What Apple Taught Us About Mastering Workers Comp

 

Hey, Michael Stack here with Amaxx. We’re getting down to crunch time. It’s six days to Christmas. It’s about the holiday pageants and the parties and leveraging the overnight and priority shipping, to get everything ready and prepared for the big day. Now in my family we have four young kids, aged two to six years old. It’s a lot of fun for us, very exciting time of course for them, and really enjoyable for us to really share in that experience with them. But of course it’s a lot of work and it’s very busy, so one of the things that we like to do to enjoy this time of year is to sit down and watch holiday movies.

 

 

Apple Removed “Swipe” on iPhone

 

We are through on the movie Christmas with the Kranks this weekend, nice Tim Allen family comedy Christmas movie. As we’re sitting on the couch my wife is sitting next to me and she takes out her phone and she swipes, she’s, “Oh man. Shoot.” She just updated her iPhone operating system. Of course with new operating system they eliminated the swipe, and she hadn’t yet learned that new habit. I’d updated mine a couple of weeks before and it took me probably maybe 30 or so swipes before I learned that new process that I didn’t have to do that anymore.

 

 

Return To Work Success Happens One Worker At A Time

 

It got me thinking about our work comp programs and the goals that we set for the new year in 2017. Let’s say you want to be one of the best in class providers and return to work, and you want to get 95% of your employees back to work within zero to four days as your goal. What’s important to remember is that that old habits, that old process, that old culture, same as when we’re learning to use our new phones, exists in a much larger scale at our organizations. That goal of 95% of your employees back to work in zero to four days starts with getting one employee back to work just one day sooner. It puts you on that path to achieve that significant goal.

 

Again, I’m Michael Stack with Amaxx. I want to thank you for your support of me and of the Work Comp Roundup blog throughout this past year of 2016. I look forward to continuing to provide you content to help you along with your progress in the new year.

 

 

For additional information on workers’ compensation cost containment best practices, register as a guest for our next live stream training.

 

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.

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/

Live Stream WC Training: http://workerscompclub.com/livestreamtraining.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.

WCRI Recap: How The Opt-Out Discussion Impacts YOU

Hello, Michael Stack here, Principal of Amaxx, Founder of COMPClub, and co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs. The recent opt-out discussion at the WCRI Conference was nothing short of a title fight. Trey Gillespie, who’s the Senior Director of Workers Compensation at the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, as well as Bill Minick, who’s the President of PartnerSource, faced off with very professional and strong arguments both for and against opt-out. What I want to do is give you a summary of that discussion, and talk about some of the best practices that can impact you and your organization.

 

 

Benefits of State Plan Are Regulated; Opt-Out Defined By Employer

 

When you talk about comparing opt-outs to the state system, the main area of comparison is in the injuries and benefits that are covered. We’re going to compare the state system of Oklahoma against their opt-out plan, which is called the Injury Benefit Plan. In the state system of Oklahoma, injuries and benefits, just like the 49 other states, are state regulated. In order to qualify for those benefits in that particular state, the injured worker needs to be injured in the course and scope of employment. Very basic workers’ compensation 101. It’s going to vary by jurisdiction significantly as far as the laws, but these basics are fundamental across the entire country.

 

Now let’s talk about the opt-out plan. It was defined in Oklahoma that the benefits need to be equal to or greater than the state. That’s the way it was originally presented, and that’s the way that that act originally passed. Here’s the rub, and here’s the reason why that plan, that injury benefit plan, the opt-out plan at Oklahoma, was recently determined to be unconstitutional; is because the employers define what is and is not an injury in their plan. I’ll paraphrase from the conclusion of the judge that deemed it unconstitutional. It was a Dillards workers’ compensation case, and this judgment came out in February of 2016. He said that while standards of the state act, certain standards like the average weekly wage, the death benefits, disability benefits, do apply to the Injury Benefit Plan, no other provision of the plan applies unless expressly incorporated. He said, “While certain aspects of the plan, like the average weekly wage, the death benefits, the disability benefits, do apply down here, no other provisions apply unless expressly incorporated.”

