The Smallest Things Make the Biggest Impact In Work Comp Claims Prevention

A majority of work comp claims can be prevented. It would be hard to technically eliminate the total risk of them occurring, but it is possible to decrease the risk.  Oftentimes these are simple safety tasks to implement, not painstaking ones.  Risk managers and safety personnel can sometimes think too much about it, but simplest answer is often the most effective.

 

Slips, trip and fall injuries, and overexertion are responsible for the bulk of claims. Depending on the tasks performed on your work floor, this could be the bulk of a worker’s day from the start of the workweek to the end. 

 

 

Minor Changes Can Significantly Increase Safety

 

Preventing the most common injuries can be as simple as maintaining good housekeeping practices, and a few minor changes can significantly increase safety in the workplace and lower workers’ comp costs.

 

 

6 Tips to Reduce Common Injuries

 

For example, If you live in the Midwest or Northeast, many injuries each year are due to employees slipping on ice and snow.  In addition to that, no matter where you reside, employees can slip on water or grease spills, and also trip over objects, resulting in minor to severe injury.  Here are ways to reduce these risks:

 

  • Fix poor lighting in areas where injuries occur the most.

 

  • Keep floors and stairs clean and free of objects or debris.

 

  • Clean slippery surfaces regularly and make sure machinery is marked off so workers do not get clothing or laces caught up in moving objects.

 

  • Covers hoses and cords or run them out of the path of passing employs in walking areas or work benches.

 

  • Keep aisles clutter free and make sure any spills are promptly cleaned and a product such as Floor-Dry is used to soak up any remaining oils or liquid after a spill.

 

  • Repair uneven surfaces or cracks in your work floor to eliminate tripping or stumbling.

 

 

Overexertion Injuries

 

Overexertion injuries occur mainly due to lifting, pushing and pulling, bending and twisting, repetitive motion, and awkward postures.  Out of those risks, lifting and pushing/pulling tasks will be the cause for the majority of injuries. 

 

To move materials, think about utilizing:

 

  • Conveyers

 

  • Hoists

 

  • Lift-assist devices and equipment designed to reduce material handling and manual lifting.

 

  • Reduce the weight of the materials to be moved or break down pallets into smaller, more manageable loads that are easier on your employees.

 

 

Teach Employees Proper Lifting Techniques

 

Another effective alternative is to invest in teaching employees proper lifting techniques, such as “lifting with the legs and not the back,” or “bending the tool and not the wrist.”  These may seem like no-brainers, but these mottos need to constantly be ingrained in the minds of each employee you have working for you on your work floor.  It really can go a long way in preventing injury. 

 

Even something as simple as implementing a lift-limit, meaning that if material is over a certain weight, a worker has to go get another employee to help.  Install some discipline if a coworker is caught breaking the lifting rules. Even better is implementing a reward system, when another employee is observed helping another employee out.  A $10 gas card mean seem like nothing these days, but everyone loves getting some help at the gas pump, even if it is only $10. 

 

Other common-sense solutions include using handles to lift boxes when they are so equipped, reducing the frequency and distance of lifting and carrying, locating frequently used items as close to the body as possible to minimize reaching, and adding padding to tools that may need it.  These are simple ways that can reduce claims in the long run, and they are simple corrections to longstanding mechanisms of injury.

 

 

Summary

 

These are common sense ways to help reduce risk and injury in the workplace.  Workers face these risks every day, and you could be surprised at what suggestions your coworkers can supply if you ask them.  Reward ideas that you implement, and welcome feedback at any time, not just at the end of the year when you ask your employee.  Sometimes the simplest, most cost-effective answers are right under your nose. 

 

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices. Through these platforms he is in the trenches on a working together with clients to implement and define best practices, which allows him to continuously be at the forefront of innovation and thought leadership in workers’ compensation cost containment. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

 

©2016 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

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

 

7 Ways to Prevent Slips, Trips, and Falls

A common source of accidents in almost any work environment is the slip, trip, and fall. All three types of accidents have the same result where the employee’s feet leave and land on the floor or other surface. Often there is a combination of slip and fall or of trip and fall. The fortunate employee who trips and falls receives a few bruises. The unlucky employee receives one or more fractured bones, torn ligaments, or other soft tissue injury.

 

 

The fact is most slips, trips, and falls can be prevented through a combination of proper risk management by the employer and proper training of the employee on how to avoid accidents.  The employer can reduce or eliminate most of the accidents involving slips, trips and falls by using the following guidelines:

 

 

1) Using the most appropriate flooring materials

 

The flooring material chosen should not be selected based solely on cost or aesthetic issues. The flooring surface should be smooth, but not slippery. There ARE standards for the safest co-efficient of friction on surfaces, so make sure your surfaces meet these standards. It should not have joints, ridges or edges that are one fourth inch in height or greater. Any greater elevation changes than this present the opportunity for tripping. The floor material should be slip-resistant, meaning the material should not accommodate any sliding of the feet. This is especially true in restrooms, kitchen facilities, and at exterior entrances where rain, sleet or snow can be tracked inside the building.

 

 

2) Having the proper floor maintenance

 

Any damage done to the floor surface by the building settling, dropped items, wear and tear, or by movement of supplies or equipment should be promptly repaired. Frayed carpet or missing tile often leads to a slip and fall or a trip and fall. All flooring surfaces should be kept in a state of good repair (and that means no duct tape over a frayed seam as a repair). The uses of floor cleaners and waxes should be in accordance to the product specifications. A slip-resistant floor with an excessive coat of wax will lose it slip-resistant properties.

 

 

3) Having the proper housekeeping rules

 

All materials, supplies, equipment and tools should have their designated locations and the floor is never one of the locations. Litter, debris, and left over production waste should be removed promptly before it can become a slip or trip hazard. Any spills of any type should be immediately cleaned.

 

 

4) Marking and identifying all changes in elevation

 

There are more falls where the change in elevation is one step than there are where the change in elevation is a full set of steps from one floor to another. Whether one step or a dozen steps, the steps need to be properly marked. If the steps have the same color and the same floor covering as the adjacent floor, this is inviting trips and falls. The steps should be clearly marked, well lit, with an even width and height for every step, and be properly maintained. Properly maintained includes no frayed or broken edges, proper handrails, slip-resistant surface and no loose flooring material.

 

 

5) Maintaining the sidewalks and walkways

 

All sidewalks need to be smooth but not slippery.  Any damage to the sidewalk from settling, tree roots, or machinery traversing across the sidewalks should be repaired quickly. Any elevation change of a ¼ inch or higher needs to be clearly marked or corrected. Any accumulation of water from water sprinklers, rain, ice or snow needs to be removed before an accident can occur.

 

 

6) Maintaining parking garages and parking lots

 

A pothole in the parking lot can cause a lot more than a damaged hubcap or messing up the wheel alignment. The surface area of the parking lot or parking garage needs to smooth without ridges, edges or joints greater than ¼ inch to prevent trips and falls. Any potholes, broken pavement of other irregularities should be promptly repaired. Marked walk areas or sidewalks should be provided to reduce the potential for slips and trips. The parking area should be properly illuminated for night or bad weather use. Parking bumpers, speed bumps, and other potential trip hazards should be brightly painted to reduce the risk of trips.

 

 

7) Requiring proper footwear

 

If the employees are to be working in an area where there is occasionally water on the floor, spills or other causes of slippery conditions, the employer should require all employees to wear shoes designed with a skid resistant sole and heel.  A good rule of thumb is low heels and good tread on all work footwear.

 

 

By using good risk management techniques, the potential for slips, trips and falls can be greatly reduced. We recommend these safety tips be included in your safety program.

 

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices. Through these platforms he is in the trenches on a working together with clients to implement and define best practices, which allows him to continuously be at the forefront of innovation and thought leadership in workers’ compensation cost containment. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

 

©2016 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

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

 

Learn To Diagnose Your Diagnostic Test Diagnosis

When an injury fails to resolve within 4-8 weeks (sometimes sooner) physicians will likely order a diagnostic test to be performed.  The test will give them an inside look at what is going on structurally, and provide evidence to injury or pain generator, so they can focus care on resolving the issue.

 

Surprisingly enough, these tests are open to physician interpretation.  If the answer is not a clear silver bullet, such as a massive disc herniation or radically pinched nerve, you will see some difference in opinion on what could actually be wrong and how it is related to the work injury.

 

This is where the adjuster plays a key role.  Their relationship with a diagnostic provider or certain physicians can be what can swing a claim one way or another.  It can mean the difference if the injury is surgical or not, and even bigger, whether the claim and ongoing treatment is related to this work injury rather than an ongoing degenerative issue.

 

 

EMG Should Be Performed By Independent Physician

 

If a worker claims on occupational injury that was not traumatic in nature, chances are the injury was caused by repetitive motion within the course of their employment history.  After treating for a period of time and the worker has made no progress, the physician will likely perform an EMG to see what is going on.

