Improve Employee Attitudes & Expectations to Save Work Comp Costs

An injured worker with a positive attitude is much easier to deal with than a Negative Nelly. Someone who has an optimistic outlook is more likely to engage in his own recovery and do what it takes to get back to work. It makes the whole process easier and typically results in better outcomes for the worker and the organization.

 

The reality is that not all injured workers have a rosy view of their situations or their companies. Working with them is more difficult, may take longer, and very well may have poorer outcomes. But organizations can take steps that improve the attitudes of their workers. By creating a culture of safety and sending a message of genuine concern for their employees, organizations can set a better tone for workers who subsequently become injured.

 

 

Pre-Framing

 

Tony Robbins believes he can get nearly anyone to do anything, based on how he frames a situation. The motivational speaker/life coach/multi-billion dollar entrepreneur explains that a person’s frame of reference is key to how they feel and how they will behave. Pre-framing is about creating expectations and the state of mind someone has going into a certain environment.

 

Employees who become injured have a set of beliefs and expectations in terms of how their situations will be handled. Here’s how this might play out among injured workers with the same injury:

 

  • Negative Nelly. This employee has been given no reason to trust her employer, and doesn’t. While she is fine with her job, she has no illusions that her company cares about her one way or the other. Added to that is the fact that she has no idea how the workers’ compensation system is supposed to work. Since she doesn’t believe her employer has her best interests at heart, she relies on family and friends for advice. In all likelihood, she will “lawyer up”.

 

  • Positive Pete. His company stresses the value of its employees, clearly demonstrating they are the top priority. There is a culture of safety that is practiced from the C-suite down to the lowest level employee. In addition to avoiding injuries, Pete and his coworkers truly believe their employer wants to protect them from harm. Additionally, the company provides information about the workers’ compensation process, including a return to work program. Pete knows what to expect and believes his employer wants him to recover and get back to making a difference at the company. He readily cooperates with all involved in his claim, and goes back to work in a light duty capacity fairly quickly.

 

Nelly and Pete were on a level playing field when they had their injuries; that is, they both had a shoulder injury. But after a few weeks Pete has had physical therapy, is doing specific exercises at home, and is back at the company and looking forward to being able to resume his full-duty work. Nelly, however, is awaiting an MRI, has been advised she will probably need surgery and, in the meantime, has borrowed pain meds from a friend to get her through.

 

After just a short time, it’s obvious Nelly’s claim will continue for some time and could cost substantially more than Pete’s. There may be psychosocial risk factors and/or comorbidities present with Nelly; however the main difference between the two was their attitudes.

 

 

What to Do

 

Improving expectations and attitudes among employees involves a variety of steps. At its core, it must be real; that is, top executives must be committed to caring for their employees, not just paying lip service.

 

For example, simply putting up posters that advocate safety should not be the only step. There must also be actions throughout the organization in order to create a culture of safety and well-being.

 

  • Eyewash stations should be present where workers may be exposed to chemicals.
  • Personal protective equipment should be easily available when needed, and workers should be trained in advance on using it.
  • Repairs to broken equipment need to be made as soon as possible, and the equipment should be taken out of service in the meantime.
  • Safety meetings should be conducted on an ongoing basis and employees at all levels should be involved in the work of a safety committee.

 

 

Several additional steps can increase employees’ trust in an organization.

 

  1. Messaging. Consistent, clear, positive messages can show the company is concerned about its employees.

 

– The safety and workers’ compensation programs should have similar branding. Both should stress that employees are the number one asset, and protecting employees is the top goal.

 

– Messages about safety should emphasize the importance of keeping employees injury-free because it is in their own best interests, not just the company’s.

 

  1. Communicate. Supervisors and others who work with an injured employee should contact him early and often. That sends the message to all employees that the employer cares about them. It also keeps the injured worker from feeling isolated and abandoned by the company.

 

  1. Wellness program. Programs that seek to improve employees’ health send the message that the employer is concerned. It demonstrates the company is committed to its workers.

 

  1. Outline injury management program. Employees who are injured at work should know what to do and what to expect. Along with safety messages, the employer should provide information on the workers’ compensation system. This too sends the message that employees are the company’s top priority.

 

  1. Incentivize the right behaviors. Organizations that reward their workers for having zero accidents do a disservice. The message being sent is that workers should not report injuries. Instead, you want to encourage and reward safe behaviors. Offering incentives for employees that follow agreed upon safe behaviors encourages them to behave in ways that will avoid injuries. However, when injuries do happen, you want to use that as an opportunity to develop safer behaviors.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Injured workers enter the workers’ compensation system with all sorts of preconceived notions and expectations. Showing genuine concern for employees can ensure more injured workers will have positive rather than negative attitudes.

 

 

 

Michael Stack - AmaxxAuthor Michael Stack, CEO 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 & lead trainer of Amaxx Workers’ Comp Training Center. .

 

Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

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

 

©2017 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.

Get the Most from the 33rd Annual SEAK, Inc. National Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine Conference

 

SEAK, Inc. National Workers' Compensation and Occupational Medicine Conference
 
July 16-18 in Hyannis, MA
It promises to again be monumental for our industry.
 
 
The 33rd annual conference promises to bring together the nation’s leading workers’ compensation professionals, occupational physicians, occupational nurses, and attorneys to discuss cutting edge issues. Frank discussions and lively question and answer sessions will complement each presentation.
 
Among the highlights will be:
 
Exhibits and Networking Opportunities.
 
Sessions on cutting-edge topics such as
Worksite Wellness: Creating Health and Wellness Programs for Your Worksite where Dr. Raymond Fabius, MD will explain the relationship between health and productivity and how you can measure this in your company
 
Critical Mass in Reducing Workers’ Compensation Costs-Occupational Health Care Professionals where Attorney Douglas Jones will go beyond the traditional defenses and provide advanced strategies to demonstrate the critical role occupational health professionals play.
 
Psychological Risk Factors for Delayed Recovery: Assessment and Intervention where Dr. Michael Sullivan, PhD will discuss modifiable risk factors including catastrophic thinking, fear of pain, disability beliefs, and perceived injustice.
 
