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.

Workers Compensation This Week In Review

LexisNexis Communities Highlights Hot Topics WC In Reviewpic3

The Workers Compensation Law Community Powered by Larsons on LexisNexis offers an interesting look at WC this week:

 

 

Ronald E. Weiss and Ronald Balter analyze in “New York Workers’ Comp Stakeholders Continue to Absorb 2007 Reform Changes,” found here, “During the past year, stakeholders in the workers’ compensation system in New York have continued to absorb legislative and administrative changes initiated by the 2007 reform. Maximum indemnity rates are now indexed to two-thirds of the State Average Weekly Wage.”

 

 

The Law Community also takes a look at the Workers Compensation Board policy on firearms here by examining what the policy is, how it affects law enforcement and what notification rules are.

 

 

They also take an insightful look into a Florida pizza delivery man who was fired after being robbed. See complete article here. Reporter Michael Miller notes the man is suing Domino’s, his former employer, “claiming (they) cruelly denied him workers’ compensation for his injuries from that night and then unlawfully fired him.”

 

 

In the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, writer Gina Passarell comments on how the Steelers football team does not have to pay attorney fees in a workers’ comp case. The incident (see full story here) is related to a former player’s WC case in which he suffered injuries while with the team. “The team argued he was not ‘disabled’ since he went on to play for other pro teams, the Commonwealth Court has ruled,” Passarell wrote. “Pennsylvania law automatically provides attorney fees to prevailing claimants when employers contest a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, unless that protest is ‘reasonable.’ “

 

 

Working Immigrants Blog Looks at Pew Study

Working Immigrants, a weblog about the business of immigrant work: employment, compensation, legal protections, education, mobility, and public policy writes this week that net migration from Mexico fell to zero.

 

 

“According to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center, ‘The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States has come to a standstill. After four decades that brought 12 million current immigrants—more than half of whom came illegally—the net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped—and may have reversed, according to a new analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center of multiple government data sets from both countries.’ “The blog takes a deeper look into this study here.

 

 

TDI-DWC Approves 7 Companies to Self-Insure for Workers’ Compensation Claims

According to Stuart Colburn, shareholder in Downs Stanford, P.C. , the Texas Department of Insurance, Division Workers’ Compensation reports here The Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC) approved seven renewals of the Certificates of Authority for companies to self-insure their workers’ compensation claims for a one-year period under the TDI-DWC Self-Insurance Program. These companies collectively employ approximately 27,900 employees in Texas.

 

 

The report notes, “Under Texas law, certain large, private companies can self-insure for workers’ compensation claims, while retaining the protection of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act for the company and for its employees. To qualify, a company must have a minimum workers’ compensation insurance unmodified manual premium of $500,000 and meet other requirements subject to annual review.”

 

 

Capital Community College Offers Live Classes in Risk Management

Capital Community College of Hartford, CT is now offering these live instruction classes in ARM:

 

ARM 54: Risk Assessment (PRFD 5359-2176)

Tuesdays/Thursdays from 5 PM – 9 PM

May 8 – June 14, 2012

$699 plus textbook

 

ARM 55: Risk Control (PRFD 5360-2177)

Tuesdays/Thursdays from 5 PM – 9 PM

June 19 – August 2 (excluding July 3 & July 5)

$699 plus textbook

 

ARM 56: Risk Financing (PRFD 5395-3602)

Tuesdays/Thursdays from 5 PM – 9 PM

September 25 – Nov. 1

$699 plus textbook

 

To register by phone, call (860) 906-5130. Contact Carol Vassar-Pettit with questions, cpettit@ccc.commnet.edu.

 

 

Advisen’s Casualty Insights Conference Coming May 1

Register here for keynote speakers, Allied World’s Lou Iglesias, Navigators’ Stan Galanski, and Arch’s Mark Lyons and an all-star Risk Manager panel.

 

 

The casualty conference at the McGraw Hill Conference Center is free for risk managers and insurance buyers; Advisen Clients are $395; general registration is $495. Further, eight CE credits are available for $125.

 

 

Other speakers include: Mitchell J. Auslander of Willkie Farr & Gallagher, Alfred Bergbauer of Marsh and Carmelite Bertaut of Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann LLC

 

 

Broadspire Promotes Erica Fichter to Senior Vice President of Medical Management

Broadspire, a TPA WC claims administrator and medical management service provider, has named Erica Fichter to senior vice president of medical management services.