 

Believe it or not, every doctor is not an EMG expert.  Even though they perform EMG tests and they make it a part of their regular practice, this doesn’t make them effective at interpreting the results.  It is typically not in your best interest to have the treating doctor performing the EMG.  A physician is in business to treat people. This is how they make money.  And by giving “positive” EMG results, this leads to possible surgery, more physical therapy, more treatment and overall more money for this doctor and for their practice.  We would like to think that all doctors are ethical and would do the right thing, but unfortunately this is not always the case.  If this is going on with your claim, the adjuster will likely get an outside opinion from another physician, likely one that is credentialed by the “American Association of Nueromuscular Medicine (AANEM). These physicians have strict criteria for performing EMGs and interpreting their results.  And since they have no financial interest in the overall treatment plan in the claim, they can give you an objective opinion without bias.

 

If the adjuster fails to obtain another opinion, and decides to go with the treating doctor’s opinion, this can lead to huge surgical costs and other medical costs that may not be related to this work injury.  This practice over time leads to thousands and thousands of dollars wasted by the insurance carrier or TPA, otherwise known as “Leakage.”  The worker puts themselves through possibly unnecessary surgery, rehab, medication, and so on.  Your adjuster should get a second opinion every time. It is better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to claims and surgical costs.

 

 

 

MRI More Difficult to Interpret

 

It is typically more difficult to interpret the results of an MRI.  If 20 people off the street that had no back pain took an MRI, many of them would have arthritis, bulging discs, herniated discs, and so on.  Just because these things are present on an MRI does not mean that they are pain generators, or that they are related to whatever work injury may have occurred.

 

A treating physician may or may not decide to interpret the MRI themselves.  Some will rely on the radiologist’s opinion, and just repeat the conclusion to the patient.  Others will ask to see the actual films, and they will draw their own conclusions, in addition to whatever the radiologist concluded.

 

 

Results Should Be Confirmed With Second Opinion

 

This can lead to an ethical treatment issue.  The key is the doctor relating a positive MRI back to the work injury.  This should not just be stated, they should be using objective medical evidence and the mechanism of injury to tie it together.  Even if this done properly, a good adjuster will obtain another opinion from a qualified physician or get the MRI read by another radiologist with credentials to interpret the results.  If you have ever viewed an MRI report, two radiologists can read the same films and one report may be three paragraphs, and the other may be three pages long.  This depends on the style of the radiologist. Your adjusters should have certain ones that they like and whose opinion they trust.

 

Despite the radiologist’s opinion, they will only read the MRI.  It is typically up to the surgeon to determine the cause of the injury. A radiologist may offer an opinion, but it is rarely a clear yes or no answer. There are too many variables involved since everyone’s body and function in day to day life is different.  It is up to the adjuster to work on the treating doctor, using thoughtful objective questions, to push him to make a decision on the causal relationship of the injury. If this correlation cannot be made, then by no means should a surgery proceed with authorization by the claims adjuster.

 

Failure to Obtain Causal Relation Statement Can Cost You

 

Failure to properly obtain a causal relation statement can yield thousands of dollars spent in error.  Once a surgery is performed, there is no taking it back.  Your worker had an invasive surgery performed, and medical complications are always a risk. In addition, a surgery doesn’t always mean a cure for all of ailments.  Significant leakage can occur if a positive MRI is not work related and your adjuster deems a claim, surgery, rehab, etc. compensable.  If the surgery was a multilevel spinal fusion, then you have medical cost leakage, wage leakage, vocational issues, further surgeries, and so on.

 

Before you authorize any surgery, take the time to get a few other opinions from not only qualified physicians, but qualified radiologists as well.  Most IME vendors and diagnostic providers will also have a radiologist on their roster, and this person can oftentimes be an overlooked resource. In the end, it could save you tens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds of thousands upon the lifetime of a particular claim.

 

 

Summary

 

Remember just because a person is a physician, it doesn’t make them automatically qualified to properly read and interpret diagnostic reports.  Unreliable interpretation of diagnostics can lead to costly results for you and the worker.  Communication with the worker at this point is critical.  The injured worker may know nothing about medical, and they are going on the advice of their treating doctor.  Facing a surgery or major injury is a scary thing, and you want to relay to the worker that you are taking the time to get all of these extra opinions for their benefit, not only for the overall compensability of the claim.

 

Some injured workers respond to this as “Doctor shopping until you can find one that will deny my claim” but this is not the truth.  Adjusters have to have a clear, concise answer to causal relation. My response to the “doctor shopping” question is to respond by saying that the worker is the one that has to undergo the surgery, the lost wages, the rehab, the medication, the travel time, and the overall stress of dealing with an injury.  Whether it is work related or not, I’m going to want to cover all of the bases so you get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

 

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices. Through these platforms he is in the trenches on a working together with clients to implement and define best practices, which allows him to continuously be at the forefront of innovation and thought leadership in workers’ compensation cost containment. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

 

©2016 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

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

 

Ingress/Egress: Issues of Compensability Outside The Normal Workday

Questions concerning compensability under any workers’ compensation act starts with a simple question.  Did the personal injury arise out of and occur in the course and scope of employment?

 

While it may seem very basic, the reality is there are many gray areas that lurk beneath the surface.  One such issue involves the “ingress and egress” of employees as they enter and leave the workplace.  This is a challenge the claims management team must master in order to be effective.

 

 

The Origins of Ingress/Egress Compensability

 

When dealing with these questions of whether a personal injury is “work-related” courts early on recognized that employees need to first enter the workplace on time in order to perform the necessary functions of their work duties.  The result of this was an acknowledgement that employer’s obligations under a workers’ compensation act sometimes start even before the workday begins.

 

It is important to remember that claims involving these matters are fact specific.  The result is members of the claims team need to investigate these issues on their own merits and sometimes consult with an attorney before they accept or deny primary liability.

 

 

Understanding Unique Scenarios

 

There are an infinite number of possibilities when it comes to the ingress and egress of an employee.  Here are some of the common situations that take place:

 

  • Beginning/Completion of a Work-Shift: Generally, employees are covered under a workers’ compensation act from the time they arrive on company property until the time they leave.  Injuries that occur during these times are generally compensable when they take place within a reasonable time before or after work in entryways/cloakrooms, bathrooms, parking lots and sidewalks on or near the company premises.

 

  • Unpaid Work/Rest Breaks: Just because an employee is not being paid, does not mean they are not covered under a workers’ compensation act.  Examples of compensable injuries include taking breaks on company premise and even when the employee is walking to a nearby restaurant or convenience store.  Most jurisdictions also recognize injuries that take place when employees are smoking cigarettes.

 

  • Traveling Employees: This type of employee should send fear down any claim handlers spine.  They typically receive “portal-to-portal” coverage, which means they are covered from the minute they leave until they return.  The possibilities for mischief are endless as they go out to eat, engage in the entertainment of clients and countless other activities not directly related to their work.

 

When determining issues of compensability for these types of injuries, courts will look at a number of factors.  The circumstances that generally lead to an injury being compensable are as follows:

 

  • If the injury occurs at a location that could be constructed as the employer’s workplace, or an area under their control; or

 

  • When the employee is furthering the interests of the employer or engaging in activities necessary for the human condition. Common examples are eating food, drinking a non-alcoholic refreshment or situations involving necessary bodily functions.

 

 

Other Factors to Consider

 

The doctrine of “special hazards” can sometimes serve as the lynchpin for whether a claim is compensable.  Examples of these hazards people encounter inside and outside the workplace are numerous.  A review of case law has noted many examples where people are struck by a batted baseball, stray bullets or assisting in the rescue of unknown third parties become compensable injuries.  In these instances, the courts will generally use a balancing test to determine compensability.  Issues examined under this test will often include whether the hazard is unique to the workplace itself or if its origins rest in risk the employee would encounter in everyday life.

 

 

 

Conclusions

 

All work-related injuries require members of the claims management team to conduct a diligent investigation.  In circumstances involving ingress/egress or other hazards they must redouble their efforts.  This includes knowing the law and in other cases, coordinating their efforts with appropriate legal counsel.

 

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices. Through these platforms he is in the trenches on a working together with clients to implement and define best practices, which allows him to continuously be at the forefront of innovation and thought leadership in workers’ compensation cost containment. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

 

©2016 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

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

 

Changing Hearts and Minds to Win the Battle Against Prescription Drug Abuse

The expansion of Medicare to include a prescription drug benefit has had varied results on the workers’ compensation system and compliance with the Medicare Secondary Payer Act.  While this expansion has assisted countless Medicare beneficiaries receive their necessary prescription drugs as an affordable price, it has come at a cost.  This is a setback in compounding the prescription drug epidemic and increasing the “cost” of a Medicare Set-aside allocation.

 

 

Prescription Drug Expansion in Medicare

 

The creation of the Medicare program in July 1965 allowed disabled and older Americans to receive affordable health care coverage.  While this was heralded as a step forward, the program lacked the ability of Medicare beneficiaries to receive an affordable prescription drug benefit.  Congress addressed this issue in 2006, when they expanded the Medicare program to include a Part D prescription drug benefit.  Under this new program, anyone who has coverage under Medicare Parts A or B (Traditional Medicare) is eligible for Part D.  This includes those receiving coverage under a Medicare Advantage Plan, which typically have Part D coverage as part of the plan.

 

Following the passages of the Part D program, CMS was quick to provide guidance on how Medicare Set-aside allocations should address this matter.  The result was a dramatic increase in the cost of such allocations given the increasing use of prescription drugs in injury treatment regimens.  Significant costs can also be incurred if the injured employee is using opioid-based prescription drugs.