 

One of the aspects that Trey pointed out was that claims that are reported after 24 hours are typically excluded from those plans, so a claim that’s reported 3-4-5 days later, 7 days later, can be excluded from the plan and not covered under workers’ compensation. Only about 60 employers in the state of Oklahoma have actually opted in, so clearly by the general nature of the ability for companies, and certainly not all companies that have opted-out would do this, but the ability for them to unfairly treat injured workers, and the judge’s unconstitutional conclusion, obviously that employer plan in Oklahoma has a ways to go before it’s a responsible alternative to workers’ compensation.

 

 

Accountability & Communication

 

Let’s talk about some of the best practices that we can pull out of this presentation, and how it can impact your organization. Bill’s main point was in the opt-out plan, there’s significant accountability and communication…he said there’s significant accountability and communication…accountability and communication…accountability and communication. Hold on to that point because it’s a significant one for you and your organization. In the state plan, the accountability and communication requirements are very low, in the opt-out plan, they’re very high. Obviously this isn’t the right thing to do, but having the requirement that claims are reported within 24 hours creates a significant opportunity for improvements in workers’ compensation outcomes.

 

Let’s talk about how this can impact you and your company. Accountability and communication, regardless of the state you’re in, regardless of the jurisdiction you’re in, regardless of if you’ve opted out or not opted out, are fundamental techniques in workers’ comp cost containment. Fundamental techniques in creating a high integrity work comp management plan that not only creates better outcomes for your injured workers, but it significantly reduces your cost. Implementing accountability is as simple as creating an employee brochure, creating a culture of reporting claims within 24 hours, not because your claim is going to be denied, because it’s the right thing to do, and it’s a better outcome for the injured worker. They’re going to report those claims because it’s better for them, not because it’s better for you. They’re going to get treatment faster, get returned to work faster, reduce your costs, reduce their length of time with a disability.

 

Implementing a communication plan, again, of setting those expectations and then meeting those expectations. Hold weekly meetings with your injured workers. Talk to them about how you can creatively create a return to work plan to get them back functioning, being productive for themselves, and your company. It’s part of a high integrity work comp management program that not only creates better outcomes, but it significantly reduces your work comp costs.

 

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.

 

 

Free “Power Of One” Workers’ Comp Training Series from Amaxx Promises Career Impact

Series Offers How To’s And Strategy For One Individual to Master Organization’s Work Comp Costs

 

HINGHAM, Mass.—Jan 11, 2015— With regular company mergers, acquisitions, and changes in management, professionals in the workers’ compensation industry know that the only certainty is constant change.  Individuals looking to stabilize and grow their career in the workers’ compensation industry will get practical how-to’s and strategy to master workers’ compensation and positively impact their career.

 

The series will cover the detailed path of how one individual can drastically influence the cost of workers’ compensation at their organization to make themselves an invaluable asset. Lessons that have been field-tested by Amaxx, workers’ comp cost-control experts, for more than 25 years.

 

Topics include the specific tasks and systems that create the most impact on work comp costs, how to bring management and employees on board, as well as how to implement these systems to achieve incredible results.

 

“Besides risk managers and human resources professionals, the training is invaluable for adjusters, vendors, attorneys, brokers, carriers, and anyone else interested in controlling workers’ comp costs,” said Rebecca Shafer, head of Amaxx and America’s leading workers’ comp cost-reduction expert.

 

Amaxx also recently launched COMPClub, a workers’ comp training service and community that has already attracted 75 members nationally.  COMPClub includes Amaxx’s annually updated cost control guidebook, live workshops, monthly webinars, small-group mastermind calls, a newsletter, networking events and more.

 

Registration for the free training series, “Power of One: How Your Impact On Workers’ Compensation Will Change Your Career” is available at http://reduceyourworkerscomp.com/register. As supplemental material, those registered will also receive a free copy of “Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers’ Comp Costs – Mini Book”.

 

Amaxx (http://reduceyourworkerscomp.com) helps employers in all industries reduce workers’ compensation costs through education, publishing and consulting.