Psychological and Behavioral Factors in Chronic Pain Syndromes: What Occupational Health Professionals Can Do. Dr. Leon Ensalada, MD will explain how to devise and execute a strategy to mitigate the adverse effects of psychological and behavioral factors in chronic pain syndromes. He will discuss the factors that drive the syndromes and will differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate illness behavior.
 
The Aging Worker: Proactive Cost-Effective Ergonomics. Ronald Porter, PT, CEAS III will present simple cost-effective solutions to reduce or control risk factors for aging workers. He will explain the “persistent” injury, aging workforce, and prevention issues, power zone, and workplace athlete programs.
 
Fighting Workers’ Compensation Fraud: The Role Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Health Professionals Can Play. Attorney Stephen Fannon will discuss the many types of workers’ compensation fraud. He will explain the multiple types of red flags at work during medical treatment and how to use social media, investigation, and surveillance to root out and prevent fraud.
 
A Novel and Comprehensive Approach to Delayed Recovery and Disability Prevention. Dr. Jonathan Torres, MD, MPH will discuss an innovative and effective approach to delayed recovery delivered within the primary occupational health medical office. This program includes disability prevention initiatives within the routine office visits and offers a comprehensive assessment of possible factors causing or contributing to delayed recovery at the appropriate timeframe.
 
Motivating Employees to Embrace Optimal Health
Dr. Nicholas R.S. Hall, Ph.D. will explain why despite knowing what to do, employees seldom take the steps necessary to improve their health. He will present solutions to help you motivate your employees to change their image-shaping beliefs and embrace optimal health.
 
Defending Chronic and Pre-Existing Conditions: What Works
Attorney Warren K. Sponsler will discuss how good investigation and record keeping can help identify chronic and pre-existing conditions of the claimant. He will discuss symptoms vs. disease, arthritic and other degenerative conditions, the worsening of these conditions, and the mechanism of injury. He will offer practical suggestions for the evaluation settlements trial of claims involving chronic or pre-existing conditions of the claimant.
 
Abnormal Findings in Normal People: Significance for Claimants and Their Claims
Dr. Russell L. Travis, MD, FACS, FAADEP will discuss the thoracic and lumbar disc; normal and abnormal findings, including: disc herniations, annular tears, disc bulges, and degenerative disc disease. He will review the research of such findings in asymptomatic people. Dr. Travis will discuss the impact of the aging process in normal people and how these are frequently misinterpreted as abnormal findings and explain why many such findings are of little or no medical significance.
 
Psychological Testing: Objective Analysis of Subjective Claims of Pain, Brain Injury, or Mental Illness
Dr. Robert J. Barth, Ph.D. will explain how psychological testing provides a mechanism for objectively evaluating claims that are otherwise completely subjective (e.g. pain claims, claims of brain injury, and claims of mental illness). He will discuss the use of testing to: enhance diagnostic accuracy, objectively address whether a case is consistent with a legitimate presentation, and contribute objectivity to determinations of work-relatedness.
 
 
Why Attend this Conference
 
The workers compensation industry is always evolving – new players, new laws and new equipment. Everyone new to this industry should attend the conference and learn new techniques, meet new vendors, and discover the latest service enhancements. Even old hats need to learn about the cutting-edge issues and practical considerations to decrease their workers’ compensation costs.
 
 
A conference of this scale can help you expand your professional network while increasing your knowledge and gaining new solutions directly related to:
 
– Workers compensation
– Disability management
– Return-to-work programs.
 
 
 
  1. Read the brochures when you return home to learn about service providers.
 
  1. Pass out your business card and network, network, network. Meeting knowledgeable people gives you a resource when you encounter a problem.   The conference offers ample opportunities for networking including a networking Reception and Social as well as numerous meals and refreshment breaks
 
  1. Learn what you don’t know. Being exposed to new ideas presents an opportunity to learn things you don’t even know you are missing!
 
  1. Chat with people who do the same things that you do and see where you differ.
 
  1. Ask about key cost drivers. Attendees come from organizations of varying industries. Find people who work in workers compensation departments you know next to nothing about and ask them whether they are satisfied with their workers comp vendors. Ask them what drives their costs.
 
  1. Roam through the exhibit hall speaking to vendors and learning about the types of services that are available to reduce workers comp costs.THIS will be the best education you will ever get!
 
  1. Wear comfortable attire. Bring comfortable shoes. The first day, people are a bit more dressed up than the following days. The last day is more casual because people are traveling back home. Definitely dress professionally because some of the people you meet with become lifelong contacts, so making a good impression is important, but you can be comfortable, too. For an ounce of prevention, bring moleskin to protect the areas of your feet most likely to get blisters.
 
  1. Attend both the exhibit hall and the educational sessions. 
 
  1. Start early, leave late, and remember … although your feet may hurt, this is a once-a-year event!
 
  1. Before the exhibit hall opens, join the group breakfast to network with new friends. You will find people are very friendly and helpful.
 
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.
 
©2013 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.

Get the Most from the 2012 National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference

 

This 2012 National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® and Expo Nov. 7 – 9 in Las Vegas promises to again be monumental for our industry.

 

The 21st annual conference promises to further develop analysis about the opioid crisis and will again offer regional breakout sessions. And, the expo portion will host more than 260 exhibitors.

 

 

Among the highlights will be:

 

  • pre-conference symposium on Workers’ Compensation Essentials for Executives and Risk Professionals.

 

  • The opening session, titled, “Intriguing Insights: Leaders Debate Solutions to Industry’s Top Challenges” will be moderated by Mark Walls, vice president of Claims, Safety National and include remarks from Dr. Jennifer Christian, founder of the Maze-Masters Program and president of Webility Corp.; Jill Dulich, senior director, Marriott Claims Services; Maureen Gallagher, managing director of Neace Lukens; John Leonard, president and CEO, Maine Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company; Dave North, CEO, Sedgwick CMS; William Zachry, vice president of risk management, Safeway Inc. The speakers will share what they think are the best solutions to two of the biggest challenges in the workers’ compensation/disability systems, to be determined pre-conference by a poll of the 15,000-member WorkCompAnalysis Group on LinkedIn.