[WCx]

Fichter will oversee a staff of more than 500 clinical professionals and support personnel located throughout the United States. Broadspire has the fifth largest medical management company in the country, with integrated services including: medical bill review, field and telephonic case management, utilization review, physician review, the BOLD® Network preferred provider offering and chronic pain management. “With this array of services, Broadspire’s cost containment results are typically 10 to 15 percent better than those produced by other TPAs and managed care companies,” they claim.

 

 

Note: If your company has any developments you’d like to share, please send them to us at: mbstack@gmail.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
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.

Tidbits From the Workers Compensation Community

LexisNexis Communities Highlights Hot Topics WC In Review
 
The Workers Compensation Law Community Powered by Larsons on LexisNexis offers several great pieces recently:
 
 
1. Statutory Presumptions of Intoxication and Drug Use Don’t Always Ensure an Easy Win for Employers found here by Thomas A. Robinson explains the doctrine of employee fault not being considered when determining compensability of an employee’s claim.
 
 
2. The Spotlight looks at a clash of medical opinions over surgery to correct an injured worker’s enlarged breast condition. The analysis, found here, notes, “In a recent Florida case, an appellate court found the dismissal, by a judge of compensation claims, of a police officer's petition for additional benefits and medical expenses related to his gynecomastia (the abnormal enlargement of male breasts), was premature and in error where the JCC had entered an order appointing an EMA, but because of delay in securing a physician willing to serve, the police officer went ahead and had surgery to correct the condition.” [WCx]
 
 
3. The Spotlight also takes a look at these cases:
  • Future Medical Payments Too Speculative to Support Taxing of Litigation Expenses Against Comp Carrier
  • Employer's Failure to Enforce General Safety Rules Regarding Food Slicer Did Not Mean More Specific Rules Could Be Ignored by Employee
  • Lump-Sum Settlement Agreement, Silent On Employment Status and Approved By Board, Nevertheless Bars Later Tort Action Claiming Independent Contractor Status
And these, found here:
  • Claimant's Trauma Induced Stroke In Fall From Wheelchair Is Not Compensable Aggravation of Original Injury
  • After Full Payment of Scheduled Injury, Employer Allowed Credit Against Additional Disability Benefits Owed Permanently Injured Claimant Related to Pension to Which It Contributed
  • No Compensation Awarded for Injuries Sustained in Auto Accident Following Doctor's Appointment for Treatment Related to Earlier Compensable Claim
 
4. And, in “Aggressive Surveillance of Injured Worker’s Family: Federal Court Says Spouse’s Tort Action Not Barred by Exclusive Remedy Rule” the site notes, “In a diversity action filed by the spouse of an injured worker against the third-party firm administering her husband's workers' compensation claim, a federal district court recently refused to grant the defendant's summary judgment motion, finding the tort action was not barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Connecticut Workers' Compensation Act.” Read more on this topic here.
 

WCRI Hosting Webinars Now through July 19  
 
Each webinar is 60 minutes long. Price per webinar is $35 for members, $50 for non-members, and no charge for public officials and members of the media. To register for any of the webinars, follow this link: http://www.wcrinet.org/conference.html.
 
 
One webinar will be about hospital outpatient costs and the impact of fee schedules. WCRI writes, “As legislators, employers and other stakeholders look for ways to control the rising costs of medical care for injured workers, the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) is offering a series of webinars on important workers’ compensation topics and research that will be both interesting and actionable. The first of the series is a webinar based on WCRI’s recent study, Hospital Outpatient Cost Index for Workers’ Compensation.”
 
 
Hanover Stone Partners names Brent Clark, Marnix Guillaume and Joseph A. Milan as Senior Risk Advisors
 
Hanover Stone Partners, a risk management services firm, recently expanded its capabilities in alternative risk transfer, international, and ERM by appointing three new risk advisors. The executives, Brent Clark, Marnix L.K. Guillaume, and Joseph A. Milan, bring specialized expertise and veteran leadership to the firm's clients in the areas of alternative risk transfer; international risk management; and enterprise risk management, respectively.
 