 

 

Medicare Part D Adding to the Drug Epidemic

 

Prescription drugs abuse is dramatically increasing the cost of workers’ compensation claims.  An example of this impact is as follows:

 

  • $13,000: Average cost of a claim without opioids;
  • $39,000: Average cost of a claim with Percocet; and
  • $117,000: Average cost of a claim with long-acting OxyContin.

 

Under Part D guidelines, plan sponsors may in fact be fueling the prescription drug epidemic.  According to industry sources, it has been recommended that sponsors of Part D plans change dispensing guidelines in their plans for beneficiaries taking a 120 mg morphine equivalent daily dose.  This includes those beneficiaries who are using prescriptions for opioid-based prescriptions for more than 90 days.  Other factors that are leading to deadly results include people who are receiving their prescription medications from multiple prescribers and pharmacies.  The prolonged use of these prescription medications is not only expensive, but can result in addiction and negative health consequences.

 

In highlighting this problem, the National Alliance of Medicare Set-Aside Professionals (NAMAP) have become more engaged in educating stakeholders and advocating for change.  According to a recent statement from NAMSAP asked, “why do workers’ compensation MSA approvals often include future prescription allocations with Morphine Equivalent Dosages in excess of 120, 200, or even 500 per day, over the beneficiary’s full life expectancy?  And what message does a workers’ compensation MSA supporting these high opioid dosages over a patient’s entire life expectancy send to the addicted patient?”

 

 

Combatting the Epidemic: Being an Advocate for Change

 

No single law or rule that will end the opioid-based prescription drug problem in America and reduce workers’ compensation program costs.  Action instead must come from a demand for change in how we address the use of these prescription drugs within the system—to change the hearts and minds of policymakers.  It includes advocacy with the state and federal governments in how they view this matter when it comes to providing medical care and treatment to injured persons.

 

One important action comes in the form of allocations for opioid-based prescription medications in Medicare Set-aside allocations.  Under the current CMS rationale, medical care and treatment, including pharmacy related issues, must cover the life expectancy of the claimant.  This philosophy is not practical for a claimant using OxyContin or other related prescriptions.  By using Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) techniques, interested stakeholders must highlight the dangers of long-term opioid-based drug use and instead, promote their use for shorter periods.

 

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices. Through these platforms he is in the trenches on a working together with clients to implement and define best practices, which allows him to continuously be at the forefront of innovation and thought leadership in workers’ compensation cost containment. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

 

©2016 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

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

 

OLYMPIC Return To Work and Factors Causing Disability Extremes

Hello. Michael Stack here, Principal of Amaxx, founder of COMPClub and co-author of Your Ultimate Guide to Mastering Worker’s Comp Costs. Today I want to look at 2 extremes. One in the case of an Olympic return to work success, in comparison to a claim with the same injury that would cause a permanent disability and fall in the category of Workers’ Compensation of the 5% of claims that are causing 80% of the cost.

 

 

Identical Injury Can Cause Two Very Different Outcomes

 

Let’s take a look first at the success case. This was the story of Ellie Downie. She’s an Olympic gymnast on the Great Britain women’s gymnastics team. She was performing her floor exercise in the qualifying round, and through the course of her tumbling she over rotated and landed on the back of her neck. It looked like a very gruesome injury, but in true Olympic spirit Ellie tried to get up and continue her performance. She felt dizzy and had to leave the arena. I believe at that moment she believed that her Olympic dream was over. Only a few short hours later Ellie returned to the arena performed 2 vaults and helped Great Britain qualify for the team final.

 

In the Workers’ Compensation world we would qualify that as a tremendous return to work success following an injury. That’s the success story. There’s also a case where that same injury could lead to a permanent disability. ACOEM published a white paper called, “The Guide to Preventing Needless Work Disabilities.” In that paper they stated that only a small percentage of injuries actually by medical necessity need to be out of work. The vast majority of individuals who are injured can get back to work in some capacity, causing a much faster healing and recovering time. That’s the other extreme; the permanent disability side.

 

What are the elements that were involved in Ellie’s injury that she had over here that are not existent and maybe causing these problems that we can recognize in the Work Comp industry and then try to get ahead of those claims to prevent that small percentage of claims that cause the highest dollar amounts?

 

 

OLMYPIC Return To Work Success Factors

 

Let’s take a look at these factors that Ellie had. She had immediate medical attention. If you look at the footage here you can see that her training staff, the medical staff rushed to her aid. She had immediate medical attention. That was factor number 1. Factor number 2; she had tremendous support. She had support of her teammates, she had support of her family, she had support of her country, and she really had the support of the entire arena and the entire world that was watching that event, because we know the passion and preparation that goes into that and were rooting for her to get back to the arena. She had tremendous support. Third piece; she had personal skills. She was an Olympian. She had the Olympic spirit. She had the pain of training, the passion and dedication to get ready and prepare for that event. The same skills were able to let her handle the stress of that injury and have the motivation to get back to work.

 

 

Permanent Disability Factors

 

Now, the reality is when we’re watching the Olympic Games we realize that we’re not all Olympians and there are things that we can learn from that. Let’s take a look at this case where that same exact injury that happened to Ellie not in the context of the Olympics, but in the context of an everyday working Joe American. The same injury occurs and let’s look at what happens when these factors are not at play. Maybe that claim doesn’t get reported. Maybe the claim happens and that person feels like they’re a tough individual or maybe there’s some different elements at play in the workforce that they feel fearful to report the claim, so the claim goes unreported. There’s no medical attention at the time of injury. Both of these factors are not present; the claim is not reported and there’s no immediate medical attention.

 

 

Immediate Medical Attention

 

There was a story that was reported later that Ellie reported that she was actually a lot better than she thought, which allowed her to in order to come back to work, in order to perform that vault. That immediate medical attention, that fear, that anxiety that she felt even as an Olympian with all this stuff going for her, she still had that fear and anxiety that she would not be able to return. In the claim of a really standard American claim goes unreported that fear then accelerates; that anxiety accelerates and it’s not addressed in order to be able to get that injury going in the right direction.

 

 

Support

 

Next thing here; let’s take a look at support. I’m going to do this as transitional duty/work support and then family and friends. Ellie obviously had this in spades being an Olympian and having the support of her country and really of the entire world. From a transitional duty position maybe there’s no job available. Maybe someone at the employer has no injury response procedure. They had no communication plans in place. This person is left to be on their own and maybe they don’t have much family and maybe they don’t have many friends. These skills and the support system that enables an individual to recover and get back to work is nonexistent on this side.

 

 

Personal Skills

 

Then let’s talk about these personal skills and this motivation. Maybe this person doesn’t have this. Maybe there’s some depression, maybe there’s some anxiety, maybe there’s some psychiatric mental underlying mental conditions that are existent and present in this person’s life that are not addressed, that are left unnoticed. In this case tremendous system support, medical attention, and those personal skills in order to get back to work, in this case none of this is present. Leaving this claim now to be what could have been back to work in a matter of a few hours now leaves this person disabled for the rest of their life and now falls into that category of one of those a very small percentage of claims that cost the most amount of money years and years and becomes a permanent disability or a permanent partial disability claim costing hundreds of thousands of dollars that could have been prevented.

 

Prevent Needless Disability

 

When we look at this example, when we look at this case, and we look at both extremes of what was in play at that time of injury, putting these systems in place, getting those claims reported, having that transitional duty, putting that injury management process in place that I talk about on this blog, extraordinarily important to control your Workers’ Compensation cost and create the best Olympic outcomes.

 

Remember your success in Workers’ Compensation is defined by your integrity, So, be great!

 

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices. Through these platforms he is in the trenches on a working together with clients to implement and define best practices, which allows him to continuously be at the forefront of innovation and thought leadership in workers’ compensation cost containment. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

 

©2016 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

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

 

Survey Results: How The Heck Did You Land in Workers’ Comp?

Last week I sent out a survey and asked the question, How The Heck Did YOU End Up in Workers’ Comp?  The results were both enlightening and entertaining, and I found myself laughing out loud at a few of the comments.

 

In total there were 223 responses, and I think the results of this fun and informal survey give some perspective on the challenge our industry is facing attracting the millennial generation.

 

The reality is that the more things and generations change, the more they stay the same.  I read a statistic that eight out of 10 millennials are unfamiliar with insurance as a career path; and while that might be cause for alarm, according to this survey, you weren’t familiar with it either!  (that statistic was more general to insurance rather than just workers’ comp, but you get the point)

 

 

When you were in college, did you think you would be working in the workers’ compensation industry?

 

The first question in my survey asked: When you were in college, did you think you would be working in the workers’ compensation industry? 217 out of 223 people, or 97.31% said NO.

 

Yet, here we all are, with the vast majority of responses giving an indication that they really like what they do.

 

 

In one or two sentences, how did you end up in workers’ compensation?

 

The second question was an open text response asking: In one or two sentences, how did you end up in workers’ compensation?

