The Best Tidbits of News From the Workers Comp Community

 

 
Gould & Lamb is pleased to announce the addition of Mark Masson  to the Executive Team as Chief Client Officer. In his role at Gould & Lamb, Mark will assume responsibility for our overall client interface with the marketplace through strategic management of our field sales operations, marketing, account management, lead development and specialty market initiatives. Read more…
 
 
 
Medcor offers unique, challenging, and rewarding career opportunities for medical professionals in non-traditional settings all across the country. Medcor clinics operate in facilities across a broad spectrum of industries, including major industrial, distribution, manufacturing, construction, entertainment, service, retail, and electronics businesses. Read more…
 
 
 
While many managed health care companies target the private market, Lisa M. Firestone’s has found its niche in the public sector.
 
Firestone, 53, has watched her company, Managed Care Advisors in Bethesda, grow from a two-person peer consulting business to a 37-employee workers’ compensation case management business that includes consulting. She is its founder, CEO and presidentRead more…
 
 
 
The average cost of a workers’ compensation claim in Indiana grew rapidly in recent years, mainly driven by the high price of medical care, according to a new study, Benchmarks for Indiana, CompScope™ 13th Edition, by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI). Read more.
 
 
 
After years of offshore production, General Electric is moving much of its far-flung appliance-manufacturing operations back home. It is not alone. An exploration of the startling, sustainable, just-getting-started return of industry to the United States. Read more…
 
 
Downs Stanford, P.C. is proud to announce that Austin attorney Stuart Colburn has recently co-authored the lauded Texas Workers’ Compensation 2013 Edition Handbook, published by LexisNexis.
 
 More than a year in the making, this handbook is specifically targeted to insurance professionals and attorneys and contains comprehensive information and practical tips to better educate you on how to handle a Worker’s Compensation case in Texas.
 
The book contains practical points and tips for handling Workers’ Compensation claims, statutes and regulations, case summaries and Appeals Panel decisions and is cross-referenced to Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Desk Edition, all written in a concise and easy-to-understand manner and precisely indexed for ease of use for the reader.  Learn how to get your copy.
 
 
 
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.
 
©2012 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.

How On-Site Medical Clinics Curb Fast-Rising Costs of Medical Care in Workers Comp

 

On-Site Clinics Decrease Costs

 

Many medium and large employers in their never-ending battle to reduce cost and to provide benefits to their employees are opting for on-site medical clinics.  On-site medical clinics can decrease the cost of general health benefits programs and decrease the cost of medical care associated with workers’ compensation claims.  On-site medical clinics have proven they can curb the fast-rising cost of medical care for both personal and work-related injuries and illnesses.

 

Some employers are hiring clinicians themselves, and others are using contracted providers who also provide software, protocols and other tools to support the clinicians.

 

 

Medical Care Provided at Work Site, Convenient & Effective Treatment

 

With the on-site clinic, the medical care is provided at the work site, which is convenient for employees who otherwise would have to leave work for care.  Injuries and illnesses are evaluated by the clinic staff; many cases can be treated on site.  Employees are referred to off-site medical facilities only if the injury or illness is beyond the scope of the medical professionals in the on-site clinic.

 

On-site clinics often use a variety of staffing models, including RNs, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants – with physician collaboration and direction as needed.  Depending on the employer’s needs, on-site clinics can be staffed with a doctor.  When properly managed, on-site medical practitioners can provide high quality medical care while reducing overall costs.  They can also provide other health services such as wellness, and regulatory exams, etc. On-site clinics can include x-ray machines and pharmacy services, though costs and state regulations affect the feasibility of those services.  Good providers of on-site medical clinics will tailor the services provided to the employer’s needs.

 

 

Benefits to Employees

 

The benefits to the employee injured on the job include:

 

  • Medical services available when the typical doctor’s office is closed – evenings, weekends and holidays

 

  • No appointment is necessary

 

  • Immediate medical care following an injury

 

In addition to the workers’ compensation benefits, the employee also enjoys easy access to medical care, assistance with chronic medical problems and healthy living guidance.