 
"As Hanover Stone Partners continues to expand our capabilities, we remain committed to bringing clients the best available expertise across a range of critical disciplines to address their complex risk management needs," said John J. Kelly, founder and managing partner of Hanover Stone Partners. "These three outstanding professionals bring world class capabilities in alternative risk transfer, international risk management, and enterprise risk management, all of which are integral to effective risk management on a global scale."  
 
 
Pat Chavanu  named Senior Vice President of Sales at Network Synergy Group
 
Network Synergy Group (NSG), a national physical therapy management company, recently named Pat Chavanu as its Senior Vice President of Sales. Chavanu will be responsible for leading all sales efforts for NSG, a company regarded in the managed care industry as a true innovator.
 
 
“We are extremely excited about Pat joining our team. He’s a highly regarded executive with over 20 years of experience in our industry,” said John D. Hanselman, President of NSG. “His experience directing sales and account-retention efforts and positioning companies for profitable growth will be an asset to our company as we continue our nationwide expansion.”
 
 
New Page At The WC Resource Center
 
Check out www.LowerWC.com where we have a new page on best practices in WC claim handling. Best practices are often referenced in the handling of workers compensation claims without an explanation as to what they are or what the insurance industry standards are for handling workers compensation claims. While best practices vary slightly from insurance company to insurance company, we offer a synopsis of the basic standards of how the insurance adjuster handles workers compensation claims.

American Chiropractic Association Looks at Obesity
 
David C. Radford, DC, Robert C. Jones, DC, and James F. Winterstein, DC recently wrote an article, found here, that notes this generation of Americans is the first predicted to die at a younger than their parents. This is mostly due to the chronic health issues associated with being overweight, they write. “Since 1985, the first year the CDC started keeping body mass index (BMI) statistics on the population in all 50 states, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity rates, and this trend is not improving. In 1994, there was not a single state that had an average rate of obesity over 19 percent, and the data showed greater than 50 percent of the general population had an obesity rate of 10 percent to 14 percent or less.”
 
 
NCIB releases Sitting Study: Mortality Risk Higher
 
US National Library of Medicine through the National Institutes of Health recently released a new Australian study showing sitting is the new smoking.
 
 
The abstract, published here, shows prolonged sitting is detrimental to health, but evidence regarding the independent relationship of total sitting time with all-cause mortality is limited. The NCIB linked prospective questionnaire data from about 200,000 people 45 years or older and examined all-cause mortality in relation to sitting time.
 
 
The study indicated, “Prolonged sitting is a risk factor for all-cause mortality, independent of physical activity. Public health programs should focus on reducing sitting time in addition to increasing physical activity levels.”
 
 
WCRI Hosting Annual Issues & Research Conference
 
The Workers Compensation Research Institute is offering signups for the 29th annual Issues & Research Conference Nov. 14-15th, 2012, at the Boston Marriott in Cambridge, Mass.
 
 
WCRI suggests saving the dates now in order to learn the latest research findings from WCRI, hear renowned speakers, and participate in networking opportunities with WC experts and policymakers, and WCRI staff.
 
Conference and registration information will be posted on the WCRI website, here, in May. For more information email Sarah Solorzano at ssolorzano@wcrinet.org.
 
 
TDI-DWC Hosts Educational Sessions on Returning Injured Employees to Work
 
The Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC) is hosting brown bag educational sessions Returning Injured Employees to Work at its field offices around the state in May 2012. Check here for more information. The educational sessions are for all Texas WC participants, including: injured employees, employers, health care providers, insurance carriers, claim adjusters, case managers and attorneys.[WCx]
 
 
The session will illustrate the importance of returning injured employees to work and provide tools to help facilitate the process. For more details on the educational sessions, visit the TDI-DWC Events and Training Calendar on the TDI website at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/wc/events/index.html.
 
 
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.

 


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.

WCRI Provides Unbiased Research to Industry

Few people realize the workers’ compensation industry is actually 100 years old. It’s one of the most-successful public-private partnerships in U.S. history.
 
 
Since 1983, the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) has been providing the public with research on WC public policy issues. Based in Cambridge, Mass., the organization includes among its members employers, labor organizers, public and private insurers, health care providers, managed care companies, and state government representatives from the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.
 