 

 

  • An awards luncheon featuring the winners of Risk & Insurance® magazine’s 2012 Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Awards and entertainment by magic/science entertainer Craig Karges.

 

 

  • A conference breakdown into five regions including California and dealing with “Regional Conflicts: Drilling Down to Unique Issues.” These sessions acknowledge that “The industry’s greatest challenges vary widely depending on the region of the country. While California struggles with liens, the Northeast deals with the shift from a manufacturing to a technology-based workforce – creating return-to-work nightmares. Many Midwestern states are focused on reforms to attract business; Western states are questioning the dominance of quasi-state insurers; and the Southeast battles opioid trafficking.” The sessions will be led by representatives for the employer, carriers and third-party administrators.

 

  • You can track your conference experience by choosing one of the following four tracks: Better Claims Management, Health/Medical Management, Solving Legal/Regulatory Issues, or Opioid Solutions. Some examples of sessions include: “Return-to-Work: Has Yesterday’s Asset Become Today’s Liability?”; “Building a Better Medical Network”; and “Employee or Independent Contractor? The Impact of Misclassification.”

 

 

Why Attend this Conference

 

The workers’ compensation industry is always evolving – new players, new laws and new equipment. Everyone new to this industry should attend either the RIMS or the NWCD conference and learn new techniques, meet new vendors, and discover the latest service enhancements.

 

 

A conference of this scale can help you expand your professional network while increasing your knowledge and gaining new solutions directly related to:

 

  • Workers’ compensation
  • Disability management
  • Return-to-work programs
  • The opioid crisis
  • Regional differences sessions

 

 

The 2012 National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® and Expo Nov. 7-9 in Las Vegas is the nation’s leading event for anyone involved in the workers’ comp and disability management industries. Thanks to a partnership with LexisNexis, the 2012 event features an enhanced legal track for attorneys and non-attorneys alike. A full list of Program tracks for this year include: Better Claims Management, Health/Medical Management, Solving Legal/Regulatory Issues, or Opioid Solutions.

 

 

 

13 Tips to Get the Most Out of the National Conference:

 

  1. Attend the Opening Session. Don’t miss this because top industry executives will debate solutions to the nation’s greatest Workers’ Comp challenges.

 

  1. Focus on specific goals. For example, sessions about your region or attracting business if those are issue specific to your role. Use the 2012 Mobile App to plan which sessions you want to attend.

 

  1. Read the brochures when you return home to learn about service providers.

 

  1. Pass out your business card andnetwork, network, network. Meeting knowledgeable people gives you a resource when you encounter a problem.   The conference offers ample opportunities for networking including a networking Reception and Closing Social as well as numerous meals and refreshment breaks.

 

  1. Learn what you don’t know. Being exposed tonew ideas presents an opportunity to learn things you don’t even know you are missing!

 

  1. Chat with people who do the same things that you do and see where you differ. At this conference, everybody’s badge includes their title and organization. It’s easy to identify other attendee’s who havesimilar roles in different organizations.

 

  1. Ask aboutkey cost drivers. Attendees come from organizations of varying industries. Find people who work in workers’ compensation departments you know next to nothing about and ask them whether they are satisfied with their workers’ comp vendors. Ask them what drives their costs.

 

  1. Roam through the exhibit hall speaking to vendors and learning about the types of services that are available to reduce workers’ comp costs. NWCDC is the nation’s largest Expo of this kind. THIS will be the best education you will ever get!

 

  1. Wear comfortable attire. Bring comfortable shoes. The first day, people are a bit more dressed up than the following days. The last day is more casual because people are traveling back home. Definitely dress professionally because some of the people you meet with become lifelong contacts, so making a good impression is important, but you can be comfortable, too. For an ounce of prevention, bring moleskin to protect the areas of your feet most likely to get blisters.

 

  1. Attend both the exhibit hall and the educational sessions.

 

  1. Start early, leave late, and remember … although your feet may hurt, this is a once-a-year event!

 

  1. Before the exhibit hall opens,join the group breakfast to network with new friends. You will find people are very friendly and helpful.

 

  1. Keep your Show Guide for future reference. You may want to have this handy on your desk for the time you want to try a new service or ask a question about a new service. Or, if you are putting out a request for proposals, this will be your ultimate list of those companies to bid on your project.

 

See you there!

 

 

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

 

Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, 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

 


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.

 

The Best Tidbits of News from the Workers Comp World

Here are the best Tidbits of news from the Workers Comp world this week:

 

Broadspire® Donates $100,000 to the SOS Children's Village


Broadspire, a Crawford Company and leading third party administrator of workers compensation claims, liability claims and medical management services, recently raised $100,000 for the SOS Children’s Village – Florida during its 2012 Charity Golf Tournament. The second annual event, sponsored by 36 of Broadspire’s vendor partners, had record attendance, with 104 golfers enjoying a beautiful day on the course at the Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Fla.  Read More…

 

Medcor Client Hosts 112th U.S. Open Golf Tournament

Medcor congratulates its triage client, The Olympic Club, on hosting the 112th U.S. Open Golf Tournament, which took part this weekend in San Francisco.  As they took care of the tournament, Medcor triage nurses were on standby to take care of their employees!  The Olympic Club is the oldest athletic club in the United States and has hosted many local, regional, national and even international championships.Read More…

 

14th Annual Federal Workers Compensation Conference – July 25 – 27th, Atlanta, Georgia

The 2012 14th Annual Federal Workers' Compensation Conference brings together professionals from multiple Federal departments and agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, United States Postal Service, Department of Homeland Security (TSA), Federal Bureau of Prisons, Department of Defense, Social Security Administration and the National Park Service, to name a few.  Read More…

 

Self-Insurance Institute of America, Inc. (SIIA) Schedules Series of Webinars 

The Self-Insurance Institute of America, Inc. (SIIA) has scheduled a series of webinars to update its members on current legislative/regulatory developments related to stop-loss insurance and discuss the association’s response strategy. Participants will also learn how they can support SIIA’s efforts. Read More…

 

News From Lexis Nexis.  