 

 

Benefits to Employers

 

The benefits to the employer of the injured worker include:

 

  • Evaluate and treat employee injuries immediately

 

  • Avoids unnecessary and off-site medical treatment

 

  • Referral to appropriate and screened preferred medical providers when off-site care is needed

 

  • Improved outcomes and faster return to work, increasing productivity

 

  • Assist in keeping all workers healthy and productive

 

  • Reduces absenteeism

 

  • Significantly lower cost for medical services for workers’ compensation claims

 

  • Can provide physicals

 

  • Drug screening

 

  • Improved general health of employees

 

  • Improved employee morale

 

  • Increases employee retention

 

  • Can coordinate pharmacy usage with your Pharmacy Benefits Manager

 

  • Timely reporting of the injury and medical information to relevant parties.

 

  • The First Report of Injury form is completed and filed with both the state and claims office.

 

 

Treat Workers Comp and Health Care

 

On the workers’ compensation side, the on-site clinics can treat lacerations, strains, sprains, other minor orthopedic injuries, abscess drainage, minor skin infections and other routine acute medical conditions.  On the health care side, the on-site clinics can treat the whole gamut of minor medical conditions that causes employees to lose time from work including strep throats, colds, ear and eye infections, skin lesion removal and vaccinations.

 

 

 

Clinics Used For Any Site with 1,000+ Employees

 

On-site clinics are not just for industrial sites like factories, and mines or large office centers.  On-site clinics can be operated for just about any industry where there are 1,000 or more employees in one location.  Mobile and temporary clinics are used  for large construction projects such asskyscrapers, power plants, and highways.  All clinics need to be equipped with the necessary furniture, supplies, equipment, and medications.

 

The cost of drug testing for both employee applicants and existing employees can be significantly reduced by using an on-site clinic.  Drug testing due to reasonable suspicion, random testing and post-accident screening can be completed by the on-site clinic.  In many states the timely completion of a post-accident drug testing can be used to deny workers’ compensation benefits to employees under the influence of a drug at the time of their injury.  A positive drug test result can be sent to a certified lab for further confirmation.

 

 

Be Sure to Select Quality On-Site Medical Provider

 

When an employer is selecting the on-site medical provider, select a medical provider who provides an on-going review of the quality of service they are providing.  The service quality can be evaluated by patient reviews and comments, by clinic audits and by staff performance evaluations.

 

On-site clinics do carry costs and risks as well.  To be successful, the staff needs to be trained for on-site work, and be supported with appropriate software, operating systems, supplies, medical direction, protocols, QA, and other infrastructure.  The medical practice needs to carry malpractice insurance coverings the employer and be compliant with HIPAA, GINA, HITECH and other privacy regulations.  In addition, some on-site providers may introduce conflicts of interest if they are financially tied to the off-site hospitals, clinics and pharmacies that  they refer to.

 

For further information about on-site clinics, please contact 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.

 

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.

Maximizing the Value of Onsite Health Services

 
 
NOTE: This article appeared in Utility Products magazine, which serves the utility industry — it is reprinted with permission. It details Medcor’s work onsite at wind farm construction projects. These large utility construction projects can involve hundreds of employees working over many miles for many months. The article provides general information about onsite health care, regardless of who the provider is, but also highlights some of Medcor’s specific value. Medcor has many years of experience serving the utility and construction industries and has developed specific protocols and systems for that on-site environment.
 
 
By Kate Woldhuis
During the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER 2011 Conference and Exhibition in May, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced its National Emphasis Program would target safety inspections at wind farms. Because systematic inspections of safety compliance at wind farms nationwide are probably going to begin in 2012, it has become paramount for safety managers to build on existing safety knowledge and work within the workplace to promote the development of compliance requirements by the end of 2011. Many safety managers have brought in third-party contractors to support worksite health and safety goals, so they are free to focus on maintaining compliance.
 
 
Choosing the correct onsite provider, however, can be a complex task. Parties to a wind farm project must be able to support onsite health and safety initiatives, as well as understand the law and new focus of OSHA so that these projects don’t face increased costs, litigation, fines or penalties.(WCxKit)
 
 
Onsite health care firms provide first aid care for workers, which is a beneficial service for both employers and their workers. Wind farms, in particular, face the common challenge of providing their employees with access to medical services. In emergencies, the ramifications of injuries might become magnified because of their commonly rural locations. Even in non-emergency situations, employees and employers alike enjoy the convenience of staying onsite rather than leaving work for 4-8 hours for one doctor’s appointment, leading to hundreds of hours of lost productivity over the length of the project.
 