 
Dr. Richard Victor, WCRI executive director, oversees the institute’s studies and analysis that has added ammunition for the reforms to various aspects of the workers' comp system. Prior to working at the institute, he spent seven years conducting research at The Rand Corporation in Washington , D.C., and Santa Monica , Calif. His law degree and Ph.D. in economics is from the University of Michigan.
 
 
LowerWC recently asked Victor for his impressions of the industry. What follows are some of his comments:
 
 
“One of the most important, and troubling, areas for workers’ compensation systems is to find the appropriate ways to use narcotics – and to discourage abuse and diversion. A second critical issue is to find new and innovative ways for help workers return to productive employment,” Victor says.
 
 
To this end, WCRI is conducting several research phases to help find answers for WC narcotic use and return-to-work issues, he says.
 
 
Victor says the latest trends in workers’ compensation also include medical cost management. “Medical costs now represent more than half of workers’ compensation costs in most states. There is increasing focus on pharmaceutical costs and utilization and the payments made to hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers,” he says.
 
 
Further, everyone wants to know how to save the employers money. Victor says, “Most large employers are focused on three legs of the four-legged cost containment table – risk financing, injury prevention, and claim management. The fourth leg is a large opportunity because employers have underinvested in it – improving the ‘rules of the game’ to make the system more effective for workers and more cost effective for employers.”
 
 
He continues, “This requires that employers join together to formulate political positions and strategies and gather available evidence about how a given state system is performing, how it might be improved, and what lessons can be learned from other states.”
 
 
California and Texas are good examples of where employers have taken collective action and costs have fallen significantly, Victor says. One of the chief objectives of the WCRI CompScope benchmarking studies is to help stakeholders and public officials set priorities and debunk myths.
 
 
One important part of this research is an upcoming conference. The WCRI Annual Issues and Research Conference will be Nov. 16-17 in Boston with keynote speaker Peter Barth, professor of economics emeritus at the University of Connecticut. This will be its 28th year.
 
 
The goal there to present new ideas and alternative views, Victor says. “Whether you are managing workers’ compensation claims, involved in strategic planning, concerned with medical costs and utilization, or just looking for a better understanding of workers' compensation – this is the conference for you.”
 
 
All of the sessions highlight the first presentations of the latest research findings from WCRI while drawing upon the diverse perspectives of highly-respected workers’ compensation experts and policymakers from across the country, he says. “Attendees tell us that they value the large attendance because it allows them to leverage their time while at the conference. There are also opportunities to meet and interact with WCRI researchers.”
 
 
“The most important advice I can give remains a secret until the WCRI conference, when I (present) ‘The Elephant in the Room.’ It will highlight some things that are underappreciated, but are likely to shape workers’ compensation systems for the next decade. The future is not always like the past,” Victor says. “Of course, I would like to see your readers attend to stretch their thinking, gain a competitive edge, and network with peers.”
 
 
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  Manage Your Workers Compensation: Reduce Costs 20-50% on cost containment techniques.  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

Eleven Ways to Learn about Workers Compensation at a National Workers Compensation Conference

 
Work Comp Roundup attends the National Workers Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo (NWCDC) at least every other year.
 
 
As seasoned conference goers, we offer some hints and tips on how to make the most out of our experience.
 

 You might
wonder why those already established in the industry attend still attend conferences…

The reason is
that the workers compensation industry is always evolving – new players, new laws, and new equipment.  We recommend everyone who is new to our field attend industry conferences often. This time of year, it's the National
Workers Compensation and Disability Conference® in Las Vegas in November to learn what is new.

At Roundup, we always learn new techniques, meet new vendors, and discover the latest service enhancements. In fact, when I began, I learned this field from the ground up — NWCDC was a part of that education! 20 years ago, in Chicago — my, how time flies.

 
A conference of this scale can help you expand your knowledge and gain new solutions directly related to:
1.Workers compensation,
2.Disability management,
3.Return-to-work programs,
4.Better Claims Management,
5. Health/Medical Management,
6. Solving Legal/Regulatory Issues, and
7. Strategic Views
 
The National Workers Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo Nov. 9-11 in Las Vegas is the nation's leading event for dedicated to the workers' comp and disability management industries. Hundreds of our colleagues gather each year to expand their knowledge and gain new solutions directly related to their workers' comp, disability, and return-to-work programs.
 