 

The question and results may not live up to the rigors of a statistical analysis like a WCRI Study, but I broke the responses into 7 different category answers.  Here are the results:

 

  • I just needed or job, or a different job; there was an opening and I took it. (53 out of 216, 25%)
  • I was in a related field, and it turned into workers’ compensation (51 out of 216, 24%)
  • I was looking for a job and the skills required seemed to be a good fit for me (39 out of 216, 18%)
  • I was asked, volunteered, or was forced to take over workers’ comp at my company; or I grew into it internally (started in the mail room and worked up). (39 out of 216, 18%)
  • I was looking for a job and was interested in work comp because it paid well; or I was attracted to the opportunity of the industry (18 out of 216, 8%)
  • In college I got my degree, had an internship, or had a part time in a work comp related field. I stuck with it after graduation (11 out of 216, 5%)
  • I had my own work comp claim and / or wanted to make a difference (5 out of 216, 2%)

 

If you look at answers #2 & #3, which make up 42% of the responses; it was the background of the person’s skill set that lead them to be attracted to work comp, whether they had an existing job or were looking for one.  In fact, to a slightly lesser degree, the common thread through all the responses was that once we arrived here, we stuck because we liked the work.

 

While it certainly is important to embrace change and attract millennials by leveraging social media and offering flexible work schedules, opportunity for advancement, etc.  Let’s not forgot, workers comp may not have been our dream job while in college, and even though it could have been by accident, we all made it here and stay because we like the work.

 

Something tells me they are going to like it too…

 

 

Here are a few highlights to the question: How did you end up in workers’ compensation?

 

  • By accident. I went to another person’s interview because she did not want the job.
  • Practice interview…my first one out of college so I picked a field I didn’t care to be in! Loved the office and the people. It started me on my insurance journey.
  • Needed a job and the insurance folks were hiring when I got out of college…we were in a recession at the time
  • …Saw an ad for insurance consultant, applied- although I didn’t know what it was, got the job and the rest is history
  • …When they moved work comp to HR, I drew the short straw!!! Now I love it and it’s my specialty.
  • …My boss came into my office and asked me what I knew about WC. I said nothing, and she said well neither do I, here you go it’s your job now. Been in love ever since.
  • I needed a job and started working in the documentation center of a major w/comp carrier, not even fully understanding what comp was all about, and became curious about what the adjusters did back in the ‘pit’. Within a year I had my adjusting license and haven’t looked back.
  • A Risk Manager told me if I wanted to get into safety I should go to work for insurance company. I took a test for a claims adjusters job.  I had to look up what a claims adjuster was.  I passed the test and landed the job and have been loving workers’ compensation ever since
  • When I was around 22 years old, I thought the word “investigator” sounded cool
  • I was working in an Emergency Room and the local aerospace company brought in their employees to our ER. They routinely were doing CPR incorrectly, so I called the First Aid department at the company to talk to them about this issue.  They hired me to work in their First Aid Department and train all the first responders.
  • As various opportunities opened up, the path led here. It was not intentional or planned.

 

Read all of the responses below.

 

Workers’ Comp Newcomers Course

 

It’s fun to think back to when you were brand new in workers’ compensation, but you will also recall that it’s not very fun to have no idea what you are doing; particularly when your boss “volunteers” you to take over work comp.

 

I want to reminder about my new course: Workers’ Comp Newcomers – For Employers & Insurance Brokers that starts Monday, August 22nd.

 

This course dramatically accelerates the learning curve for those new to our industry.  Students who register for Workers’ Comp Newcomers will be equipped to make an immediate impact on workers’ comp costs in just 60 days.

 

 

Complete Survey Responses To Question: How Did You End Up In Workers’ Compensation?

 

I just needed or job, or a different job; there was an opening and I took it. (53 out of 216, 25%)

  • No jobs after law school, went to auto claims, 12 years went to finance project management hated it, looked for a job in claims and landed in Complete. A claims a claims a claim.
  • By accident. I went to another persons interview called company cause she did not want the job.
  • Through a strange confluence of events, I started my legal career in the GC Office of a property casualty insurer. (I went to law school to be a public defender. I have been representing WC insurers, and other lines as well, ever since.
  • I was out of work after being laid off in the mortgage industry and they (Sedgwick) found my resume posted and contacted me. At first I ignored them but they were persistent.
  • wanted to change from operations to account management when I got word of a job opening from a friend’s mom. I didn’t know a thing about work comp but 16 years later, here I am!
  • As an attorney looking for work, I didn’t know I was interviewing for an opening in workers comp. I was hired because I had trial experience.
  • recruited by insurance company from college.
  • After graduating with a degree in elementary education and securing certification and license to teach, I was unable to secure a position due to budget cuts. I proceeded to take every civil service test for which I qualified and landed at the NY State Insurance Fund.  Moved on to private carriers from there and never considered anything else after that.
  • Needed a job and the insurance folks were hiring when I got out of college…we were in a recession at the time (many, many years back).
  • needed a job. it was available
  • Graduated in ’09, and they were one of the few firms hiring
  • While working for the Federal Government, I was furloughed. While on unemployment I took tests for NYS and was offered a position by the State Fund.
  • Relocated to the Seattle area and went to a job fair. Aetna was looking for entry level employees to manage workers’ compensation claims.  I just kind of fell into this line of work.  Been in it for 25+ years now.
  • My friend told me about the company she worked for and said they had an opening. Before this I was paying medical bills for a health insurance company.
  • Shortly after graduating I found a job posting under “Degree Required”. At that point I figured why not and gave it a shot. That was over 30 years ago.
  • Needed a job, headhunter approached with claim trainee job
  • Referral from friend
  • Someone left our department and I wanted out of benefits, so applied and got it.
  • I was a Juvenile probation officer, no weapons allowed then, had a baby and changed professions. Answered ad for claim trainee.
  • Needed a job and my sister who was in wc claims told me of a company that had a trainee position open.
  • Saw a poster in a career support department about what degrees go where(my degree is in History), so I started to apply for various insurance jobs since I was not enjoying the work I was doing at the time.
  • The job market was tight after I got out of college. I ended up getting an insurance job because my father worked in the business. One thing led to another and I finally landed a WC adjuster trainee job. Fast forward – I have been working in the capacity of Director of Risk Management for the past 8 years. It has been a very rewarding career for me.
  • I graduated with a BA in Biblical Studies & got an interview with the WCIRB through an employment agency. I learned how to audit and later got hired by a carrier.
  • Could not find a Criminal Prosecution job after passing the CA State Bar, and the woman I sat next to in Bar Review asked me if I wanted to interview for a WC position she was leaving. After 24 years, we are both still in the field.
  • A friend told me about a job opening for a claims assistant. I was out of a job and majored in interior design at the time.
  • I was teaching in a daycare and my (now) husband told me about an ad in the paper for a local insurance company. The rest is history.
  • I had previously interned in another field & found out after graduation they were not hiring business majors. I had then received an offer for an adjuster position & thought I would try it out….30 years later here I am!
  • My first job after law school was with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board (at the time, I said “the who what”. Went to a firm and then founded my own firm and been handling cases ever since.
  • I relocated from New York to Florida and landed a temporary job as a credentialing coordinator at CorVel.
  • I was a Psych major at Northeastern in Boston and the only job I could get close to my home (for financial reasons in Palmer MA was at the Aetna in Springfield MA where I was introduced to the insurance claim world. Good company, steady job and I was good at it so I stayed!
  • Dissatisfied with career as purchasing agent, wanted a change, adjuster first, then on to current Manager position in WC
  • It was not an objective when I graduated in 1980 with a degree in teaching and couldn’t find a job. Eventually during the recession of the early 80’s I landed a position as an auto claims adjustor, just to start a career in a white collar field. I moved around to move up and eventually got into risk management. Claims has always been an aspect of my career, and workers comp has become a big part of that.
  • Government Educational Program for At Risk Youth I was working in lost funding, I was out of a job. Within the same company was an opening in Workers Comp.  I had absolutely no clue.  BUT 15 years later in the field I look back and see it was divine intervention – cuz now I’m hooked on WC!
  • I was in a sales position at a metal company. When they sold the company to a competitor, the majority of the sales and service staff were let go.  A former colleague of mine from the steel company recently started a sales position for a occupational medicine company told me I should send him my resume and he would pass it along.  The rest is history!
  • I interviewed at UGA for an underwriting position at Liberty Mutual. I did not even know what an underwriter was.
  • I am a nurse and needed to get out of direct patient care-lifting!
  • The economy was terrible when I graduated. Insurance was one of the few industries that offerred extensive training programs for new grads.
  • I needed a job at middle age and the civil service was hiring for worker comp adjusters for the state workers comp fund
  • Fell’ into career as insurance consultant- was an underwriter at Allstate, saw an ad for insurance consultant, applied- although I didn’t know what it was, got the job and the rest is history. I help clients purchase workers comp ins and manage their risk
  • In 1991 tired of working 12 hour shifts in the ER as the charge nurse and missing kid’s activites; looked in paper and saw a position advertised as a day job Mon-Fri 9-5. Been in differnt positions in WC ever since.
  • My mom sent out resumes to all kinds of different companies. I interviewed for a property job and called back nine months later for the WC position.  It was the first salaried job I was offered.
  • Got out of college and there were few jobs. Took an interview at insurance company because my mom encouraged me to and got the job. Started in liability and volunteered to cross train in workers comp. Totally unplanned.
  • I had been laid off from a hotel chain in West Hollywood in the late 90s. The insurance manager from that same company called me and asked if I wanted to learn about WC claims.  I said, “yes, of course…why not!!
  • Moved to a new city and a friend arranged a job for me processing medical only claims. The rest, as they say, is history.
  • It was the only insurance defense position that was available when I wanted to get the hell out of a crazy plaintiff’s practice.
  • While earning an undergraduate degree in psychology, I worked as a waitress at a popular restaurant. A regular customer told me I HAD to meet his wife, who happened to own a private Case Management company…
  • Employment agency called me about a job with a carrier, went to the interview and was hired, but at a ridiculously low salary and for really bad company. Then got back in it after trying other things as a Claims Administrator for a wrap-up program.
  • Job posting at college career center. I needed a job and figured I’d get a better when on graduation. That was 38 years ago.
  • I had just graduated from college and a guy at church said his company was hiring claims adjusters. I went and interviewed and had a job offer before I arrived home (before days of cell phones).
  • My mother went to a temporary agency looking for work and they placed her at a TPA. One day they needed help and she told me to apply and at that time I thought that workers’ compensation was only for people that died at work.  Boy was I wrong!
  • An Hr position I had worked had a minor aspect of WC. When I was laid off a friend introduced me to the WC Manager of another company who hired me as I had some experience in WC, It took off from there,
  • Someone told me there was an opening at The Hartford for a claim trainee. I applied and got the job!  27 years later I’m now a workers comp risk manager.
  • There was an opening and I needed a job.