Quoted from weekly Lexis Nexis Newsletter published by Robin E. Kobayashi, JD, Lexis Nexis Legal & Professional Operations,  robin.e.kobayashi@lexisnexis.com



THE GREAT COMPROMISE

Stahl, JohnMany Work-related Disabilities Go Uncompensated: Compromising "The Great Compromise", by John Stahl, Esq. Evidence that many workers' compensation claimants have not received payments under "The Great Compromise" – the bargain that traded the right to sue employers regarding employment-related harm for the right to timely and appropriate benefits – has prompted calls for reform. An article written by Emily A. Spieler and John F. Burton, Jr. in the June 2012 American Journal of Industrial Medicine analyzed this situation.  Read More…



LARSON'S SPOTLIGHT: TORT ACTION

Tom Robinson thumbnail

Survivors of Deceased Employee Allowed to Bring Tort Action Against Uninsured Employer, by Thomas A. Robinson. In a 4-3 decision, the Supreme Court of Missouri recently reversed the decision of a state trial court that had held a workers' compensation award against a statutory employer barred a wrongful death claim against the deceased employee's uninsured employer. Finding that deceased employee's survivors had not made an election of remedies when they obtained the workers' compensation award against the statutory employer, the majority of the state high court held that the plain language of Mo. Rev. Stat. § 287.280.1 allowed…Read more about this case and other cases involving Illegal Aliens, Benefits for Old Workers, and Non-Dependent Spouse.



STUART COLBURN TO SPEAK AT NATIONAL WORKERS' COMP CONFERENCE

LexisNexis has partnered with the National Workers' Compensation Conference to create an enhanced legal track for attorneys and other workers' comp professionals.Stuart Colburn ColorLexisNexis author Stuart Colburn will be speaking on several panels, includingCausation, Misclassification, and the New Mobile Workforce. View the program agenda. Overall, there are 15 members of the Larson's National Workers' Compensation Advisory Board speaking at this event. You don't want to miss this conference! Take advantage of the special discount for all LexisNexis Workers' Compensation Law Community members. Community membership is free at our site.




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

 

 

 

 


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.

Workers Comp Tidbits of News You Can Use

 
Workers Comp this week provided a lot of fodder for discussion. Here’s a review:
 
Bison Jam Delays Dr. Glimp at Medcor
Remote medical support may hold down WC costs, but it does invite some interesting circumstances. In early May, Thomas Glimp, MD, Chief Medical Officer, at Medcor, was late to an important meeting due to a "bison jam" in Yellowstone National Park. Executive Vice President Curtis Smith said, "We were waiting for our Medcor doctor, Thomas Glimp, to join us on a conference call last week while he was doing some training at the three Medcor-run clinics in Yellowstone National Park… and he was a bit late…. BUT there was good reason… there was a "bison jam" and it's difficult to make a bison move faster.”
 
 
Glimp said, “I was trapped on the road in a ‘bison jam’ for 15 minutes. They’re often difficult to influence (not unlike physicians)!  There is little to no cell coverage in the park, so I needed a land line to call.”[WCx]
 
 
 
LexisNexis Examines Oklahoma Workers Comp Opt-Out, Benefits Review and More in WC World
The Workers Compensation Law Community Powered by Larsons on LexisNexis compiled a great newsletter evaluating the details of many current  WC cases this week. Sign up for their newsletter here and get all this and more in your inbox.
 
 
1. Robinson offers Post Mortem on OK Opt Out Legislation
Thomas A. Robinson writes here, the controversial bill that would have allowed some Oklahoma employers to “opt out” of the state’s traditional workers’ compensation system fell short of having sufficient votes to move legislation through. In his analysis, he says, “A number of the bill’s proponents were crowing about how its passage was a “done deal” and, buoyed on by the Oklahoma success, we’d see a wave of similar legislation in other states. So, we see the importance of counting our chicks only after they’ve hatched. Second, and more importantly, the bill provides us with a provocative example of how states are pulling out all the stops when it comes to attracting and keeping businesses within their borders.”
 
 
2. Koenig Offers Update From Benefits Review Board
Karen Koenig, associate general counsel of the Longshore Benefits Review Board at the U.S. Department of Labor writes here the Board received 201 appeals in cases under the Longshore Act, one more than the year before. In addition to summarizing these appeals, Koenig also includes developments from the DBA.
 
 
3. Larsons Spotlight Examines 4 Recent Cases:
Larson’s Spotlight looks at several important events this week, here.
1.In Maryland, Injuries Sustained While Returning From Physical Therapy Session to Treat the Effects of Earlier Work-Related Injury Are Not Necessarily Compensable.
2. From Iowa, Forty Years of Cigarette Smoking, Not Cold Conditions of the Employer's Meat Packing Facility Caused Claimant's COPD.
3. In Hawaii, Former Employee's Suit Against Co-Employees Related to Allegedly False Claims and Harassment Were Barred By Exclusivity-Claim for Wrongful Termination Not Barred.
4. From Colorado, Offset of Permanent Total Benefits With Old-Age Social Security Payments Was Appropriate.
 
 
5. WC Fraud Blotter Looks at Wrist Pain/Facebook Case, More
The blotter takes a look at a case where an employee claimed wrist pain stopped her from processing inmates’ mail and from typing at work, yet records showed frequent texts and Facebook updates. Read more about this case and five others here.

1. Letter Carrier Fraud, Delivering the Mail Goes To the Dogs.

2. Pasta Alert: The "Noodle" Pleads Not Guilty To Workers' Compensation Fraud .

3. Doctor Indicted For Overbilling Workers' Compensation Insurer Amusement Park Owner Admits to Workers' Compensation Fraud and Tax Evasion .

4. Disability Claimant Caught On Video Working While Collecting Benefits

5. Construction Business Owner Charged With Underreporting Payroll to Workers' Compensation Insurance Carrier.

 
 
6. Read about Delaware Decision on Course and Scope
Cassandra Roberts writes here in Have Crockpot Will Travel, “I had a fall of sorts at work a month ago and a recent MRI now shows fractures of the cuboid and the calcaneous. So, no stilettos for me.  And I have a work comp prescription card. Vicodin on someone else's dime. Pretty darn sweet. Accordingly, I now relate to the plight of the injured worker. And the case recently offered up by Henry Davis strikes close to home.  Which you will understand even more so when  you hear the facts of the case.”
 
