Kansas Division for Workers Comp Takes Huge Step In Ankle Replacement

 

Privately Held Company Engineers Product
 
Small Bone Innovations, Inc. (SBi), a privately held orthopedics company focused on arthroplasty and joint-related trauma technologies and treatments for the small bones and joints, reported that the Kansas Dept. of Labor’s Division for Workers Compensation (DWC) recently adopted guidelines specifying the use of SBi’s STAR total ankle replacement implant when meeting certain patient guidelines. It is the only total ankle system being recommended by the Division based upon its adopted medical treatment guidelines.
 
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for 2010, there were approximately 300 reported cases in Kansas of foot and ankle disability claims among private sector employees.
 
The STAR ankle is reportedly the only total ankle replacement system approved through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Premarket Approval (PMA) process.
 
 
Greater Clinical Success, Shorter Operating Time
 
In the PMA process, the STAR ankle's safety and effectiveness was compared with ankle fusion in a multi-center, multi-year, Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) study. The IDE study results, published in 2009, reportedly demonstrated STAR to be superior in efficacy and comparable in safety to fusion. The IDE and other subsequent studies reportedly show that the STAR ankle has better pain relief, greater clinical success, less blood loss and a shorter operating time than fusion.
 
Michael Simpson, president & CEO of SBi, noted “Nationwide, patients suffering from acute arthritis are demanding the preservation of joint function and anatomical motion in addition to pain relief. As occurred with hips and knees more than a decade ago, ankle replacement is quickly becoming the future for baby boomers who want to maintain an active lifestyle.
 
 
Mainstream Product Covered by Medicare
 
The fact that the STAR has become a mainstream treatment covered by Medicare and major private insurers is a huge step, literally, in the direction of fulfilling patient demand,” he added.
 
Anthony Viscogliosi, founder & executive chairman of SBi added “Kansas joins Texas as one of the first states to adopt the latest disability management guidelines for workers compensation programs that specify the STAR ankle as the only suitable ankle replacement solution.
 
As a result, we are raising the level and content of communications with patients and their primary care physicians in these states to enhance knowledge and understanding of the STAR ankle’s benefits.”
 
According to SBi, leading foot and ankle surgeons in Kansas have already been trained and certified in the STAR procedure and are performing total ankle arthroplasty procedures. Nationwide, more than 700 surgeons are qualified to perform the procedure and in excess of 20,000 patients worldwide have received the STAR ankle, the company noted. 
 
 

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

 

 

 

 


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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.

WC Basics 101 – Kansas Workers Compensation

Workers Compensation Laws change frequently. This is only a summary; a complete copy of the most up-to-date version can be found at: www.WorkCompResearch.com , an excellent service.

In Kansas workers compensation coverage is compulsory as to all employment, including corporate executives and employees of charitable organizations.  Coverage is elective for individuals, partners or the self-employed.   There are some exceptions.  Real estate brokers and real estate salespeople on commission are excluded from the compulsory requirements.  Also, farm labor and employees of any employer whose gross annual payroll is $20,000 or less are excluded from compulsory coverage.

 
Obtaining Coverage
To obtain workers compensation coverage in Kansas, the employer has three options which are
 
  • purchasing a workers compensation insurance policy from a state approved insurance company
  • applying to and being approved for self-insurance status with the Kansas Department of Labor.
  • being a part of a group-funded self-insurance plan that has been approved by the Kansas Department of Labor

Claim Reporting
The employee must provide notice of the injury to the employer with 10 days and up to 75 days with just cause.  The actual claim of the employee must be served on the employer within 200 days after the accident, or last payment, or within 1 year of the employee’s death with death occurring within 5 years after the date of the accident.  WCxKit
 

Medical Benefits
In Kansas, the employer selects the medical provider for workers compensation claims.  The employer is required to provide all reasonable and necessary medical care free of any charges to the employee. The employer is also liable for up to $500 of employee incurred medical bills at a non-authorized doctor.  The employee can also apply to the Director of Workers Compensation for a change of doctors. The employee is entitled to all medical treatment needed to cure or relieve the effects of the injury.  Prayer or spiritual treatment is permitted by agreement.
 

Temporary Total Disability Benefits
The temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are calculated as two-thirds of the employee's average weekly.  The maximum amount of TTD benefits that can be paid is $555.00 per week.  The state maximum is subject to annual increase/decrease each July 1st, based on the state’s average weekly wage.  The state minimum weekly benefit is $25.
The first 7 days of disability (the waiting period) is not paid to the injured employee unless the employee is disabled for more than 21 days.  TTD benefits can be paid until a cap of $100,000 has been reached.
 

Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
In Kansas if the employee is able to return to any type of work, but at a lesser rate of pay then the amount the employee was earning prior to the injury, the employee is entitled to temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits.  The TPD benefits are paid at two-thirds of the difference between the pre-injury wage and the post-injury wage.  The TPD benefits are paid for up to a maximum of $100,000.  The TPD benefits plus the post-injury pay rate cannot exceed the state's maximum indemnity benefits rate.
 