 

 

I was in a related field, and it turned into workers’ compensation (51 out of 216, 24%)

  • Fell into a position with a personal lines insurance carrier 15 years ago. Eight years ago made the switch to a commercial lines carrier who primarily wrote WC
  • I started in nursing, moved to medical device companies (marketing and R&D), then to PBM with workers comp component, to managed care to Excess WC today.
  • I’m an attorney and was doing ERISA litigation. Part of the health plan work is subrogation – that led me to do subrogation in the Federal Government, which is part of the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act – and now I am the Deputy for the attorneys that support the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs at the Department of Labor.
  • I was working in an Emergency Room and the local aerospace company brought in their employees to our ER. They routinely were doing CPR incorrectly, so I called the First Aid department at the company to talk to them about this issue.  They hired me to work in their First Aid Department and train all the first responders.
  • Started as a temp in 1990 doing statistical data entry at the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, moved over to the claims side. Been at it ever since!
  • Started my career in a “safety” environment, proceeded to “risk” and ultimately ended up in what I became passionate about, WC.
  • The firm needed someone to assist the comp attorneys. At the time, it actually paid well.  So much for that!
  • The opportunity came along in the first few years of my physical therapy career and I found it challenging and interesting and after 40 years of practice, it continues to be.
  • Working in contract labor, ended up chasing fraud claimants 30 years ago… Now Risk Manager
  • Earned my BSN, injured my lumbar spine while lifting a patient. Left bedside nursing; obtained a position as a RN in a corporate industry with primary focus in Worker’s Compensation.  Earned my CCM, and began working as a RN independent consultant in WC.
  • Became a health researcher after University. Landed a job leading a government workers compensation health research team, and then slowly moved into workers compensation research working closely with a regulator and insurer in Australia.
  • As various opportunities opened up, the path led here. It was not intentional or planned.
  • Studied government affairs in college and spent a brief time working for a lobbyist. He knew a guy hiring for a public affairs person in the work comp industry and 18 years later, I’m still here.
  • Work for a medical provider that provides care for injured workers and their employers.
  • I was in an HR position at a company that had their own safety department – so outside of the occasional assistance I didn’t deal much with workers’ comp. I left that company and moved to an independent insurance agency that has a dedicated risk management team – so a majority of my position is assisting clients with workers’ comp. Not something I originally saw myself in but it was an easy transition coming from an HR background.
  • When I graduated from high school, I really wanted to prove to my parents that insurance people were not as “sly & slippery” as the used car salesmen (no offense intended), so I decided to major in insurance. While attending college, one of the instructors said that each student would be most successful and most happy with one area of insurance–be it underwriting, sales, or claims.  For some reason, I was really drawn to claims. After many years of working in the insurance industry, I was given the opportunity to adjuster workers’ compensation claims, and it was like someone lit a match and started a fire.  I’m addicted.
  • I began as a part timer while in college to become an RN. I helped with filing and data entry. I’ve since worked my way in to a WC specialist type position and handle all WC claims for our company of ~2500 employees.
  • Started in an Analyst role that was based on financial benchmarking and analysis, not specific to work comp, then migrated into specific Claims and Pricing analysis in just that line of business.
  • I changed fedral jobs after starting graduate business school.
  • Worked as an engineering intern for an insurance broker while in college. Stayed in the industry because each day was different and I got to see how everyone else made their money!
  • started in dental insurance then moved to construction then construction w/c
  • Natural progression from being an Occupational Health Nurse wanting to get into Case Management which led to W/C Claims Mgmt., then SI Admin and now W/C Supv for national carrier (Have kept the RN, CCM going and picked up an MBA along the way)
  • I got my bachelor’s in insurance and real estate and was looking for a job with State Farm. I ended up at Crawford & Co. interviewing and they offered to send me to their WC training school in Atlanta GA, and then I was placed in Fairfax, VA.  I had no idea what I was getting into, LOL.
  • I was a part of every job I have held, even just though a small part. It grew into being important to the survival of small companies to have resources who understood what it took to make WC work for you.
  • I did make a college decision to pursue insurance claims as a career. Getting into workers’ compensation was my employer’s choice.
  • I started in Loss Control and later became the risk manager for a municipality, where I’ve stayed.
  • I started working as a lawyer doing insurance defense for a firm that mainly defended auto claims.  I changed firms and started doing comp in the new firm.
  • I was promoted from a small office in Wichita,Ks(1979) to a large office in Houston, Tx . I was handling all-lines but as a part of the promotion I changed over to WC..  I am now a consultant for all lines.
  • I started my career as a manager trainee in a regional insurance carrier. I was away from workers’ compensation underwriting for many years while working in the casualty reinsurance industry, but found a position managing large workers’ compensation programs written through MGAs.
  • I work for one of the big brokers as a claim consultant and wc is a large component of the job. It was an accident involving an affinity for interpreting a foreign language such as insurance contracts.
  • When I transferred from working in a hospital to working for an industrial manufacturer, work comp and OSHA became part of my job duties as a nurse
  • I started working in disability claims reviewing individual policies and got offered a position in workers’ compensation claims
  • part of my responsibilities as a Risk Manager.
  • Took a job in safety in 2003, WC and MVA claims were part of the task load for commercial transportation co. I happened to be a great claims investigator, have an affinity for asking good questions, reducing claims, risk. Plus I was safety officer in 6th grade at recess!!! I’ve always said I’m wired for WC:), enjoy helping people, service oriented.
  • I am a registered nurse and I found a position as a field case manager, working w/ injured workers. Tired of traveling, I found a job with a WC carrier and I interview injured workers to determine the need for case management assignment.
  • RN, switched to manufacturing field, then transferred to physician office specifically to hand WC.
  • I was trained as a vocational counselor and made the switch from nonprofit to private rehab in WC
  • I transferred from the Emergency Department to Employee Health
  • Fell into occupational medicine after completing my family medicine residency by accident.
  • I fell into a job with a medical bill review company. I now serve as the Marketing Director for the leading WC litigation defense law firm in the Pacific NW.
  • a work comp case manager and I were in touch when I was a hospital case manager; she asked if I knew anyone who might be interested in a work comp NCM roll – the rest is history. That was in 1990.
  • I started out in GL and got promoted to a managerial position that included oversight of WC and GL.
  • Via the claim department file room, I was a file room clerk. Forty years later I am the Director of WC Claims for my company.
  • Nurse with manual handling training and experience with an employer who encouraged me into WC and RTWC position
  • Started my career as an RN which progressed to being certified in occupational health. As my career advanced workers compensation was a major responsibility and I enjoyed the combination of clinical, legal, and human resource services.
  • business insurance broker with W.C. in our bag of offerings.
  • Working in Ag….. Clients needed emergency response, etc. I gravitated to safety and risk.
  • Was hired to manage a PM&R practice that did WC on the side, and this has morphed into mostly WC.
  • I was hired by a medical device manufacturer as an insurance administrator in their risk management department and was introduced to workers compensation in 1975. While attending a monthly meeting of the local Risk & Insurance Management Society at which Minnesota’s WC statutes and system was discussed awakened me to the importance of understanding the law, the actors within the system and the cost impactors on both injured workers and employers.
  • My career started and personal lines, Evolved into commercial lines, then moved into Worker’s Compensation where a niche specialist can really make a difference to all parties
  • I applied for a Claims Trainee position and was crossed trained in all aspects of insurance. There was an opening in the WC department, so I was placed in that department. 26 years later, I am still involved in WC.