 
7. No Benefits for Alleged Fume Exposure in Missouri
Martin Klug writes here about a case in which the claimant lost his claim against the second injury fund when he failed to prove an accident that his alleged exposure to muriatic acid fumes caused a heart attack. “The court rejected an argument that the commission must award benefits because the fund did not produce any evidence,” he writes.
 
 
8. Court Rules That State Bar’s Professional Liability Fund Is NOT Subject to MMSEA Reporting
Mark Popolizio, of the Crowe Paradis Services Corp. explains the case of Oregon State Bar Professional Liability Fund v. United States Department of Health and Human Services & Kathleen Sebelius, here. In the case, he writes, “The court … ruled that a legal malpractice policy, which did not provide coverage for bodily or emotional injuries, was not an ‘applicable plan’ subject to Medicare’s mandatory reporting requirements under the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007.”
 
 
9. Law360 Looks at CA Facebook Privacy Laws
Erin Coe writes about a piece of legislation trying to “block California companies from making employees and future workers disclose their usernames and passwords for Facebook, Twitter and other personal social media accounts that gained unanimous approval Wednesday from a state Assembly panel,” here.
 
10. CA Department of Industrial Relations Small Business Portal Up and Running
Check out California’s new site for small businesses here. They explain “Small businesses are critical to California’s economic recovery and strength, to building America’s future, and to helping the United States compete in today’s global marketplace. Small businesses also represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms and they employ just over half of U.S. workers and pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.”
 
 
11. TDI-DWC Gives Authorization to Certify Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) and Assign an Impairment Rating
The Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation reminds all workers’ compensation system participants that the Texas Labor Code and TDI-DWC rules impose certain requirements for a doctor to become authorized to certify maximum medical improvement (MMI) and assign impairment ratings for claims in the Texas workers’ compensation system. For more information, look here.
 
 
12. Oklahoma WCC Posts Proposed Change for Rule 23, Eye Impairment
Oklahoma has offered a proposed change for consideration by its supreme court following adoption by the WC court regarding definitions for what constitutes eye impairment.
 
 
WorkersCompensation.com Hosts Video Roundup
WorkersCompensation.com has started a weekly video roundup. Check it out here.
 
 
Gould and Lamb Hosting Two Training Sessions
At two casinos in Atlantic City and St. Louis, Gould & Lamb will offer what they call the most comprehensive WC, liability and risk management conferences to date. The sessions will have special focus on Medicare & Medicaid compliance. The Atlantic City conference will be at Bally’s June 18-9 and the St. Louis session will be at Harrah’s Aug. 6-7. For more information, look here.[WCx]
 
 
The “Jackpot” sessions are being billed, “Don't Gamble on Workers' Compensation, Liability & Medicare/Medicaid Compliance!  We have gathered together some of the industry's most respected leaders and experts to provide attendees with two full days of compliance education and training, as well as an exciting look into the future of Medicare/Medicaid Compliance.”   
 
 
Note: If your company has any developments you'd like to share, please send them to us at: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

 

 

 

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

 

 

Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, 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% – 50%.  He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  ContactMstack@ReduceYourWorkersComp.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.

How to Tell When Injuries Occurring Offsite are Compensable Under Workers Comp

Please note that this will vary wildly with the jurisdiction and legal counsel should always be consulted before making a decision to accept or deny these claims Below are a few examples and the questions that arise during the investigation of these claims.[WCx]
 
 
The biggest and probably most important question is whether these employees are actually at these outings as a required part of employment as opposed to voluntarily attending these outings. Again, the biggest issue will be why this employee was attending in the first place.
 
1.       Is this a required part of the job duties?
2.       Did a manager tell an employee to attend this outing?
3.       Is the entertaining of clients a listed duty in the job description?
4.       If so, how does the event and injury fall within the scope of the employment?
 
If the job is in marketing, and the employee is always out of the office on the road, it is a fairly easy decision. For instance, if the employee has an auto accident or fall (not due to intoxication of course!), being on the road could be stated as a job duty.
 
 
Again, circumstances vary and job duties become muddled when these outside-the-office injuries  occur. Therefore, the first thing an employer needs to do is to state in the employee's job description that outside client entertainment is indeed a part of the job duties. Consult the legal counsel on how this should be worded, what types of entertainment should be included, and what activities should be excluded.
 
 
Injuries During Golf Outings
Many companies entertain clients at golf outings since these outings can entertain many clients at once. And since golf is a popular sport enjoyed by many individuals, golf outings pop up on the social calendar this time of year  But what happens if an employee is struck by an errant chip shot and sustains a head injury? Is this a covered injury?
 
 
The answer is determined by the employee’s job classification. Was the employee required to be there as part of the job? Certainly the company sponsoring the outings has to have employees there representing the company. But did the employee  decide to govoluntarily, or did upper management require it? That decision alone will hold a lot of weight on the compensability of the claim. Obviously if a manager comes to an employee and says that the golf outing is mandatory, it becomes a fairly simple decision as attendance becomes part of the job duties for that day.
 
 
But what about other employees attending the event? Was there just a general sign-up sheet for people to attend this outing? If this is the case, then it could be viewed as voluntary without workers comp coverage for an injury. Again this varies by state, so be sure to consult counsel on the best way to approach employee attendance at these outings. If all else fails, maybe have the employees attending voluntarily sign a hold-harmless agreement then any injuries that occur are not the responsibility of the company.
 
 
Travel to Seminars and Conferences
Similar to the golf example, the main issue is  why the employee attends and is it part of the stated job duties. Or did a manager directly order the attendance and participation as a job duty? 
 
 
This statement will be key again. Should an injury occur as part of  travel to said conference or seminar, this could be considered an injury within the course and scope of the employment. A hold-harmless agreement could again be used  stating the employee is attending voluntarily, and any injuries or issues that occur are the employee’s responsibility. Again, application of certain workers comp statutes will vary per the jurisdiction. In any event, it should be made clear that all injuries that could occur, if any, should be reported to HR or a manager immediately  to establish a paper trail. 
 