Permanent Partial Scheduled Disability
Kansas uses a Schedule to establish the value of an injury to all extremities, the shoulders, eyes and hearing.  Each body part has a set number of weeks it is worth with a shoulder being worth 225 weeks of compensation and the number of weeks decreasing with other extremity body parts having lesser value down to a toe, other than a big toe, being worth 10 weeks of compensation.   A 20% loss of use of the arm, which is scheduled at 210 weeks, would result in a permanent partial scheduled disability award of 42 weeks (210 weeks X 20%).

Permanent Partial General Disability

When the employee sustains a permanent partial general disability of a body part not listed on the Kansas Scheduled Injuries list and the employee is not permanent totally disabled, the employee receives permanent partial general disability. If the employee is able to return to work and is earning at least 90% of the average weekly wage, the employee is given a percentage of the whole body impairment based on the AMA Guidelines, Fourth Edition.  The maximum in weeks is 415 weeks.  An employee with a 10% rating would get an award of 41.5 weeks of compensation.  The maximum an employee can collect for permanent partial disability is $100,000.
 

Permanent total disability
Kansas permits the employee to collect a maximum of 415 weeks of indemnity benefits for all types of indemnity combined, but the total amount of benefits collected for permanent total disability is $125,000 instead of $100,000 (the amount of TTD benefits paid to the employee is included in the $125,000 indemnity benefit cap).
 

Death Benefits
The burial expenses in Kansas are covered for a work-related death up to $5,000.  The death benefits for a dependent spouse and children follow the same guidelines as TTD benefits – two-thirds of the average weekly wage – currently a maximum of $555 week, and a minimum survivor’s benefit of $370 per week, except there is a dollar maximum for death benefits in the amount of $250,000 with children, or $200,000 without children.  If there is no spouse and no dependents, the death benefit is reduced to $25,000.  WCxKit
 

Vocational Benefits
Vocational Rehabilitation is on a voluntary basis in Kansas. However, once it is started, it cannot be terminated without the agreement of the employee.  The vendor of the vocational rehabilitation may be changed for good cause supported by substantial evidence.  If so, the employee may select the replacement vendor from a list of three qualified vendors provided by the employer.
 

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

NEW 2012 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.

Former OSHA Inspector Could End Up in Prison

A former OSHA inspector from Wichita was recently charged in federal court for submitting fake reports, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom reported.
 
 
The Wichita Eagle reported that Douglas McComb, 64, is charged with three counts of making false inspection reports while he was working for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The crimes are alleged to have taken place in September 2009, October 2009 and March 2010. (WCxKit)
 
 
According to the indictment, McComb, while employed as a compliance safety and health officer, allegedly filed three reports that indicated he had conducted an inspection when in fact he had not.
 
Those included:
 
1.       Reporting on Sept. 11, 2009, that he conducted an inspection at Cornejo & Sons Constructions work site at 10333 E. 21st in Wichita.
 
2.       Reporting on Oct. 6, 2009, that he conducted an inspection at Dondlinger & Sons Constructions work site at I-135 and 47th Street South in Wichita.
 
3.       Reporting on March 10, 2010, that he conducted an inspection at Weigel Constructions work site at 19945 W. 161st in Olathe. (WCxKit)
 
 
 
If convicted, McComb is looking at a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
 
 
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 or 860-553-6604.
 
 
 
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

Kansas State Senate Gives Approval to Workers Comp Reform

The Kansas State Senate gave its approval to workers compensation reform March 21.
 
 
According to the Kansas Reporter, the bill will make it more difficult for individuals to file false claims by shoring up reporting requirements, increasing the caps on payouts for injury or death, and making it easier to test for drug or alcohol impairment immediately following an injury. (WCxKit)
 
 
The bill had already gained approval in the House in February by a 90 to 29 vote. Senate and House negotiators are slated to meet in conference committee to iron out the differences between the two versions and submit the compromise to both chambers for approval.
 
 
The legislation, over which labor and business interests went back-and-forth on for months last year, increases caps on workers comp benefits as much as $30,000, to a maximum $155,000 for a worker totally and permanently disabled on the job. Maximum benefits if an employee dies on the job would go up $50,000, to $300,000.
 
 
The bill also mandates workers who don’t report job injuries immediately, or who go to a private doctor instead of reporting the injury to their employer immediately, to explain in more detail when they file claims why that happened.
 
 
According to supporters, those provisions are intended to avert claims brought by workers who were taking drugs or using alcohol when the injuries took place as well as anyone who might try to pass off a prior injury as work related.
 
 
Also, illegal immigrants injured on the job would be entitled to have medical expenses paid, but would not be eligible for disability payments unless the employer was aware of the workers' undocumented status. (WCxKit)
 
 
During Senate floor debate, the most noticeable disagreement came on a proposal to grant the secretary of the Kansas Department of Labor authority to appoint all five judges hearing appeals of worker injury cases and require Senate confirmation of each.
 
 
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 or 860-553-6604.
 
 
 
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

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