 

 

 

 

I was looking for a job and the skills required seemed to be a good fit for me (39 out of 216, 18%)

  • By accident. I completed my degree in sociology and had high dreams of helping out the world by studying cultural diversity and helping bring people together. Instead I needed a job and started working in the documentation center of a major w/comp carrier, not even fully understanding what comp was wall about, and became curious about what the adjusters did back in the ‘pit’. Within a year I had my adjusting license and haven’t looked back.  I do get to study cultural differences and I do hope that I help all parties come together with the sole purpose of returning the employee to productive and safe employment.  There are some who don’t want to work….we wean those out quickly and move back to the majority who do.  🙂
  • I was initially in social services, then went into processing health insurance claims. I got bored with that so moved in to work comp.  Psych background has been helpful.
  • I was hired by a insurance defense firm (with a large book of WC business) out of law school and liked the practice.
  • I searched for jobs in which I could work independantly and found a field adjuster position handling all lines. I chose WC because I could meet claimants in their work place or a clinic and it was safer.
  • I studied HR in college and accepted an internship in workers’ compensation which I had learned about in an HR 101 class.
  • I started marketing for a mono-line wc company and found out there was a lot to learn to be good at it.
  • I graduated with a degree in educational psychology, thinking I would become a school counsellor. Instead, I ended up using those skills for providing vocational testing for injured workers… And spent the next 30 yrs (and counting!) in the Workers Comp Industry. Who’d’ve guessed??!!
  • I accepted an entry level position with an insurance company and was aligned to the workers comp division. The rest as they say is history…
  • I started out Pre-med in college, had a lot of work experience in hospitals, so it seemed a natural course to take when I landed a job in HR with Fremont Comp. Transferred into claims in 1990 and the rest is history.
  • I had to quit a graduate program in speech pathology and became involved in WC because of my medical exposure
  • My parents owned an insurance agency and I swore I would never do insurance work. Still, my sister really liked her job as a State WC adjuster  so ~ because I admired her so much ~ at college graduation I took the first entry level adjuster State test that came up (100 miles from home) and got the job.
  • I was interviewing for an open position at a pharmaceutical and the HR Director told me I’d be better in another area and offered me a position in Risk Management. 26 years later…..
  • When I was around 22 years old, I thought the word “investigator” sounded cool
  • Soon after graduation form college in 1975, I secured a job with the State deaprtment of Labor’s division of Workers’ compensation. The position was suppose to be temporary. I stayed there for twelve years before moving on to private industry.
  • Looking for part time job when son was small and I was just out of college; Aetna Casualty & Surety claims office had opening. Was so impressed with the people and the company I went full time; still doing WC!
  • I was in a completely different line of work and did a favor for a friend who needed someone to ‘temp’ for just a week at what turned out to be the WC dept. of a Fortune 500 Company. 25 years later, I am still in WC, and now running the WC program for another Fortune 500.
  • A friend recommended I try Nurse Case Management, I did and here I am in an on again off again type of employment. I work in it for a while and when I am fed up with everyone I go back to management. Rinse and repeat!
  • I have a safety and security background, and was looking for a new opportunity to use my case management skills.
  • I was almost finished with college and wanted to have a “real” job (outside of being in the restaurant industry to pay for college tuition). I started out in a clerical position at a local TPA in NY supporting claims. I then moved into a med only position.Soon after, I held a lost time position in claims. I then became employed on the vendor side selling managed care services. I now hold an operations title for a national TPA.
  • The Risk Manager for Clorox told me if I wanted to get into safety I should go to work for insurance company. I took a test for a claims adjusters job.  I had to look up what a claims adjuster was.  I passed the text and landed the job and have been loving workers’ compensation ever since.  And I am not being sarcastic, at every “intro to workers’ comp training” I do, I ask who is new to insurance.  I explain why worker’s comp is fun.
  • I was interviewing with DAs and PDs because i wanted to do trial work—and one of them suggested i try workers’ comp.
  • Job searched using words: “investigation”, “research”, and “negotiate”… This turned up jobs in work comp insurance claims. This was 18 years ago. I am still loving my job at SFM – www.sfmic.com
  • Had been an Administration of Justice Major in college, but went into the military as an officer. Within months there was a RIF (reduction in force) because we won the Cold War.  Got into WC investigations shortly thereafter.
  • I was disillusioned with retail – marketing & management. Too many hours, not enough pay, weekend and holiday work. I was burnt out and tired of babysitting employees, filling in their hours when they could not show up for their shift. I quit. Took 3 months off and was encouraged (by my dad, the insurance guy) to apply for a medical claim adjuster job at a nationally known insurer, John Hancock. The office was a field office and handled national accounts; Trump Plaza, National Rodeo Clowns, FTD, etc. The claims and accounts were fun. Then a friend at JohnHancock gave me a tip on a job at a regional self-administrator of health benefits. He gave their recruiter my name. I got an interview and job in one day. Within 30 days, I was asked to interview for a new position of a claim adjuster for Work Comp. It was a start up department run by one man. I interviewed and within in a week was doing work comp claims and handling Granite City Steel in Granite City Ill. The rest is work comp history . I even worked for the Missouri Div of Work Comp as an auditor.
  • My very job in Insurance gave me the exposure to WC issues facing my then employer (types of injuries, claim costs, in and out of network providers of care to injured workers, third party claim administrator, healthcare networks, monopolistic states, regulatory reporting requirements for self-insured, self-administered claims, etc.).
  • Practice interview…my first one out of college so I picked a field I didn’t care to be in! Loved the office and the people. It started me on my insurance journey.  That was a retail job about 20yrs ago.  Worked in commercial retail, commercial underwriting, & when I heard about a job writing Sovereign Nation Work Comp I jumpled on it!!
  • I needed a job and had some insurance experience, and a W/C company needed someone like me in their area.
  • An acquaintance worked in the industry and suggested that I check it out.
  • I needed to do an internship. I was recruited by a regional case mgt company that needed a full time vocational rehabilitation counselor.  The job & internship was done concurrently.  It was a match made.  I’ve never looked back. No two days alike.
  • I had trouble finding a job after graduating from college. My mom is a RN and she was responsible for coordinating workers compensation benefits for her self-insured employer. The TPA that they were partnered with at the time was hiring and she referred me to them for a job interview. I was offered a good salary and was intrigued by the combination of medical, legal, customer service and investigative skills that required for a WC claims role. I’ve been in the industry for 18 years and I absolutely love my job!
  • I was already employed in another field altogether, but actively searching for a different job and my Dad saw an advertisement in the newspaper classifieds for a company near me that was hiring for an Assistant Claims Examiner to handle occupational disease claims and the description of the job looked like it fit my skill set, so I applied to the position to see what an Assistant Claims Examiner did. I was offered the job a day or so after and accepted.
  • Applied for an insurance company job in work comp because my prior job developer skills were similiar to the job placement skills used formerly in vocational rehabilitation. I got the job.
  • My college Professor suggested that I apply for a “Loss prevention” job.
  • A friend who is a GL adjuster suggested it as the sum of my experience in loss prevention, arbitration, writing, customer service and management.
  • Friend went to work in Ins. Loss Control. It sounded interesting so I did. Been in it 45 yrs., last 18 yrs. as Corp. LC Mgr. for WC Ins. Co. Enjoyed the ride!
  • My graduate school advisor thought I would enjoy and be good at WC, so he mentored me. He was right!
  • I had had agency experience and when I was looking for a job in a new city, one of our former marketing reps was with a company called EBI.  Their passion for eliminating accidents, taking care of injured workers and doing the right thing for all stakeholders was amazing.
  • 30 years ago I worked in a doctor’s office and sat next to the paralegal handling WC. Thought it was interesting and got training in it.
  • Because I was an EMT and could understand the doctor’s reports and with my HR degree I knew the business side and could design light duty/return to work.

 

 

 

I was asked, volunteered, or was forced to take over workers’ comp at my company; or I grew into it internally (started in the mail room and worked up). (39 out of 216, 18%)

 