COMPClub Offers Expert Training to Slash Workers’ Comp Costs

New Service from Amaxx, Leader in Cost Control, Provides Unique Training Community

 

COMPClub, offering training, community and knowledge- for everyone who needs to help their organization or clients reduce workers’ compensation costs has been unveiled by Amaxx Work Comp Solutions, a training firm and publisher.

 

“This is a new way for risk managers, adjusters, vendors, attorneys, brokers, carriers, and employers with an interest in controlling workers’ compensation costs to increase their knowledge and apply it,” said Rebecca Shafer, a renowned workers’ comp expert who heads Amaxx. Shafer’s pioneering methods have been proven to slash workers’ comp costs by 20 percent to 50 percent.

 
COMPClub offers a full menu of benefits free with membership:

 

 

  • Live quarterly workshops. One-day workshops on key cost containment topics will be held in different regions of the US. These will give COMPClub members a deeper level of interaction with experts and each other in a hands-on, interactive classroom setting.

 

  • Best Practices monthly webinars on topics such as return-to-work, post-injury response, and medical management. Led by Shafer or another top expert, the webinars will give attendees state-of-the art knowledge on best practices and creative solutions.

 

  • Monthly small-group mastermind calls offer the opportunity for interactive learning. A group of up to 10 peers will share their challenges and successes implementing the training material in the spirit of collaboration where participation is encouraged and solutions are discovered.

 

  • The monthly CompClub newsletter will summarize, highlight, and simplify the discussions on the topic of the month. Members will receive practical tips to implement into their organizations immediately.

 

  • Members-only events networking events at the annual RIMS and National Workers’ Comp and Disability conference.

 

  • A members-only LinkedIn group and CompClub members directory.

 

  • Opportunity to private-label Amaxx products and publications at a discount.

 

 

 

Workers’ Comp Newcomers

 

For those that are new to workers’ compensation there is a special subgroup designed to get quickly to speed. This program focuses on workers’ comp 101 topics and is a safe place to answer all the questions newcomers are too afraid to ask.

 

 

Sign up Now for Risk-Free Trial and Receive 40% Off First Year Membership

 

COMPClub membership is $99 per month, with the first month FREE. People who pre-register will get 40% off first-year membership dues for a limited time.

 

“There’s no cost and no commitment sign up. Our risk-free trial allows users to try out the COMPClub experience,” said Amaxx president Michael Stack.

 

To find out more or sign up for COMPClub, visit www.workerscompclub.com.

 

Work Comp And The Indirect Approach – Tips For Employers

There are many tools employers can use to solve their workers comp problems. The answer to the problem can be a traditional solution, but workers compensation is a moving target, so the employer is required to consider all options.

 

Consider the option of “The Indirect Approach”, which in recent years has been described as “thinking out of the box”.

 

The theory of the indirect approach was published in the 1920s. Don’t do the obvious and don’t do what has consistently failed. Otherwise, you are duplicating Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing something a hundred times and thinking you will get a different result on the hundred and first try.

 

 

Consider Workers Compensation’s Relationship With Other Laws

 

Workers compensation coexists with dozens of other laws with which an employer must comply, creating opportunities for the curious. Every new law, and there are thousands of new laws each year, necessarily interact with laws already in existence, but little is written about those countless possible interactions, many of which can solve a comp problem for an employer, as well as its employees.

 

Attorneys who represent workers quickly discover these interactions in benefits awarded from several sources on a comp claim. A single motor vehicle accident might have the work comp attorney juggling through a comp claim, a negligence suit, STD, LTD, social security and unemployment claims. Furthermore, these interactions are quite common. But to the employer, as well as to carriers, the comp claim seems to be isolated and only indirectly affected.

 

But the worker’s attorney, after a few years in the business, learns how to coordinate handling of multiple claims to produce more fees for fewer hours worked – but only with proper coordination.

 

 

 

Regulatory Laws Provide Additional Investigative Options For Employer To Reduce Claim Costs

 

For the employer, regulatory laws from both state and federal, provide additional opportunities to investigate work comp problems within the first week after a reported injury, without interacting at all with the comp system. The opportunities include medical exams, HIPAA releases, as well as numerous opportunities to open and maintain independent channels of communication with the worker and the medical providers.