 
Onsite services generally help employers reduce OSHA recordables and lost time, allowing companies to realize significant gains in productivity and their bottom lines. David Grogg, construction manager with Duke Energy, utilized onsite health care services at two wind farm construction projects in Wyoming. In addition to providing medical response to emergencies and core health services, he appreciated the flexibility it provided.
 
 
“Helping with safety orientations and providing a service to the team of people—a majority of whom are working miles away from town and don’t have the support structure to tend to their health needs all the time—kept the workforce in place so that they’re there and productive. That’s very valuable to us,” Grogg said.
 
 
Whether its in-house or outsourced, and if the onsite provider has the right experience and expertise, they can also support safety initiatives and monitor injury trends—freeing safety managers to focus on preventive measures, maintaining compliance, investigations and other core responsibilities. For the onsite medical team to provide immediate care to workers, the team must have the resources and experience to understand how to overcome obstacles specific to a worksite—including rugged terrain, extreme weather conditions, high-angle or confined space rescues, and hazardous materials. They must also be able to support compliance with applicable regulations and coordinate with local emergency rescue personnel. This is a specialty; the average medical facility does not have the expertise, systems and protocols in place to provide such safety and compliance support.
 
 
One health company that does specialize in onsite health services for wind farms and supports OSHA compliance and safety is Medcor Inc. Headquartered near Chicago, Medcor provides onsite health services to wind farms and other remote utility projects—including pipelines and highways, as well as “turn-arounds” and other services for power companies. The company also serves hundreds of more traditional businesses throughout the nation. Medcor has developed proprietary software systems and clinical guidelines specifically for onsite settings and supports its staff with physician medical directors, a 24/7 call center, off-road response vehicles and mobile clinics to ensure rapid deployment and effective services.
 
 
Medcor’s onsite staffs assigned to utility or construction projects have extensive experience as paramedics, registered nurses, and fire and rescue members, and have safety training up to and including OSHA 500-level certifications—so they can conduct OSHA safety training, environmental safety training (i.e., HAZWOPER) and other customized safety courses specific to their client’s environment. As such, the onsite medical staff is able to closely integrate into safety programs and practices at wind farms.
 
 
In other capacities, onsite medical staffs work closely with safety managers, conducting daily meetings to review daily safety initiatives, developing strategies for preventing injuries, etc., so that safety managers are able to focus on safety leadership. As another example, Medcor’s medical professionals walk the site each day to become familiar with the workers, their jobs and the potential hazards and work-related injuries that could occur. In addition, based on injury data and experiences in the field, these medical professionals are suited to conduct trend analyses and make safety suggestions based on their findings, which further improves the site’s safety record.
 
 
Luke Wright, operations director at Medcor, specializes in onsite health services at wind farm operations. Wright described an incident last year at a wind farm construction site involving an injury high inside a tower: “Our onsite medic worked closely with local fire and rescue to extricate the patient. In the process, our medic learned that the local fire department did not have the best equipment or techniques for that situation combining high angle and confined space. During the post-incident review, she recommended they use back boards designed for vertical extraction instead of typical horizontal boards.” Wright went on to explain other safety observations that were made throughout the course of the project, including changing the type of safety goggles being used, enforcing stricter safety belt rules and providing instruction on proper use of fall protection.
 
 
“Onsite providers offer a different type of service than the safety managers,” Grogg said. “They’re there for keeping workers out of trouble on all aspects. Medcor supplements safety and is more focused on tending to the emergency response plans and tending to health care needs. The greatest value was recognized at my last project when a person fell and Medcor took leadership in working with first responders to help provide the best care possible before they were able to get there.”(WCxKit)
 
 
Many managers like Grogg have found success in outsourcing health and safety support. Contracting third party health and safety professionals to work onsite allows safety professionals to be better positioned to meet the challenges of compliance to safety regulations, provide access to health care for employees and develop more effective safety programs. The wind energy industry is developing, and, with stricter OSHA regulations being enforced in the coming years, safety professionals will need to be free to focus on the changes.
 