 
Also important is where the injury occurred. Was it part of the travel plan and a direct route to the conference? Or did the accident occur off-course, and if so why was the employee off-track? Did the employee detour to visit a family member or friend? Or meet up with another employee to carpool to this even when the accident occurred?  All of these questions will hold equal importance and need to be thoroughly investigated upon deciding the compensability on the claim.
 
 
After-hours Dinners, Professional Sporting Events, and Happy Hour Entertainment
Lastly, attendance with client at dinners, baseball games, NFL games, etc. need to be broken down to the reason for the employee to be in attendance and where the injury occurred. No matter what the event, should an incident occur that results in an injury, it needs to be reported right away and an adjuster needs to be on the file as soon as possible. The employer is responsible for giving the reason the employee attended, how it does or does not relate to the exact job duties. Was the employee told by a manager to attend? If so, a written statement should be obtained by that manager stating all information possible that can be helpful to the claim.[WCx]
 
 
Summary
Warm weather typically means increased activity with events that fall outside of the walls of the employers work site. Injuries can occur and it is the responsibility of the employer to provide the carrier with all information requested as part of the investigation to decide if the injury is compensable or not.  Consult counsel on questions before the event to be protected should an injury occur. 
 
Please consult our Are All Injuries Compensable? resource article in our WC 101 Guide for more information  
 
 
 
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
 
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.

Industry Leaders Discuss Challenges at Broadspires First Pharmacy Summit

 

pictu1Medications and drugs continue to play an increasingly important role in the overall of medical costs in workers compensation claims. In addition to the increases in costs, the potential claim risks have also increased surrounding the growing use of narcotics in the treatment of pain. These issues impact all involved parties in the claim administration process – from injured worker, to employer, to carrier or payer. How to manage these issues has now become a critical issue.

 

 

 

 

On March 22, 2012, Broadspire, a Crawford Company and leading third party administrator (TPA) and medical management services provider, brought together representatives from a number of key industry organizations to discuss the challenges in prescription drug management for workers compensation claims during its first pharmacy summit.

 

 

 

pictu2

The intention of the summit was to focus on global industry issues, trends and developments in the future. In bringing together resources from all aspects of the pharmacy management process, the group was able to have an all encompassing discussion of the issue, and examine the challenges from all perspectives and vantage points. Throughout the day, the group discussed the common threads that tie together claimant, payer, employer and carrier interests. The group also shared ideas that could be put into practice to improve outcomes for everyone concerned.

 

 

 

 

More than 50 brokers, practice leaders, clinicians and others from major insurers, insurance brokerage firms and pharmacy benefit management (PBM) organizations attended the summit, which was held at Broadspire’s Sunrise, Fla., medical management headquarters. The panels were divided into four key areas of focus

 

  1. Pharmacy program design
  2. Opioids and controlled substances
  3. Physician dispensing
  4. Key legislative updates.

 

 

 

pictu3The first session focused on the overall design of an effective pharmacy program. Panelists in the discussion included Eileen Ramallo, Executive Vice President of Healthcare Solutions; Lori Daugherty, President of PMSI/Tmesys; Atermis Emslie, President of MyMatrixx; and Kathy Tiemeier, Clinical Program Manager of Express Scripts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

pictu4Candy Raphan, RN, BSN, ARNP, MAOM Candy joined Broadspire in 1989.  For over 20 years, she has held various management roles within the Broadspire organization in a variety of functional areas, including Occupational and Non-occupational Disability Management, Utilization Management, Medical Bill Review, Quality, and Medical Management Strategic Outcomes.  In her current role as Director of Medical Services, Candy is a Practice Leader for Broadspire’s Comprehensive Pain Management Solution and responsible for the clinical components of the pharmacy program, medical analytics, reporting and other clinical program development.

 

 


In addition to her experience at Broadspire,
 Candy brings a varied background of clinical, managed care and health industry related experience.  She is a certified advanced registered nurse practitioner with a specialty in family practice, Candy holds a bachelor’s degree and advanced practice certificates in nursing from the University of Miami and a master’s degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix.  Candy is also a member of the National Association of Professional Women and the American College of Healthcare Executives.

End Article
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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.

 

OSHA Puts New Emphasis on Program for Chemical Facilities

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a new National Emphasis Program (NEP) for chemical facilities to protect workers from catastrophic releases of highly hazardous chemicals, according to a report from the agency.
 

"Far too many workers are injured and killed in preventable incidents at chemical facilities around the country," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "This program will enable OSHA inspectors to cover chemical facilities nationwide to ensure that all required measures are taken to protect workers." (WCxKit)
 

The new NEP replaces OSHA's 2009 pilot Chemical Facility National Emphasis Program which covered several OSHA regions around the country. The program establishes policies and procedures for inspecting workplaces that are covered by OSHA's process safety management (PSM) standard.
 

 

The program's inspection process includes detailed questions designed to gather facts related to PSM requirements and verification that employers' written and implemented PSM programs are consistent. The intent of the NEP is to conduct focused inspections at facilities randomly selected from a list of worksites likely to have highly hazardous chemicals in quantities covered by the standard. (WCxKit)


OSHA implemented a multi-year pilot NEP for PSM-covered facilities  in an effort to reduce releases of highly hazardous chemicals. "During our pilot Chemical NEP we found many of the same safety-related problems that were uncovered during our NEP for the refinery industry, which is also covered by the PSM standard," said Michaels. "As a result, we are expanding the enforcement program to a national level to increase awareness of these dangers so that employers will more effectively prevent the release of highly hazardous chemicals."

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@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 Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

Workers Compensation Around the U.S. This Week

Work Comp Roundup Wants to Meet You at RIMS Booth 1425
The Philadelphia RIMS 2012 Annual Conference & Exhibition will provide a unique opportunity to gather information and resources to help minimize workers comp costs. This year there are sessions for many experience levels and the exhibit hall will have US! Yes! Held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center located on 1101 Arch Street will be Amaxx and WorkCompRoundup at booth 1425.
 
