admissions against your interests.

 

 

Conclusion

 

The modern claims environment creates a tension that sometimes makes it difficult to resolve workers’ compensation claims in a timely manner.  Claims handlers and attorneys can be proactive in their approach when dealing with claimants to resolve these matters by following best practices in an ethical manner.

 

 

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Principal, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2014 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

SALES TO PAY FOR ACCIDENTS CALCULATOR:  http://reduceyourworkerscomp.com/sales-to-pay-for-accidents-calculator/

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:   http://reduceyourworkerscomp.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculators/

WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/

SUBSCRIBE: Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

 

Connecticut Reports Pair of Workers Comp Fraud Arrests

Officials in Connecticut recently came forward to announce a pair of arrests tied to workers compensation fraud.

 
In the first case, Richard Perry Jr., 54, of Torrington, was arrested and charged with Fraudulent Claim or Receipt of workers comp benefits.

 
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Perry collected more than $10,300 in benefits after he reported suffering a work-related injury in June 2013 while moving a 200-pound barrel of scrap metal while working at a scrap metal recycling business in Waterbury. He was subsequently observed working for a Torrington paving company while receiving total disability benefits, the warrant states.

 
Perry was arrested by Inspectors from the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office and released on a $5,000 non-surety bond.

 
The charges against Perry are merely allegations and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

Defendant Collected Comp, Failed to Provide Coverage

 
Meantime, a West Hartford man was arrested and charged with illegally collecting workers comp benefits from one company while working for his own business and also failing to provide comp coverage for employees of that business.

 
ManinderArora, 47, of West Hartford, was charged with one count each of workers comp fraud, failure to carry workers comp insurance and criminal attempt to commit larceny in the second degree. He faces a maximum possible sentence of 35 years of incarceration if convicted of all counts.

 
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Arora collected more than $11,600 in workers comp benefits as a result of a work-related injury he reported suffering while employed by Peapod Home Delivery of the Stop & Shop Supermarkets.

 
The investigation found that Arora owns five Liberty Tax Services franchises and was working for his business while collecting workers comp benefits for the reported injury, the warrant states.

 
The investigation further determined that Arora had failed to provide workers comp insurance coverage for employees of his tax services business as required by law, the warrant alleges.

 
Arora was arraigned at Hartford Superior Court, G.A. No. 14 where bond was set at $10,000 and he was ordered to turn in his passport.

 
The charges are merely allegations and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

 

 

Author Kori Shafer-Stack, Editor, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in post-injury response procedures and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: kstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2014 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/

SUBSCRIBE: Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Reducing Workers’ Compensation Costs through Managed Care

In the quest to reduce costs and maintain the quality of care an injured worker receives, managers of workers’ compensation programs seek the assistance of managed care programs.  By using managed care techniques, managers can provide quality medical services to injured workers, while at the same time promoting the objectives of their company.

 

 

What is a Managed Care?

 

The term “managed care” has been around in American society for quite some time.  In the 1970s, the term was coined as a concept to describe a methodology used to reduce the overall costs of health care benefits through organizations or techniques from organizations within the health care system.  At the core of any managed care program is the ability of a program such as workers’ compensation to finance and deliver services while at the same time meeting statutory requirements as set forth in law.

 

 

Managed Care through a Preferred Provider Organization

 

A Preferred Provider Organization or PPO is a type of managed care program that is similar to other network-based managed care program such as a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS) or Point Of Service (POS) program.  In the context of a PPO, in order to remain competitive, that organization must seek out medical facilities that will provide medical services at a discounted rate.  These medical facilities are able to offer such discounts based on the volume of clients and the number of people they serve.  While services are typically only offered at “preferred” medical facilities, the standard of care is the same based on the ethical obligations of medical providers.

 

 

Features and Advantages of PPOs

 

PPOs generally evaluate the need for ongoing care based on utilization review of medical services and care provided to an injured worker.  The use of utilization review examines the nature and extent of an injury and analyzes the care one typically would receive based on information collected over a long period of time.  The use of utilization review is especially important when it comes to the use of narcotic pain medications and diagnostic procedures that continue to be a driver of rising medical costs.

 

Unlike other forms of managed care, PPOs maintain their advantage as follows:

 

  1. Membership tends to provide substantial discounts for routine medical services;
  2. Networks create a number of options, including primary care doctors and specialists for injured workers to receive medical care and treatment;
  3. Treatment received outside a PPO network is generally not as expensive when compared to the same care received in other managed care formats;
  4. They have broader networks than HMOs and allow injured workers to receive care within a greater geographical area.  This is especially helpful to employers with workers in rural areas.