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the conference offers more than 30 breakout sessions organized by type and level. Plus, there will be an in-depth pre-conference symposium, “Awesome New Technologies: What You Need to Know to Drive Improvement.” The Expo portion of the conference hosts more than 260 exhibitors providing an additional venue to gather knowledge to take home plus numerous opportunities to network and glean insights from top experts on how to solve your problems in claims management, strategic program planning, health/medical management, plus legal and regulatory issues.
 
As a seasoned conference goer and industry leader, here are ideas about how to get the most out of this large national conference:
 
Eleven Ways to Get the Most Out of the National Conference:
 
1. Attend the Opening Session. This is a large session for all attendees where awards are given to the best companies in the industry. Don't miss this because the award recipients will describe their programs, what works, what doesn't, how they overcame challenges specific to their industry and company, and likely the same obstacles YOU are also encountering. You will hear many ways to reduce costs, and you will take many notes.
 
2.  Focus on your specific goals, for example, attend sessions about return to work programs or allocation systems, if you need to learn more about how to implement these cost containment techniques. I use my Program Planner like a lesson plan, circling the first and second choices.
 
3. Read the brochures you collect when you return home; use them as your own private educational program to LEARN what is available. How could you possibly request an off-site vendor be added to your list of service providers if you do not that such as service exists? You can't!  How could you ask for nurse triage if you do not know the service exists? You can't.
 
4. Pass your business card out and do not be afraid to network – that is part of this business. Meeting knowledgeable people gives you a resource when you encounter a problem. Sitting at the round tables encourages discussion. Don't be afraid to tell people at your table you are new. They may be too, and if they are experienced, they'll be happy to help you. We've all been new at some point in our career.  
 
5. Learn what you don’t know you don’t know. We often find employers who have misidentified the cause of their high work comp costs. They think it is nurse case management or bill review that is driving costs, when it is really poor management and operational practices. Being exposed to new ideas presents an opportunity to learn things you don’t even know you are missing!
 
6. Chat with people who do the same things that you do and see where you differ. One thing I like about the conference is that some of the most popular sessions are repeated at different times, and if I begin a session that does not interest me, or isn't applicable (which doesn't happen often), it is not a problem to quietly sit in another session down the hall. CAVEAT: Be courteous if you think you might do this as it's not fair to distract the speakers or other participants by being noisy or disruptive, so take care to come and go quietly, and sit in the back of the room near the door. Many sessions are very close in proximity to each other — in the same large hallway – which makes entering another session easy.
 
7. Learn Key Cost Drivers. 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. We speak daily with companies unhappy with their TPA or insurance carrier, but are only guessing about what is driving their costs. If you are even thinking of changing carriers or TPAs, I suggest you attend the sessions at the conference to make sure you are on the right track.
 
8. 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!
 
9. Wear comfortable attire. Bring comfortable shoes. I call my black flats my "conference shoes." You will be on your feet a lot, so be comfortable. 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. You will definitely want to 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.
 
TIP: Visit the Exhibit Hall and the Educational Sessions. Attend both. Try to visit every single vendor in the exhibit hall. Start on the right, and move systematically through the rows.
 
TIP: Start early, leave late, and remember … although your feet may hurt, this is only once a year!
 
TIP: Before the Exhibit Hall opens, have breakfast in the Continental Breakfast Hall to network with new friends. You will find people are very friendly and helpful. I love the 8-round tables which make it so easy to introduce yourself to those at your table. 
 
HINT: Bring band-aids – you will do a lot of walking, and you may get a blister or two, so come prepared.
 
10. It is affordable. If the CEO or business owner does not want to spend the money for you to attend the conference, show them the TRUE cost of your workers’ compensation losses with the Sales To Pay For Accidents Calculator to gain management commitment here: http://www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/calculator.php.
 
For example, if you have just one $40,000 loss, it will take your company $666,666.00 in new sales to replace the $40,000 lost on that single claim. Learning how to reduce your costs is a wise business investment. It also makes you more valuable in the marketplace.
 
Yes, it is in Las Vegas, and if your CEO bemoans the fact that the conference is in a city more known for partying than workers’ compensation, let him or her know that Las Vegas is one of the most affordable travel destinations, which is undoubtedly one of the reasons the conference organizer chose that destination this year.
 