 
“If anyone wants to stop by to say hello or chat about workers compensation issues, I welcome them to do that,” says Becki Shafer, CEO. “For companies struggling with high WC costs, the exhibit hall is a great place to see all the different solutions that are available in the marketplace and attend seminars. One of the best things I did when I began my career in workers compensation was attend RIMS in Atlanta, it was the first conference on Workers Comp I attended, and I was pleasantly shocked at everything that was available — it was like walking through a supermarket of ideas.”

[WCx]

 
 
Learn more about the convention here.
 
 
Keystone Case Management Could Give you a PINCH this Spring
Keystone Case Management is a young company in the Workers’ Compensation World, says owner and president, Kelly Haile, RN, CCM, WCCM. This team of nurses has developed PINCH, a solution that uses employer education and aggressive case management to help employers and injured workers
 
 
PINCH has resulted in a decrease in claim report numbers, out-of-work time and fewer litigated claims, Haile says. “The program has also shown increased satisfaction by injured employees, and employers are delighted at the clear, consistent and timely information that is provided,” she writes.
 
The company recently announced it is a finalist in Dorland Health’s Case In Point Platinum Awards for Workers’ Compensation Case Management and will be hosting a half-day educational workshop for employers April 4th, 2012 in Drexel Hill, PA. For more information contact info@KeystoneCaseManagement.com or (610) 469-NURSE.
 
 
LexisNexis Communities Offers This Week Work Comp In Review
The Workers Compensation Law Community Powered by Larsons on LexisNexis offers several great pieces this week:
 
 
  1. Larson’s Spotlight, found here, focuses on the following recent cases, compiled by Thomas A. Robinson, staff writer for Larson's Workers' Compensation Law:
 
TN: Truck Driver Deviated From Employment by Leaving Truck to Search for Object With Which to Assault Driving Partner
TN: Court Affirms Denial of Benefits Related to Unexplained Fall to Level Floor
OH: Physician's Opinion Was Not Equivocal Where Physician Modified Opinion in Light of Videotape Evidence of Injured Worker's Capabilities
FL: Judge May Not Sanction Homeless Claimant for Failure to Pay Prevailing Party Costs-Failure to Pay Was Not Willful
 
 
  1. Robin E. Kobayashi writes The Sticky Wicket That Is Home Health Care: Why It’s a Hotly Contested Issue in the Workers’ Compensation Arena
 
The article, found here, asks, “An injured employee’s entitlement to home health care is oftentimes a hotly contested issue in the workers’ compensation arena. Home health care issues can vary in nature. For instance, at what point does the marital obligation cease and the paid nursing services begin?”
 
 
The author looks into these types of issues in Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas, and California.
 
 
  1. Lastly, the LN Community recommends these WC fraud blogs this week:
 
Workers' Comp Fraud Blotter: Mechanic Covered With Grease Claimed He Was Unemployed and Unable to Work,by LexisNexis Workers' Compensation Law Community Staff. Here.
 
“The Case of the Purple Robe … and a Little Motion Day Magic” in Delaware, by Cassandra Roberts, Esq. Here.
 
Missouri: Employer Penalized for Lapses in Prescription Payments, by Martin Klug, Esq. Found here.
 
 
Broadspire Combats Physician-Dispensed Drugs
In a recent release, Broadspire draws from the Workers Compensation Prescription Drug Study: 2011 Update by Barry Lipton, Chris Laws and Linda Li, National Council on Compensation Insurance, August 2011.
 
 
They write, “The price of physician dispensed drugs increased by 300 percent  between 2005 and 2009. In contrast, the average price of medications dispensed by pharmacies grew by only 23 percent during that same timeframe.”
 
 
The company goes on to say the percentage of workers compensation medical costs going toward physician dispensed prescriptions increased to 28 percent in 2009, up from 23 percent in 2008. “Physician dispensed medications have become prevalent in almost every state,” Broadspire concludes.
 
 
To combat this medical cost driver, Broadspire has created the following jurisdictionally specific strategies:
 
1. Through data mining, Broadspire identifies physicians who are dispensing prescriptions from their offices.
2. Targeted communications are sent to these physicians promoting the clinical safety and efficacy offered by Broadspire’s network of retail pharmacies.
3. Safety checks, through network pharmacies, help physicians ensure medications they prescribe are not duplicated by other physicians and that no adverse drug interactions are present.
4. Case managers visit and communicate with physicians to share the Broadspire message and support the use of network pharmacies.
5. Where jurisdictionally possible, Broadspire re-prices provider-dispensed medications to our network pharmacies contracted rate.
 
 
 
 
Texas Department of Insurance – DWC Seeks Public Comment on Amendment Proposals on MDR
The Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation is accepting public comments on proposals to amend 28 TAC §§133.307, 133.308, 144.1–144.7 and 144.9–144.16 Regarding MDR of Fee Disputes, MDR by Independent Review Organizations, and Arbitration.
 
 
According to a release, the amendments relate to medical dispute resolution (MDR) activities conducted by the TDI-DWC. “The purpose of these amendments is to conform the rules to various statutory amendments that concern medical fee dispute resolution and the resolution of disputes of independent review organization (IRO) decisions by the TDI-DWC. Specifically, these proposed amendments are necessary to clarify existing rules and implement and enforce statutory provisions of House Bill (HB) 2605 and Senate Bill 809, enacted by the 82nd Legislature, Regular Session, that impact the appeal of medical fee dispute resolution cases and decisions issued by IROs,” it says. [WCx]
 
 
The proposals will publish in the March 23, 2012, issue of the Texas Register and may be viewed on the Secretary of State website at http://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/index.shtml once published. A courtesy copy of the proposals is currently available on the TDI website at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/wc/rules/proposedrules/index.html.
 
Note: If your company has any developments you'd like to share, please send them up us at: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

 

 

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.

Workers Compensation News in Brief for February 2012

How Can You Find Quality Providers?
According to a recent MedMetrics blog, finding quality providers in your data has never been easier. See the complete blog here.
 