 

Medical examinations of drivers of heavy vehicles, under the federal Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations are usually done every two years to keep a driving certificate active. What is not generally known is that the employer may schedule its own exam anytime the driver’s medical condition may have changed. This is what precisely arises whenever a comp claim is filed. The exam is under the sole control of the employer and outside parties, other than the driver, may not be informed.

 

Many other laws have similar provisions for exams. Surprisingly, these have the effect of reducing the number and severity of comp claims.

 

In many med exams, HIPAAs are necessary since prior conditions must always be considered. Here, too, is an opportunity for employers.

 

 

Largest Positive Effect Is Employers Engagement in Employee Communication

 

But the largest positive effect of the employer engaging with alternate Federal and State laws comes from the chance an employer has to communicate with a worker and the worker’s family. The communications can involve the possible causes of the injury, but can also involve early discussions about return to work. Involving the spouse in the discussions reduces disability duration, since spouses are rarely supportive of extended disability.

 

All these things are produced by an indirect approach handling of employee disability.

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

SUBSCRIBE: Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

 

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

 

Developing Cost Containment Strategies for Satisfied Employees

 

When Returning Employee to Work Remember: It’s All Attitude


There is more than one way to return an injured employee to work. The difficult part is matching the right return-to-work strategy to the particular worker. Considering the personality and attitude of the worker is as important as considering the specific injury when implementing a return-to-work solution.

Just as there are many kinds of successful return-to-work programs, there also are a full range of employee attitudes accompanying each case.

 

The Employee Attitude Axis

 

Employers must individualize their return-to-work approach to meet the demands of the specific employee’s personality because the most important factor in returning the employee to work is the attitude of the employee. A successful method of training employers to respond properly to varied employee attitudes to ensure efficient and reasonable work returns is the Employee Attitude Axis.

The Employee Attitude Axis separates workers into four quadrants: active-satisfied; active-dissatisfied; passive-satisfied; and passive-dissatisfied.  Most employees fit neatly into one of these quadrants and require and respond to different return-to-work strategies.

 

 

Handling Satisfied Employees


Satisfied employees are ones who have maintained a positive relationship with the company throughout their employment. The employee trusts that the employer will continue to look out for the employee post-injury and wants the employee back.

 

The active-satisfied employee needs no coercion or prodding to return to work. This worker is one who has been with the company 20 years and hasn’t missed a day. In this case, a simple get-well card may convince the worker that the company truly cares about the employee’s well-being.

 

The passive-satisfied employee while usually happy at work is a little more complacent.  This employee needs some gentle intervention to ensure a timely return to work. Phone calls, weekly meetings and early intervention make sure the worker maintains a positive attitude about the employer and returns to work when ready.

 

 

Handling Dissatisfied Employees

 

Dissatisfied employees typically have some sort of misgivings about the employer prior to the injury. They may use miscommunication with the worker’s comp process to reinforce their negative beliefs about the company.

 

The active-dissatisfied employee may be quick to hire an attorney to answer the questions about the worker’s comp claim that the employer could have easily handled.

 

The passive-dissatisfied employee may be unhappy with the employer but express it in more subtle ways such as by not returning phone calls, completing paperwork, signing releases or withholding information.

 

The best way an employer can turn a dissatisfied injured worker into a satisfied returning- to-work employee is to maintain contact with the employee after the accident. Not only is contact immediately after the accident needed, contact with the employee following each medical visit will work wonders in maintaining rapport and trust with the employee.  By maintaining an active interest in the claim and the employee’s wellbeing, the claim will move forward in a positive manner.

 

 

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

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. 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 about workers comp issues.

The Search for Great Workers Comp Cost Containment Information

One of the most difficult aspects of being a risk manager, workers compensation coordinator or workers comp manager is finding adequate resources on the subject of workers compensation. With each state having their own unique way of doing things, finding specific information can be daunting.   Of course you can Google any workers compensation subject and you will get a ton of information with some of it being useful or on point, but usually most of it does not apply. 

