Workers Compensation Rountable Roundup For July 2-10

This week at the Workers Compensation Roundtable discussion group on Linkedin there are several new discussions, including this one from Deborah Pfeifle: What is the average life span of a WC claim from first report of injury through closure, nationally? What is the #1 issue that precludes claim closure?
Charlie Larson of South Dakota responds with, “We are allowed to file written discovery and conduct depositions. After the petition is filed, we have 30 days to answer, each side has 30 days to answer discovery, and after obtaining a medical authorization, it takes forever to get medical records. After that is done, the depositions begin. I've had some cases drag out for years, but that typically is the result of a claimant attorney not moving the case forward.”
He encourages participants from other states to write their comments.
Mike Benishek writes that, while he knows of no national figures for claim closure, his “med-onlys usually close out in 60 days. Lost time varies by claim.” He adds, “As for what precludes claim closure, #1 is Attorneys (both claimant & defense attorneys) and the ever popular Medicare Set Aside (MSA) requirements.”
And Karen Rutledge writes, “I am not certain about national standards, but in TX if we could obtain claim closure on an indemnity case within 105 weeks it was a success as there is lifetime medical treatment option. In OK and CO, an indemnity case with litigation could be up to 2 years. I agree with Mike medical only was usually 60 days as you had to wait for medical providers to submit all the bills.”
Though an older discussion, the topic asking which state has the worst WC laws is still drawing comments. This week David Sheck, a WC and PEO broker for 20 years, writes, “I would say it is a tie between Ca and NY. Generally states in the Northeast are close runner ups.” And participant Mark Walls directs readers to a document showing the Oregon WC premium ranking summary.(WCxKit)
John Winkler says, “NC should be in the running as well — No cap on TT and the requirement to return injured workers to ‘suitable employment’ can be a bear with an Avg. cost per claim 34% higher than the median of 46 other states and medical costs increasing in cost per visit.”
And Greg Krohm adds, “I am really surprised by the near consensus on CA, IL and NY. The next interesting question is: What specific system features are the most disliked by employers (payers)? I suspect the reasons would be diverse and different in each of the above states, e.g., IL fee schedule is being racked over but the CA fee schedule is not bad relatively speaking. Hearing delays may be a big problem in one state but not in another. IL has no treatment guidelines and NY and CA guidelines have been the focus of a lot of discussion. Another interesting question: would organized labor pick a different list of states?”
And lastly, a new discussion was brought up by Thomas, who asks, “Does anyone have experience with the use of EBT cards for scheduled indemnity benefit transfers? Vendor recommendations?”
Join us at Linkedin's Workers Compensation Roundtable right now and right here! Better yet, invite your friends so they too can become informed on hot topics in the Workers Compensation industry.(WCxKit)
Workers Compensation Roundtable is jointly managed by people dedicated to the concept that workers compensation is a manageable line on your expense ledger, and that informed professionals are empowered achievers. Workers' compensation is not simply a cost of doing business, it is a cost that can be controlled. Beginning with an assessment of cost drivers, benchmarking data, and integrating the solutions, employers can reduce workers' comp costs 20 to 50 percent. With proper information, professionals managing compensation claims can reduce costs and improve outcomes for all stakeholders in the process. This group is for employers, business owners, risk managers, HR managers, insurance executives, and brokers to discuss the obstacles and strategies to overcome them.

Author Rebecca Shafer
, JD, President of Amaxx Risks 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. See for more information. Contact:
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.
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