 
Author Karen Wolfe explains in the blog there are several steps, including:
1. Identify and avoid the poorly performing doctors
2. Having good data.
3. Keeping a historic perspective.
4. Provider performance evaluation is essential.
5. Defining good data.
 
6 Record proliferation.
7. Data entry procedures.
8. Provider performance suite.
 
 
To learn more, visit MedMetrics and to learn how, contact KarenWolfe@MedMetrics.org
 

The Texas Department of Insurance Offers New Rulebook
Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation just supplemented its Rulebook for 2012-02. It is now available online for amendments and new rules to 28 TAC chapter 180 regarding the monitoring and enforcement authority of the division of workers’ compensation.
 
 
The supplement can be printed from the TDI website here.
 
16th Annual Texas Safety Summit for Employers and Employees April 10-12 in Austin
The Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC) will host the 16th Annual Workplace Safety Conference, the Texas Safety Summit, on April 10-12, 2012 in Austin at the Doubletree Hotel Austin, 6505 IH-35 North. The TDI-DWC is hosting the conference to help all employers reduce injuries and their associated costs through workplace safety and return-to-work programs, whether or not they subscribe to workers’ compensation insurance.
A pre-conference session entitled Workers' Compensation 101 and Return to Work will be offered from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on April 10.
 
 
Conference general sessions include Technology in Collision Reconstruction presented by Clifford McCarter of Rimkus Consulting Group; Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Region VI Update presented by John Hermanson, Regional Administrator of OSHA, Region VI; Generational Issues in the Workplace presented by Dr. Richard Lewis of Round Top Consulting Associates; and Personal Fitness for Work presented by Petti Redding of the Redding Group.
 
 
In addition, over 20 breakout sessions are planned to address pertinent issues facing Texas workplaces, including:
Accident/Incident Investigation;
Asbestos Awareness;
Combustible Dust/Respirable Dust;
Components of Effective Safety Programs;
Drug and Alcohol Awareness for Employees;
Effective Safety Committees;
Fatal Driving Distractions;
Federal and State Reporting Requirements;
Fire Safety in the Wild and Urban Interface;
Hazard Communication and Material Safety Data Sheets for Small Employers;
Heat Illness Prevention and Response;
ICS402 Incident Command System (Disaster Planning);
Job Safety Analysis;
Lockout/Tagout;
Management’s Role in Slips, Trips and Falls;
Material Handling;
Office of Injured Employee Counsel;
Personal Protective Equipment: Employer Responsibilities;
Tips for Safety Trainers;
Top Ten New Traffic Laws;
Uses of Injury/Illness Data Requested by OSHA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS);
Traffic Work Zone Safety; and
Workplace Violence Prevention
 
 
Conference rates for hotel reservations are available at the Doubletree Hotel until March 19 or until the conference block of rooms is full. To make hotel reservations, call the hotel at 512-454-3737 and reference “Texas Safety Summit” or register online using the Doubletree Hotel website here.
 

Texas Supreme Court Grants Rehearing in Ruttiger Case
Feb. 22, the Texas Supreme Court issued its long-anticipated option in Texas Mutual Insurance Co. v. Ruttiger. A divided Court held that some, but not all, “bad faith” claims based upon alleged violations of the Insurance Code are “at odds with” the works’ compensation system and, thus, may not be presented to, or considered by, the district courts. To read more on this case, click here.
 

Study Provides Baseline to Measure Impact of Reforms on Illinois Workers' Compensation System
A new study, CompScope™ Benchmarks for Illinois, 12th Edition, by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) shows baseline data to measure the future impact of 2011 reforms in Illinois, which are designed to ensure that the state’s workers’ compensation costs are reasonable and competitive.
 
 
According to a WCRI release, “The reform legislation addressed key cost drivers in the workers’ compensation system, especially medical prices, by reducing fee schedule rates by 30 percent, introducing preferred provider networks for selecting treating physicians, implementing American Medical Association (AMA) guides for evaluating impairment, and requiring clinical reports by physicians.”
 
 
For more information about WCRI or to purchase this study, visit: http://www.wcrinet.org.
 

The Texas Department of Insurance Shows Proposed Revisions
The Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC) is accepting comments on proposed revisions to the following employer and self-insured political subdivision forms:
 
 
1. DWC Form-005, Employer Notice of No Coverage or Termination of Coverage;
2. DWC Form-007, Employer’s Report of Non-covered Employee’s Occupational Injury or Disease;
3. DWC Form-020SI, Self-Insured Governmental Entity Coverage Information.
 
 
These proposed form revisions are not a formal proposal and comments received will not be responded to in accordance with the Texas Administrative Procedure Act. The proposed draft form is available from the TDI-DWC website here.
 
 
Informal comments may be submitted to the TDI-DWC by e-mailing
informalrulecomments@tdi.state.tx.us.
 

The Texas Department of Insurance Seeks Comments
The Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation formally proposed in February new Rules Relating to Notice and Reporting Requirements for Subscribing and Non-Subscribing Employers; and Rules Relating to Notice of a Texas Labor Code §504.053(b)(2) Election by a Self-Insured Political Subdivision.
 
 
TDI-DWC is accepting public comment on the proposals to add new 28 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §§110.7, 110.103, 110.105, and 160.1, and to amend 28 TAC §§110.1, 110.101, 160.2, and 160.3.
 
 
The proposal relates to various notice and reporting requirements imposed upon subscribing and non-subscribing employers, specifically requirements for notifying the TDI-DWC of non-coverage status, termination of coverage, and occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities; and requirements for notifying employees of the employer’s coverage status.
 
 
The primary purpose of the proposal is to update and clarify these notice and reporting requirements. The proposal also contains a new rule that would require a self-insured political subdivision that elects to provide medical benefits in accordance with the manner described by Texas Labor Code §504.053(b)(2) to notify the TDI-DWC of its election to provide medical benefits in that manner. [WCx]
 
 
The proposal will be published in the February 24, 2012, issue of the Texas Register and may be viewed on the Secretary of State website at http://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/index.shtml once published. Public comments may be submitted by e-mailing rulecomments@tdi.state.tx.us.

 

 

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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