 
 
Good sources of information on workers compensation are available.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce publishes annually an excellent guide called Analysis of Workers Compensation Laws, which is packed with tables showing how each state applies the law in different categories. A new print version is published only once yearly which may be a drawback for some, and it's published in the middle of the year, so the 2011 is the most current version until about July.

Also, each state will have their own website for workers compensation with some being more user friendly than others. Many state specific websites will cite the law by chapter and paragraph, but unless you are an experienced lawyer, that does not do much good. [WCx]
 

 
Other great source of information online are found at www.WorkersCompensation.com and their paid service Workers Compensation Research which provides updated state information as well as fill-in flash forms. Many carriers and self-insured employers use these forms and research tools.
 
 
There are technical schools, both on-line and classroom settings, that offer workers compensation training, but these courses are usually geared toward people who need state specific training to pass the state examination for a workers compensation adjuster’s license.  In a similar vein are the on-line webinars designed to teach you the basics in order to get the adjuster’s license or agent’s license.  These schools do not address the primary need of business, workers compensation cost control.
 
 
If you do an internet search for workers compensation cost control, you will find various articles on safety, or efforts to sell you a workers comp insurance policy with an insurance carrier. 
 
 
Recognizing the need for a multi-facet resource on workers’ compensation that employers can use to control their workers’ compensation cost, we created a detailed guidebook that is geared toward the needs of employers, Manage Your Workers Compensation Program, Reduce Costs 20-50%.
 
 
Our guidebook is focused on the information the employer needs to control workers compensation cost. It will show you how to plan and implement the workers compensation cost control strategy. There are in-depth chapters available.
 
  • Working with adjusters or TPA
  • Injury management best practices
  • Communicating with employees
  • Post-injury response
  • Reporting claims
  • Directing medical care
  • Return to work programs
  • Medical cost containment
  • Other cost containment services
  • Physical rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Pharmacy benefit management
  • Fighting fraud
  • Training staff to control workers comp
  • Claim resolution and settlement
  • Safety and loss control
 
If you are just starting a workers compensation management program or realizing the need to overhaul the existing program, our guidebook will assist in assessing company needs, designing and developing the program, training and implementing the program, and monitoring and managing the workers comp program.
 
 
 Workers Compensation Management Program, Reduce Costs 20-50% places in one handy resource the information you need to control  workers compensation cost.  You could spend hundreds of hours researching on the internet and not find all the information we have compiled for you.  We believe our guidebook is the best available.  Please contact us to learn more about Manage Your Workers Compensation Program, Reduce Costs 20-50%.
 
 
Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Manage Your Workers Compensation: Reduce Costs 20-50% www.WCManual.com. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 

Our WORKERS COMP BOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php

 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

Make Your Drug Free Workplace Program an Asset Not a Liability

As owner of OshaSure, a Birmingham-based safety and risk management firm, I evaluate workplace safety and risk for small to mid-sized companies. Falling into my scope of expertise is the company Drug Free Workplace Program (DFWP). It is troubling to report that a large number of my evaluations of this highly beneficial program reveal serious risk to the client.

 

Make no mistake about it; there is not another program that reduces the exposure to the employer more than does a well-crafted “DFWP”. The discount programs help offset the costs of the program. A well organized, legal “DFWP” will often equal in cost the amount of the discount or more. .[WCx]

 

Benefits of a Drug Free Workplace Program

The main benefit of the “DFWP” is the Workers Compensation carrier can deny a claim based on a positive test for drugs. Since initial development of the “DFWP” in the states, case law and precedent have determined that the “positive” drug test results must be causal to the injury. This means, in simple terms, that if the employee is standing somewhere on the job and a brick falls on the employee’s head, for example, the claim would not be paid even with a “positive” drug test result. This is due to the fact that the falling brick has nothing to do with the employee’s intoxication. This is fair and leaves most accidents well within the realm of denial of the claim.