 

Conclusions

 

Although workers’ compensation claims in general have been in a decline for the last few years in the United States, employers and insurers are seeing a steady uptick in more severely injured persons.  As a result, effective workers’ compensation programs need to be creative in how they approach the complex claims environment to control costs, which is really the bottom line for any programs.  By using a Preferred Provider Organization, claims and risk management teams are able to address these issues without sacrificing the quality of care an injured worker receives.

 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact:RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 
Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Principal, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

©2014 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

SALES TO PAY FOR ACCIDENTS CALCULATOR:  http://reduceyourworkerscomp.com/sales-to-pay-for-accidents-calculator/

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:   http://reduceyourworkerscomp.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculators/

WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/

SUBSCRIBE: Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

 

Drop Seen in Injuries to Alberta Workers

Good news on the workplace safety front from one of Canada’s provinces.

 
The rate of Alberta workers being hurt on the job dropped in 2013, according to information provided by the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). In fact, the lost-time claim (LTC) rate is now at an all-time recorded low.

 
In addition, the disabling injury rate (DIR) dropped in some of Alberta’s key sectors last year: construction; manufacturing; and oil and gas development. The DIR combines information on workers who couldn’t work because of their injury or had their duties modified due to workplace injury or disease.

 
Despite safety improvements, there were 188 workplace fatalities in 2013. More than half of the fatalities resulted from occupational disease. In some cases, the worker may have been exposed to the disease decades ago.

 
While the rate of injury went down, the number of disabling injury claims rose slightly as Alberta’s workforce grew by 2.9 per cent to 2.1 million.

 
“I’m pleased to see a steady improvement in workplace safety. The hard work of industry, employers, workers, safety associations and government is paying off. That said, there are still far too many workplace deaths. I want all Alberta workers to get home safely at the end of the day,” said Kyle Fawcett, minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labor.

 
Highlights

 
• The LTC rate is now 1.34 per 100 person-years, an all-time recorded low. That’s down from 1.40 in 2012.
• The DIR decreased to 2.67 from 2.72 per 100 person-years in 2012.
• In 2013 there were 54,140 disabling injury claims, the combination of lost-time claims and modified work claims, and an increase of two percent from 53,081 claims in 2012.

 

 

 

Author Kori Shafer-Stack, Editor, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in post-injury response procedures and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: kstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2014 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/

SUBSCRIBE: Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Medical Treatment Guidelines In NY Open New Role For Employers

Medical treatment of NY comp claims was virtually unlimited two decades ago, but that has changed. Not all at once, but gradually and, with some proactive participation by employers, with opportunities for significant cost containment.

 

In prior years, there were no guidelines regarding medical treatment of NY comp claims. This was especially troublesome with old claims, which could be reopened at any time for almost any reason, or occasionally for no reason at all. However, perusing the Board’s new guidelines for treating flare ups of old injuries is like a person who has never played bridge trying to read the rules for the game. It is surely difficult for a medical office, and what will it be like for the injured workers.

 

Confusion, bottlenecks and uncertainty are the raw material for lawyer participation – UNLESS a bit of help is provided to the worker.

 

 

Uncertainty Will Quickly Grow Small Claims To Expensive Propositions

 

Employers with 100-200 employees rarely have even a dozen active claims in progress, and most of those will be for medical care. An employer who stays in active interaction with its claims will find that small claims stay small. But uncertainty will quickly grown the smallest claims into expensive propositions.

 

Therefore, the employer should be aware of measures which can keep the size of claims within reasonable limits.

 

 

Communication

 

The first is reaching out to persons with claims and ask if they are having problems. Be especially on the lookout for delays in payment of benefits or denials of medical care. Then call the carrier and ask for their version.  This type of communication will have a positive effect.

 

 

Going the Extra Mile

 

The second measure is to go to a Board office and review the Board electronic file for a claim that is being delayed. You will need a request to review the file signed by an officer of the business and notarized. Once it’s in the file, the file can be reviewed by the employer in the future as well. The employer should than call the carrier and inform it that the file has been reviewed and the employer has some questions. An employer going the extra mile will receive a much better reception by the carrier.

 

 

A Small Presence Can Make A Large Difference

 

The employer should then let the employee know that the employer has made efforts to limit further misunderstandings. Large employers are more likely to do these things but smaller employers seldom do. Even a small  presence will make large differences.

 

 

 

Author: Attorney Theodore Ronca is a practicing lawyer from Aquebogue, NY. He is a frequent writer and speaker, and has represented employers in the areas of workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, employee disability plans and subrogation for over 30 years. Attorney Ronca can be reached at 631-722-2100. medsearch7@optonline.net

 

©2014 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/

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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

 

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