Employer Claim Handling Tools Not Available to Carrier
Employers who are willing to make better use of claim tools already in existence around them can achieve precisely what they have been hoping, in vain, that their carriers will do for them.
The tools are:
- Occupational Health and Safety Administration(OSHA) physical exam
- Department of Transportation (DOT) medical exam
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) medical exams
None of these exams can be done by a carrier (which is limited to work comp).
Why it works – employer indirect involvement in comp claims.
Never heard of these exams? Or, more likely, confused them with “fitness for work” exams? That is due to the fact that these exams are permitted under the federal statutes, but are discovered only after a bit of digging, with added phone calls to the respective federal agencies, just to be sure.
What do the exams do? They permit the employer to be involved in the evaluation of disability process independent and separated from the work comp laws, carrier, boards and attorneys.
Reasons These Exams Work:
First, they are far faster than any work comp procedure – they are doable within days, not weeks or months.
Second, they are not adversarial – they are not part of litigation; they are in compliance with safety regulations.
Third, the information is not disseminated to a vast bureaucracy. Unless a HIPAA is granted for release, the only copy of the exams is with the employer and employee.
Fourth, the parties are not strangers to each other – it is the employer’s staff and the employee.
Fifth, lawyers are not involved.
Sixth – the most important feature – workers do not become frightened that their work situation will be in the hands of a slow, remote, incomprehensible and adversarial administrative body.
Seventh, a workers family is assured that they can get answers from people they know in words they can understand.
Recent articles published by work comp research facilities have mentioned the importance of fear and uncertainty in driving comp to expensive, slow litigation and making large claims out of simple situations.
An employer using alternative methods will find that the time spent managing their claims correctly will exponentially save time in comp litigation. And, their experience modifiers will tumble.
Author: Attorney Theodore Ronca is a practicing lawyer from Aquebogue, NY. He is a frequent writer and speaker, and has represented employers in the areas of workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, employee disability plans and subrogation for over 30 years. Attorney Ronca can be reached at 631-722-2100. firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com.
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