 

 

Getting to the heart, here, my evaluations suggest that many firms are not placing a high enough emphasis on individual compliance with this program. I find glaring omissions such as little or no formal written policy or a lack of proper notification to existing employees and “new hires” about required testing. Further, not educating how prescription or “OTC” drugs can alter a test or alerting employees how and when to inform the employer that they are taking a prescription drug.

 

 

Customize the Program

Prescription drugs that can affect one’s ability to perform must be reported. Employers have the duty to place the employee in non safety sensitive positions, if applicable, for the course of the prescription.

 

 

This is just one of many reasons that all programs must be customized to the client.

 

 

The details of your program must be determined from the start to include situations unique to your company. The company policy should be developed by a knowledgeable HR employee or consultant and then reviewed by a labor attorney, familiar with your operations, and the DFWP laws and administrative codes in your state.

 

Training

Finally, training requirements vary from state to state; however, training in DFWP is required by all states; at minimum, employees are required to have initial and periodic training. Supervisors must have training in recognizing the signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug abuse and must be familiar with all related company policy and procedures. (I suggest annually for both)

 

 

 

Do Not Do it Yourself

Next, another troublesome finding with testing, I have found many companies selling “do it yourself testing” including hair, urine or saliva testing. The gold standard and all state programs rely on urine testing through a certified laboratory. A trained collector, along with a facility restroom dedicated and set up solely for drug testing is required. No matter the purported legality, the difference in cost of these types of “self tests” and a certified laboratory along with a medical review officer (MRO) is negligible considering what is at stake.

 

 

Remember, the discount is given not as a profit item but to help pay for the program and testing. There is no advantage in saving a small amount of money against the risk of losing a case due to improper testing. (This topic could well be its own article but for the purpose of this writing I assure you that using a nationally recognized laboratory along with a competent MRO is a “no brainer” to any risk assessment.)

 

 

Review your Program

Regular review of your DFWP is highly recommended. Make no mistake about it; this is a very punitive program that has the ability to take a huge amount of coverage from an employee.  As such, the stakes are high, the company will be viewed in litigation as the “big bad wolf” after “the little guy employee”. However, the law is clear and case law backs this up. If all ducks are in a row, the company can expect protection intended by the law.  .

 

 

It is not difficult or excessively costly to establish and maintain a program that is properly developed and funded from the start or at the point of re-establishing one after a deficiency is found.  NOTE:

Remember to receive your discount, you must verify annually that the program is complete. This consultant asserts that it is likely for the carrier to ask for a refund of discounts, if your program is not complete.[WCx]

 

 

Most challenges will be clear and your firm will be protected from excessive loss due to an employee’s violation of your company drug policy.

 

 

In closing, I suggest if you have not recently or regularly reviewed your DFWP, now rather than later is the time to do so.  Please see our workers comp resource center at LowerWC.com for more on state by state Drug Testing 

Brian Hill is owner of OshaSure in Birmingham Alabama and has over 20 years as a workplace safety and risk consultant. Brian was previously a pilot for a major US airline and member of the company’s interdepartmental safety committee. He found his new career in safety after the closing of the airline in 1991. Brian has found the same passion he had for flying in assisting companies with safety, heath and risk issues. For more information click on www.oshasure.com  205-296-0601  oshasurebh@aol.com

WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

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

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Overview of Key Injury Management Roles and Responsibilities

If you leave the management of the workers compensation claims to chance, the chances are you will not have good results.  To have good results in the control of the workers comp claims, it is important that everyone involved – the workers compensation claim coordinator, the floor or field supervisors, mid-management, medical personnel, legal, senior management and even the employees know what roles and responsibilities are in the management of the workers comp claims. My theme is: Take Control.   Start by assigning roles and responsibilities to one or more parties in the process – it is a step that can be taken to get things on track. You do not need to assign ALL roles immediately, just take it one step at a time.