11. Keep your conference 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 Proposal, this will be your ultimate list of those companies to bid on your project.
 
See you there!
 
 
Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation, and has attended the National Workers Compensation and Disability Conference® many times. 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. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
 

Our WC Book:  http://www.wcmanual.com
WORK COMP CALCULATOR: http://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.

Scottish Safety and Health Forum to Be Held In Glasgow

Finding a way to press on with accident and ill health prevention during difficult economic times is the theme this year of Scotland’s foremost safety event. In 2009-10 there were 23 worker fatalities, 2,548 reported major injuries to employees, and 7,992 over three day injuries to employees reported in Scotland.
 
 
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), everyday accident and ill-health issues facing firms will be thoroughly investigated at the RoSPA Scotland Safety and Health Forum, taking place at the Hilton Glasgow Hotel on September 21, 2011. The event is an evolution of the popular RoSPA Scotland Occupational Safety and Health at Work Congress and the title reflects a more dynamic learning experience. For more information visit: www.rospa.com/events/scotlandforum. (WcxKit)
 
 
Delegates at the forum will explore current and future health and safety issues in the wider context of budget cuts by getting involved with interactive workshops, discussion groups, and panel interviews — learning from each other as well as experts.
 
 
Chaired by Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA's chief executive, the conference is expected to attract a range of top safety stakeholders, including company directors, senior managers, health and safety advisers, and human resource professionals.
 
 
The event opens with a panel of experts taking part in a discussion entitled “A Day in the Life of Health and Safety: Overcoming Your Operational Challenges,” expected to provide solutions to real issues raised by delegates.
 
 
A variety of workshops covering safety leadership, communication, and health and wellbeing will take place, with plenty of top tips and practical advice given by prominent Scottish health and safety professionals.(WcxKit)
 
 
Two case studies will enable delegates to take away practical advice from the real world of business. One focuses on finding opportunities amid budget cuts. The second reviews a genuine accident autopsy, looking at how it happened, and what it really cost.

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks 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.

 
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.

What’s the Workers Compensation World All About

I go to the National Workers' Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo (NWCD Conference) either in Chicago or Las Vegas at least every other year. I went last year and I'll be going this year. This year it's in Las Vegas, November 10 to 12, 2010  at the Las Vegas Convention Center. You might wonder why someone who is an expert in workers compensation cost containment still attends conferences and seminars, and that's a good question. MSRIRIMs      . …           gommgoes to the conference and attururutt wonder why someone who is a workert 
One of my favorite saying is "You don't know what they don't know!"  One of the things I recommend to everyone who is new to the workers compensation field or manages workers compensation for a company is to attend either RIMS and NWCD Conference often to learn what is available in the field. I still attend to learn new techniques, to meet new vendors, and to find out their latest service enhancements.

When I went to law school they didn't teach us about risk management, nor did they teach us how to manage a workers compensation program, so I learned from the ground up, by attending RIMS in the spring and NWCD Conference in the fall. That's how I learned the field. Last year, for example, I attended RIMS in Boston and NWCD Conference in Chicago. In Chicago, I focused on sessions about the Federal Workers Compensation system and FECA to learn more about the similarities and differences. When I was new to workers comp, I came home with my bags loaded with brochures about new services. How could I possibly request an off-site vendor be added to my list of service providers if I didn't know there was such a service? How could I have asked for nurse triage if I didn't know the service existed? How could I ….. you get the point. You don't know what you don't know. Sure, I pass my business card out and network a lot at the conference, too, but that's part of the business. You meet knowledgeable poople and when you encounter a problem, those people are there to support you and give you suggestions on how to overcome the "obstacle-du-jour."

I speak daily with companies unhappy with their TPA or insurance carrier, but don't know the basics of cost containment. If you are even thinking of changing carriers or TPAs, I suggest you attend the sessions at the conference to make sure you are on the righ track. One thing I see VERY often is employers have misidentified their cause of their high work comp costs. They think it's the nurse case management or bill review that's driving the cost, when it is really poor management and operational practices.