  • The operations leaders felt that my personality fit the bill for a new department called Risk Management. The company was taking the responsibility away from HR. A 12.5 year career.
  • Approached to transition from medical case management
  • Working for a staffing agency, manager recognized my ability to handle and investigate claims.
  • Moved from workshop floor into safety management and then that progressed into WC as a risk manager.
  • Started as an all lines and wc outside adjuster. Promoted to supervision of multi lines/wc
  • I volunteered to help my boss the HR Director.
  • The legislation changed to employers being responsible for paying threshold limits – I was working in HR at the time and the newest member of the depth. Someone had to manage these latest changes so I was told I would be responsible for workers comp. 30 years later I am still working in workers comp and injury management.
  • My boss felt I was a good fit because I had an HR background.
  • I was working at a general practice law firm and one of the partners needed an associate to do Plaintiffs work comp. I did not know what it was but it allowed me to get a lot of court time as a young lawyer.  Now 16 years later I’m still doing it from the defense side though.
  • I was challenged to bring a group health management program to workers comp by a major carrier. I accepted the challenge
  • Took over father’s business
  • Fresh out of college, I applied for a position with an insurance company that I thought would be related to auditing / consulting with businesses and it turned out that it was typing invoices for premium audit. I declined to type invoices but they liked me and offered me a position in underwriting. I liked it and have stayed.
  • By helping to take some of the burden off my boss. He wasn’t really able to give it the attention it required.
  • I needed something to do and the firm needed help in the area of WC
  • The person doing the job was very unpleasant with the injured workers and the company decided they needed a change. They asked me to take over.  I have been the document control coordinator in the prototype engineering department.
  • I was working for a company that didn’t have any safety in place and they got an OSHA violation and the office manager and I both ended up doing safety and I eneded up doing WC. Not the company I work for now.
  • Working in HR and one day (20yrs ago) my boss came into my office and asked me what I knew about WC. I said nothing, and she said well neither do I, here you go its your job now. Been in love ever since.
  • The Benefits Manager left our company. I became the Payroll and Benefits Manager and then the person handling workers’ comp quit.
  • The company I worked for needed someone to do the OSHA log and various other safety items. Since it was a slow time of the year, I decided to take it on.  (I was in accounting full time).  Eventually the company needed to either hire a full time safety person or a full time accountant and they asked me which one I wanted.  Safety/work comp seemed to catch my interest and 18 years later I am still doing it.
  • Filled in for manager who was on a leave of absence and I am still “filling in” 9 years later.
  • Recruited from within the health care sector to transition into workers’ compensation (specifically a Medicaid PBM to a WC PBM).
  • I have a background in organizational development, and was asked to join this team in order to re-visit its workers’ comp program.
  • I was in the HR dept. Work comp was handled by the Finance dept.  When they moved work comp to HR, I drew the short straw!!!  Now I love it and it’s my specialty.
  • I had no choice I’m in HR.
  • It was giving to me because I was handling the GL claims and I had some CSR level experience in it.
  • I worked my way up from the mail room at a time when you could do that and you did not have to have a college education. I obtained my degree as I worked my way up.
  • Ha! I was injured at the hospital job and was stuck in the WCC system. I told everyone to go…well you know, took a night job, went back to college, interviewed for a sales asst job and on day one was told instead I was the new claims asst. Six mos later I was promoted.
  • got involved in safety and they added WC to my plate
  • I took on a position as the paralegal for our COO/general counsel and our HR department (of 1!) needed assistance. I took on the project because I was interested in WC law and its implications as well as to serve the company in that capacity.
  • Education, training and promotions within company from admin to HR.
  • Volunteered by the owner of the Company
  • Out of college I started as a Benefits Secretary and was given the task of working with our injured employees as part of my job duties to initiate their claims and process WC billing. I’ve now continued that task for the last 17 years as well as expanded the program.
  • I started as an EIT on a Bridge construction project in 1980. The GC needed a “Safety Guy” so, me being the “New Guy” got me the assignment. That evolved into claims making and management, and the rest, as they say, is history.
  • My company wanted to move WC from our safety dept to the HR dept. I work in HR compliance so they gave me the responsibility.
  • Our company created a Risk Department and I was chosen to run it, and within this new department is our Work Comp program. My career goal is to focus more in general risk management.
  • I started working at Wausau Insurance in the mail room at the age of 20. I was promoted over the years and was a WC Case Manager when I retired from Liberty Mutual after 35 yrs. I now work for an employer facilitating their WC injuries.
  • It was given to my boss and I, with the expectation from management was we would fail. They were wrong.
  • I was the bookkeeper/office manager for a small machine shop. We recieved a letter saying we were getting kicked out of group rating and were now penalty rated.  I was tasked with figuring out how to fix it. I learned work comp by trial by fire for four years in a small business. I then transitioned into employer consulting on the payor side for the past 14 years.
  • I was a Director of Case Management and the hospital decided to focus on Work comp and asked me to head up the program. That was almost 20 years ago.

 

 

 

I was looking for a job and was interested in work comp because it paid well; or I was attracted to the opportunity of the industry (18 out of 216, 8%)

  • Left law enforcement to work with dad. Didn’t pan out.  Saw ad for claim rep job.  Paid much better than I had earned as a police officer and skills aligned.
  • I was making peanuts in my first job when a friend called and said her insurance company was looking for claim trainees and paying $28k a year to start. In 1992, that was a great starting salary, so I accepted an offer and have been in the industry ever since!
  • Former English teacher, offered an opportunity to enter the P/C Ins. Industry w/ CNA in 1980. Received the best training program in Insurance at that time. 5 years later went to AIG and grew substantially.
  • new venture opportunity– consulting service to employers facing rising WC costs in late 1980s and insurers unresponsive
  • The insurance industry is so backward and the mistakes are over the top. Even today the claims system is from mid evil times exactly the same as health insurance
  • Seized on an Opportunity
  • I am a structured settlement consultant. When I looked at the market analysis for my area, it was obvious that workers’ compensation is a good area for me because structured settlements save a lot of money for insurers on MSA’s and also on indemnity settlements too.  I love understanding the laws in different states and being able to add value to settlements.
  • developed technology that can age and dx soft tissue injuries which everyone said was needed in comp didnt design it for comp but thats where it had a big imoact
  • HR posted for a HR technician to handle w/c, liability & benefits. Posting did not require prior WC experience. I applied, interviewed & was offered the job.
  • great job opportunity with ownership coming out of consulting firm doing turnaround work
  • Applied and it paid well then enjoyed the industry
  • I originally chose this line of coverage as a lead in to meet new clients. The California system was so confusing for my customers, I decided to focus on fixing their problems with it.
  • Providing physical therapy to a wide variety of patients in an outpatient clinic and private practice. In general, the workers’ comp patient population proved to be a bigger challenge due to delayed recovery as the result of failures on all sides of the claim.  I chose to move my practice specialization from treating patients to focus on functional testing, job analysis, and ergonomics to help provide employers with more objective data regarding proper job placement for hiring and return to work.
  • I working in practice management for a large multi-specialty clinic as a business development administrator. We decided to add occupational medicine as our 22nd specialty and recruited an occmed physician to start a new division.  Spent 12 years building 900 employer relationships and added 5 physicians, midlevels, work hardening, OT and PT programs for neuroscience division.  Very successful in the 90s and on.
  • Made a decision one day that work comp was a more lasting profession as disability was a benefit and employers could take that away at any time. As a nurse this has worked quite well for me.
  • I found out accidentally that w/c is paying for compound prescription drugs. And in light of opioid epidemic, our company is convincing the doctors implement trans-dermal pain creams for their patients.
  • I got a job with a law firm that represented injured workers and loved the work. David v Golitha–fighting for the little guy etc.  Pays well also.
  • Went to college for an Accredited Record Technician, landed a job in medical records at local hospital, friend told me about a billing job at General Care Review (Genex). Took the job as it seemed more interesting, and the pay was better. 27 years later, I suppose this is my career.

 

 

 

In college I got my degree, had an internship, or had a part time job in a work comp related field. I stuck with it after graduation (11 out of 216, 5%)

  • My degree was in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling and I interned at a VR Company working with injured employee’s. I was hired full time and then transitioned to where I’m at now.
  • I majored in marketing & management at the University of Cincinnati and accepted a cooperative education position with a TPA during my junior year. And the rest, as they say, is history.
  • My father was a W/C defense lawyer and I became his associate when the associate quit.
  • Interned for Judge Cohn at the Agoura WCAB, then got my first temp job in work comp after law school
  • Going to college and needed part-time job. Started with carrier-owned TPA which was growing in mid-1990’s.
  • While in school, I was looking for part time work. At the time, I had a relative who worked for State Fund.  She told me there was an opening for a part time student assistant in Underwriting.  That was almost 24 years ago!
  • While in college part time, I got a job answering phones at a WC office and worked my way up, but ended up never finishing college.
  • Applied for a reception job in an office while still in college
  • My college and graduate studies were in occupational safety and Wauaus Insurance hired me.
  • Had internship with current employer
  • Hired to do Vocational Case Management in 1989 after receiving a Masters degree in Vocational Rehabilitation

 

 

 

I had my own work comp claim and / or wanted to make a difference (5 out of 216, 2%)

  • I had my own W/C claim & knew I wasn’t getting treated fairly. I wanted to learn about what my entitlement was and I didn’t want to see others treated as unfairly as I was, because I lacked the knowledge. If I only knew then what I knew now… 😉
  • My father injured his back and I helped him navigate the WC system.
  • My ex had a brain injury covered under workers comp (didn’t know about it then). Shortly after I was offered a temp role in it and figured it sounded good.
  • My interest in working as a vocational expert
  • Because I wanted to represent working people.

 

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices. Through these platforms he is in the trenches on a working together with clients to implement and define best practices, which allows him to continuously be at the forefront of innovation and thought leadership in workers’ compensation cost containment. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

 

©2016 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

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

 

Understanding Artificial Disc Technology In Your Claim

Medical technology is changing medical care and treatment injured workers receive.  One of these areas is in the field of back injury care.  This includes the use of spinal fusion surgery and artificial disc replacements.

 

 

The Changing Landscape of Back Injury Care

 

The spinal cord is the core of a person’s central nervous system.  It is composed of a series of parts that starts at the medulla oblongata near one’s brain and extends to the coccyx, otherwise known as the tailbone.  It contains a number of bones, which are called “vertebrae.”  Material referred to as “discs, which serves as a cushion between each vertebrae.  Injury to one’s spinal cord can result in damage to these discs, which include nerve root impingement and misalignment of the vertebrae.