 

The duties of every person involved in the workers comp claim from the claim coordinator to the employee should be defined and written down for each participant.  This includes both the pre-accident responsibilities, as well as, the post injury response.  By knowing what is expected of them, each person will be able to take the appropriate action when an injury occurs. [WCx]

 

 

The workers comp claims coordinator, whether a full-time job at a medium-size or large employer, or a part-time job at a smaller employer, is the pivotal person in controlling the workers comp claims.  The claims coordinator can be a part of the risk management department or a part of finance or human resources.  The important thing is the claims coordinator has access to all information necessary to control the claim. [WCx]

 

 

 Claims Coordinator Responsibilities1- Establishing a transitional duty program prior to injuries occurring

2- Providing all new hires and providing annually to current employees the employee brochure on what to do in case of an accident

3- Arranging immediate medical care at the required medical provider or at the recommended medical provider

4- Providing the medical provider with a detailed job description prior to the employee arriving for the initial medical treatment

5- Interviewing the injured employee to obtain a detailed description of how the injury occurred.

6- Interviewing the employee’s supervisor to verify the description of the accident and what could have been done to prevent the accident from occurring.

7- Completing the First Report of Injury and providing it to the claims office on the day of the injury

8- Contacting the employee immediately following the initial medical treatment for the diagnosis, prognosis and expected period of disability, if any

9- Arranging for light duty / transitional duty / modified duty for the injured employee

10- Sending the employee a get well card when the employee will be off work

11- Maintaining weekly telephone contact with the employee while the employee is treating weekly and telephone contact following each medical visit thereafter.

12- Facilitating on-going contact with the claims adjuster and the nurse case manager.

13- Coordinating and completing all necessary paper work related to the claim.

 

The employee’s supervisor has pre-accident responsibilities to ensure all employees work in a safe and prudent manner.

Post-accident responsibilities of the supervisor

1- Accompanying the injured employee to the required or recommended medical provider.

2- Providing the medical provider with the Work Ability Form and obtaining the completed form from the medical provider’s office

3- Submitting the Work Ability Form, the Supervisor’s Report of Accident, the Employee Report of Injury and the Witness Report Form to the workers compensation claims coordinator.

4- Enforcing compliance with the transitional duty program and verifying the work done by employees on modified duty is in accordance to the medical provider’s limitations.

5- Training all his/her employees on what to do in case of an injury.

The employee needs to be involved in the control of workers compensation claims.The employee’s role and responsibilities

1- Participate in post-injury response training.

2- Participate in the return-to-work transitional duty program

3- Attend all employee weekly meetings/office meetings unless physically unable to get to the work-site

4- Provide the Work Ability Form to the supervisor or claims coordinator after each doctor’s visit.

 
The Best Practices for Injury Management also applies to middle and senior management. Management should have defined roles and responsibilities.Management Roles and Responsibilities

1- Providing a strong safety program and implementing the necessary risk management practices to keep as many workers comp claims from occurring as possible.

2- Knowing the monthly and on-going cost of workers compensation.

3- Communicating to the employees how many additional sales or how much additional production is necessary to cover the cost of workers compensation claims.

4- Determining the medical providers that will be used

5- Determining the insurance carrier or the third party administrator.

6- Tracking and reporting lost work days.

 

In addition to the Best Practices for Injury Management noted above, there are best practices for risk managers, medical directors, in-house medical clinics and in-house legal.  These sample best practices listed here are far from complete.  There are many additional Best Practices for Injury Management covered in our 2012 Manage The Workers Compensation Program, Reduce Cost 20-50%.  Contact us to learn more about how to control workers comp cost through Best Practices for Injury Management.

 

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

 

 

Our WORKERS COMP BOOK:  www.WCManual.com

 

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

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

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

 

Broadspire Drug Abuse Summit and Other News from the Workers Comp Community

 
Broadspire Rx Summit
Danielle Lisenbey, chief operating officer for the Medical Management Services of Broadspire announced its first annual Rx Summit in Sunrise, FL March 22. As a leader in the industry, Broadspire's first Pharmacy Issues Summit should prove to be helpful. They write, “The purpose of the meeting will be to bring thought leaders from various organizations together to discuss relevant topics and issues surrounding pharmacy benefits in the workers compensation setting.

The intent is not to share the specifics of what various companies are doing, but rather to focus on the global industry issues themselves and what may be the possible trends and developments for the future. One key objective of the program will be to help to identify and define common threads that run through all components of the industry – across claimants, payors, employers and carriers.