I roamed through the exhibit hall speaking to vendors and learning about the types of services that were available to reduce my workers comp costs. Workers Comp Managers get so busy setting up their programs they don't have time to learn all the techniques available to them. If your upper management is trying to cut costs yet not encouraging or allowing conferences, use the calculator at the bottom of this article to show them that the reduction in the cost of ONE claim will cover the cost, and a reduction of 20 – 50% of your loss costs will make the shareholders very pleased. YOU can achieve those results by learning all you can about the process.
The National Workers' Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo is the the nation's leading conference for claims professionals to learn everything from the basics to more advanced strategies about workers compensation cost containment. RIMS is great, too, of course. The difference is RIMS covers all lines of insurance, whereas NWCD Conference covers only workers comp and disability. It's a good way to jump in the water!
In fact, I am so adamant that a new workers comp manager should attend to learn the ropes, that I have offered to speak with several colleagues bosses to tell them how important it is. In the 2009 RIMS Benchmark Survey, risk managers who responded to the survey overwhelmingly said that conferences were the #1 way they learned about workers compensation cost containment.
Here's what you'll get out of this conference:  
1.     Expand your knowledge and gain new solutions directly related to:
a.      workers compensation
b.      disability management
c.     return-to-work programs
2.     Attendees, from CEOs and attorneys to risk managers and disability claims analysts, will find answers to many of their specific challenges throughout the conference's five program tracks:
Better Claims, Management/RTW Strategies, Data Analysis, Solving Legal/Regulatory Issues, Medical/Behavioral Solutions, and Strategic View
 
3.     There are 33 breakout sessions organized by type and level to accommodate a range of learning styles and experience. You'll literally be able to spend the entire time going from session to session, and getting great presentation materials to take notes on.
Session Highlights include:
 "Needle-Moving States: Developments That Drive the Nation,"
 
"Medicare Set-asides/SCHIP Summit Meeting" from the Solving Legal/Regulatory Issues
 
"60 Cost Containment Tips in 60 Minutes" from the Better Claims Management
Visit  http://www.on2url.com/app/adtrack.asp?MerchantID=51121&AdID=506993  for more details or to register. If you see me sitting in one of the session or roaming the exhibit hall, please stop and say "hello," I'd love to meet you!
Author: Rebecca Shafer, President Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com 
 
WC Roundtable LinkedIn: 
http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
Work Comp Calculator:  http://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.
  
©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
 Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com 

Public Sector Risk Managment Seminar Nov. 19, Elmsford, NY

Public Sector: Empowering the Public Sector Through Risk Management, FREE SEMINAR, Wednesday, November 19, 2008, Elmsford, NY. Learn about Public Sector risk management. For more information and to register contact: Deb_Brinkman@ajg.com or call 630-285-3909.

Contractors: Reduce Workers Comp Premiums for Contractors, FREE SEMINAR – Wed, November 5, 2008, S. Sioux City, NE. For more information and to register contact: Chuck_Goodman@ajg.com or call 515-440-8426 or http://www.ajg.com/WC

For more cost savings tips go to WC Cost Reduction Tips.

Reduce Workers Comp Costs: Contractor Seminar, South Sioux City, NE

Contractors & sub-contractors can learn how to reduce their workers’ comp costs easily and quickly. You’ll learn:

  • How to protect your company from third-party lawsuits;
  • Legal and financial consequences of relationships between contractors and subcontractors;
  • The top 10 safety standards commonly cited by OSHA and what a contractor can do about them;
  • The type of safey information that helps lower Workers’ Comp premiums.
  • Indirect costs of workers’ comp claims is is 7X direct costs.

All seminar information will be available in downloadable format. To register, go to: http://www.ajg.com/portal/server.pt?open=512&mode=2&objID=3803

If your workers’ comp costs are $50,000 and your profit margin is 7.5%, your company will need to sell $666,666. Figure out YOUR real costs of Workers’ Comp, then learn how to reduce those costs. http://www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/calculator.php?total=50%2C000.00&margin=7.5&calculate=Calculate

For the 7 Biggest Mistakes Companies Make, click here: http://www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/lower-reduce-workers-comp-costs.php
For more cost savings tips go to WC Cost Reduction Tips.

Professional Development Resource

Learn How to Reduce Workers Comp Costs 20% to 50%"Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%"
Lower your workers compensation expense by using the
guidebook from Advisen and the Workers Comp Resource Center.
Perfect for promotional distribution by brokers and agents!
Learn More

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