 

Traditional surgical procedures involving the spinal cord and discs include fusion surgery.  When this procedure is performed, hardware is affixed to adjoining vertebrae to reduce the impingement of nerves.  While this procedure is often effective, the downside is it will decrease motion within the spinal column.

 

To address this downside, medical device manufactures have created artificial disc technology.  The use of this procedure, commonly referred to as an “intervertebral disc arthroplasty,” eliminates the need for a fusion surgery by providing the same benefits as a fusion, but without the loss of motion in the spine.

 

 

How Does this Affect My Claim?

 

There are a number of pros and cons associated with the use of artificial disc technology.  Claims handlers working on files that involve such procedures require caution.

 

  • Pros related to artificial disc technology:
    • Quicker healing times and possible return to work;
    • Less loss of motion following surgery, which can reduce exposure for claims related to Permanent Partial Disability; and
    • Increased satisfaction with post-surgical results.

 

  • Cons related to artificial disc technology:
    • Evolving technology that sometimes does not have a consistent result;
    • Hardware failure can be catastrophic; and
    • Varied surgical costs that can be more expensive from traditional spinal fusion procedures.

 

 

Defending Cases that Involve Artificial Disc Replacements

 

There is a growing body of case law dealing with the reasonableness and necessity of artificial disc replacement requests across the country.  Several years ago, this advance in medical technology was rarely considered and viewed by many as questionable even though it was being used with increasing frequency outside the United States.  The FDA has been reviewing these procedures and they are gaining acceptance in domestic medical treatment.  The result is more injured workers opting for an artificial disc replacement following a severe back injury.

 

Important issues to consider when analyzing these cases from a claim management standpoint include:

 

  • The prior medical history of the claimant and their response to surgical requests. The prior use of cigarettes and tobacco products is another important matter to consider.  Patients who have used or are currently using these products have a well-documented poor response when recovering;

 

  • The potential medical costs of artificial disc procedures compared to spinal fusions. Medical technology is constantly changing.  So are the costs of these medical procedures.  As the technology develops and becomes cheaper, it may be more difficult for insurance carriers to argue the standard approach of fusion surgeries is appropriate; and

 

  • Interested stakeholders would also consider the expertise of their independent medical examiner when defending a case where use of an artificial disc replacement could be an issue. It is well documented that a compensation judge may ultimately accept one expert’s opinion over another if they have a background in this area, or at least the proper foundation and scientific knowledge to give a credible opinion.

 

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices. Through these platforms he is in the trenches on a working together with clients to implement and define best practices, which allows him to continuously be at the forefront of innovation and thought leadership in workers’ compensation cost containment. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

 

©2016 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

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

 

Getting to Yes: Using Mediation in Work Comp

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) tools such as mediation is gaining acceptance in workers’ compensation.  This is due to the many benefits it provides and allows all interested stakeholders to have an active role in the process.  It is also an important tool to reduce exposure in cases and allow the claims management team to concentrate their workload.

 

 

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

 

ADR is a non-judicial settlement process popularized in civil litigation claims that uses third parties to assist litigants to discuss the merits of their cases, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses and reach a resolution without going to hearing or trial.  Attorneys have found the practice useful and brought this concept to workers’ compensation to resolve cases.

 

 

How Does It Work?

 

There are a number of different ADR processes in workers’ compensation.  One of the most popular forms is mediation.  In this undertaking, a neutral third party meets with each party either individually or together to discuss the merits of a claim.  Other discussions revolve around the strength of an employee’s claim for benefits and the validity of defenses.  Dialogue can also occur around the proper calculation of the employee’s average weekly wage, indemnity benefit exposure and need for future medical care and treatment, or other vocational rehabilitation services.  Part of these discussions can include the closure of various future benefits, the payment of attorney’s fees and issues concerning Medicare Secondary Payer compliance.

 

The goal is to reach a settlement where everyone has a “win.”

 

 

 

Preparing for a Successful Mediation

 

A successful mediation starts with the selection of a mediator.  Once this takes place, an agreeable time/location for the mediation needs to occur.  There should also be an agreement on how long the mediation should take place.

 

All attorneys, members of the claim management team and the employee play an important role for a successful mediation.

 

  • Defense attorneys: It is important to evaluate the dollar value of a workers’ compensation claim prior to mediation.  This information should be communicated to the claims handler.  It is important to discuss mediation expectations and receive settlement authority prior to the mediation.

 

  • Claims handler: Attendance at the mediation is never required, but may be recommended in most instances.  If the claim handler cannot attend, it is important to be available to discuss the case progress with the defense attorney and extend additional authority as needed.

 

  • Petitioner Attorney: This attorney must also set realistic settlement expectations prior to mediation.  The strength and weaknesses of the claim should be discussed and memorialized in a letter to the injured party.  The submission of an initial settlement demand should occur at least one week before mediation.

 

  • Injured Worker: Attendance at the mediation by this party is compulsory.  This will allow the employee to be involved in the process.  In most instances, the neutral mediator may also have questions for the employee while in the presence of their attorney.

 

 

Other Important Mediation Practice Pointers

 

Prior to any mediation, it is also important that both sides submit a cover letter to the mediator.  This letter should be marked as confidential and outline several important points about the claim:

 

  • Relevant background information on the claimant, the claims for workers’ compensation benefits and other legal issues;

 

  • A brief statement concerning the actual work injury, treatment history and current medical status of the employee. Pertinent vocational rehabilitation information should be included depending on the nature of the claim.  Medical and rehabilitation records can also be attached as part of the initial cover letter; and

 

  • Information regarding prior settlement discussions, case valuations and settlement expectations.

 

Conclusions

 

ADR techniques such as mediation play an important role in settling workers’ compensation claims.  While it requires preparing by all parties, it can be used to resolve all types of cases and reach cost-saving results.

 

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices. Through these platforms he is in the trenches on a working together with clients to implement and define best practices, which allows him to continuously be at the forefront of innovation and thought leadership in workers’ compensation cost containment. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

 

©2016 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

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

 

How The Heck Did You End Up In Workers Comp?

So, how the heck did you land in workers’ comp? I’m just going to guess and say it probably isn’t something you dreamed about as a kid.

 

One of the challenges we are facing as an industry is how to attract the millennial generation. If none of us dreamed of being here, how did we all end up here? If we can understand where we’ve been it may help us understand where we are going.

 

Answer this short survey to share your experience https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5WLRGKG. I’ll publish the results next week.

 

For me, I studied accounting and computer information systems at Indiana University. I’m not sure I even knew that workers’ compensation existed. When I first got started working with Becki Shafer (she is my wife’s Aunt – http://tinyurl.com/hfjxtle) doing research and small projects, my thought was “sure, I’ll help you out with some projects to make a couple extra bucks, but I’ve already got things figured out with my career path”.

 

 

We Never Know What Journey Our Career Will Take

 

Of course, we never know what journey our careers are going to take. The more I worked with Becki the more I liked it and found it made a lot of sense to me. Working with Becki, the projects and responsibility of working with employers on cost containment best practices continued to grow and it wasn’t too long until I decided that workers’ compensation was the perfect career for me.

 

 

To the outside world it’s an industry that seems completely foreign with a different language and an interesting dynamic of stakeholders. Once you start working in this industry it takes a while to figure things out. Becki was, and continues to be, a tremendous mentor for me. Without her help, teaching, and guidance, my career and interest in workers’ compensation would have started and stopped quickly.

 

 

What we do in this industry is incredibly important. We make an impact on the lives of individuals at a time when they are feeling the most vulnerable. And the reason it was so easy for me to decide that workers’ compensation was the right career is I learned that doing the RIGHT THING actually costs the employer the LEAST amount of money. Act with HIGH INTEGRITY, and you will get the BEST RESULTS. It’s just too good of a concept to pass up.

 

 

However, after being in this industry for many years now, what I’ve realized is that not everyone has the luxury of having someone like Becki as a mentor. So many get thrown into it and are expected to produce results with little to no training and guidance.

 

 

Workers’ Comp Newcomers

 

Because of this fact I am inspired to share the lessons I learned working with Becki, so I have spent the last 10 months in the creation of the Workers’ Comp Newcomers Course. I’ve designed it as a comprehensive introduction to workers’ comp cost reduction and injury management systems for employers. It is designed specifically for employers and insurance brokers working with clients that have the goal of reducing workers’ compensation costs.

 

 

I took everything that I needed to learn entering this industry and broke it down into bite-sized lessons that average about 10 minutes each. In our fast paced, demanding world, flexibility and accountability are critical components to learning. The course is mobile-enabled and spread out over 8 weeks, with 2 weeks to complete each of the 4 modules. Each lesson has a short quiz to self-test comprehension and a final exam that requires 75% to achieve the certificate of completion.

 

 

I hate to even count up how many hours are invested in the creation of this course, so I’m very excited to finally release it. The first class starts Monday, August 22nd. Find out more here: https://workerscompclub.com/wcnew/

 

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices. Through these platforms he is in the trenches on a working together with clients to implement and define best practices, which allows him to continuously be at the forefront of innovation and thought leadership in workers’ compensation cost containment. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

 

©2016 Amaxx LLC. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

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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