Defining some of these commonalities will help the consumer to maneuver through the market. Each participant is invited to bring one operations executive and one clinical representative. This will be an opportunity to brainstorm and share ideas amongst industry peers that can help to influence positive impacts for all.”[WCx]

 
 
Email Mjaynes@choosebroadspire.com by March 15, 2012 for more information. The Summit is by invitation only.
 
 
Everything Business Corp! Magazine Tells how to Fuse Workplace Wellness Programs With Recovery
An article by Lisa Firestone addresses the way employers are continuing to struggle with a challenging economy. “Maximizing efficiency and productivity is no longer a goal to strive for, it is essential for continued growth and even survival,” she writes. “Recognizing this dynamic, it is not surprising that more and more employers are actively engaging in worksite wellness programs that have proven to be effective in lowering health care costs – in fact, according to American Journal of Health Promotion every $1 invested in a corporate wellness program returns $4 in reduced health care costs and $5 in reduced absenteeism over a period of three to five years.”
To read more on this topic, look here.
 
 
LexisNexis Communities Highlights Weekly WC Hot Stories
The Workers Compensation Law Community Powered by Larsons on LexisNexis offers this week three fascinating news articles:
 
1. The Defense of Intentional Self-Injury: Russian Roulette, Workplace Frustration, Accidental Drug Overdose, and More reviews Rashness Versus Intention in Self-Injury Cases, Impulsiveness Versus Intention in Self-Injury Cases and Suicide Test as Test for Self-Injury. It can be found here.
 
 
2. LHWCA: Responsible Employer Determination in Cases Involving Multiple Traumatic Injuries: Seeking Analytical Clarity is a thorough look at the same using relevant precedent, post-Albina board decisions, burden of proof; aggravation vs. natural progression: identifying the cause(s) of disability and sequential vs. simultaneous consideration of evidence. It can be found here.
 
 
3. Larson’s Spotlight on Recent Cases: Firefighter’s Rule Did Not Bar Tort Action against Homeowner examines the firefighters’ rule, an important exception to the usual third-party liability rules in which a firefighter (or other first responder) may not recover in tort from a landowner or occupier who has been negligent in starting or failing to curtail a fire. Read more here.
 
 
LexisNexis Editor Featured in Risk Management Magazine
Thomas A. Robinson, a contributing author and editor of LexisNexis resources including Larson's Workers Compensation Law and Workers Compensation: The Survival Guide for Business, wrote a fascinating article that was recently featured in the well-known RIMS magazine. Also a member of the LexisNexis National Workers Compensation Advisory Board, Robinson writes about 10 bizarre WC case that ended unexpectedly here.
 
The article is a great read and includes juicy stories such as what the courts decided when an obese employee broke a leg trying to get unstuck from a cafeteria booth, whether a construction worker who lost an eye trying to sledgehammer a found bowling ball on site and whether a fatal heart attack while holding a termination letter is still covered.
 
 
For more like it, sign up for the free weekly enewsletters in national and California editions by Robin Kobayashi here.
 
 
Need More, Faster WC Info? We have the Newsletter for You
Check out this LexisNexis newsletter that can keep you on top of what’s happening in our industry. Learn more here and sign up here.
 
 
Texas Department of Insurance Changes Pay Advance Form
The Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation recently changed the form injured employees use to request pay advances on their WC settlement checks. The form, DWC Form-047, Employee’s Request for Advance of Benefits, and the DWC Form-053, Employee Request to Change Treating Doctor is for an injured employee to request an advance of his/her workers’ compensation income benefits. The DWC Form-053 is for an injured employee who is not part of a certified workers’ compensation health care network, and whose claim does not involve medical benefits provided through a political subdivision pursuant to §504.053(b)(2) of the Texas Labor Code, to request a change of treating doctor.[WCx]
 
 
Workers’ compensation system participants should use the revised DWC Form-047 or DWC Form-053 on and after March 7, 2012. Previous versions of the form will no longer be accepted after June 1, 2012. For more information, check here.

 

 

 

 

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

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

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

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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