 
Kate Woldhuis is a business development analyst at Medcor, Inc. She received a Bachelors’ Degree in Journalism and minored in Environmental Studies at Northern Illinois University and has written several articles regarding green energy and sustainable living for various publications. As a business development analyst, Ms. Woldhuis works with companies operating within a wide variety of industries to promote onsite health, wellness and safety initiatives, as well as strategizes onsite development opportunities to potential clients.
 
Medcor provides telemedicine services to nearly 90,000 worksites in all 50 states and operates 174 on-site workplace clinics. Medcor also provides safety services at construction sites, wind farms, utility and power companies, and government agencies through its subsidiary, Brown Services, LLC. For additional information contact csmith@medcor.com    www.MedCor.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

Five Benefits of Medical Expertise At Time of Initial Injury

 

pic6Nurse triage is the process of having an experienced nurse evaluate an employee’s medical needs and direct medical care by determining the appropriate level needed. Employers who do not have their own on-site medical clinic are turning to nurse triage as a means of controlling and impacting workers compensation cost.

 

 

Nurse triage companies operate a call center where experienced, trained nurses are available on a 24/7/365 basis. Also, employers who do not staff their on-site medical clinic during all shifts are using nurse triage to cover their employee’s medical needs when their clinic is not open. (WCxKit)

 

 

When an employee is injured on the job, the employee and/or supervisor reports the accident direct to the nurse triage company where a trained nurse talks with the employee. The nurse, using proven interviewing techniques, listens carefully to the employee’s description of the accident. He or she asks detailed questions and focuses on the employee’s medical needs. By using treatment protocols and sophisticated medical software, the triage nurse is able to provide an injury assessment. Based on the triage nurse’s assessment of the severity of the injury, the most appropriate level of care and the proper course of treatment can be determined. Then, a decision is made as to where the employee should be sent for medical care.

 

 

If the medical care cannot be provided by the employer’s on-site medical clinic or by administering first aid on-site, the triage nurse refers the employee to a preferred medical provider in their network (set up in advance) best suited to provide the medical care needed. By directing the employee to the most appropriate level of medical care, optimum medical care is provided sooner. This also eliminates expensive emergency room visits and prevents the employee from starting medical treatment with a medical provider only to be transferred to a different medical provider later.

 

 

1- A key benefit of using nurse triage is the transfer of making initial medical decisions from the employee’s supervisor to a trained medical professional. The employee’s supervisor may discourage the employee from having the needed medical care, as the supervisor wants the employee at work, or the supervisor will send the employee to a medical provider not best suited to treat the employee’s injury. Triage nurses are experienced RNs with recent clinical experience who are specially trained to do this job, and the training centers are impressive. I have toured Medcor’s training facility which is state of the art.

 

 

2- The nurse triage will notify the medical provider of the employee’s injury and advise the medical provider to expect the employee’s arrival. This is immediately followed by the claim being reported to all appropriate entities including the risk management department, safety, human resources and the work comp claims office. By addressing the injury immediately with the employee, the employer and insurer have the greatest chance of influencing the cost and overall outcome of the claim. If arrangements have been made with the nurse triage company, they can gather all the information needed and file the first report of injury with the claims office and the appropriate state government entity.

 

 

3- Nurse triage can also assist with early return-to-work programs by obtaining an employee’s job description and providing the job description to the medical provider. When the medical provider indicates light duty restrictions instead of returning to work full duty, the triage nurse will contact the employer with the details of the light duty restrictions. A timely determination is made on the employer being able to accommodate the restrictions and place the employee back on the job.

 

 

4- A triage nurse’s immediate involvement in a workers compensation claim shows all employees their physical well being is important to the company. The leads to a higher level of morale and trust in the employer. It also provides a big benefit for the employer – bottom line savings on the cost of their workers compensation – as the benefits of nurse triage greatly outweighs the cost for the employer. The nurse triage company can provide your company a cost benefit analysis that will show you the savings generated from using a nurse triage company.(WCxKit)

 

 

5- Nurse triage provides a way for the employer to be proactive in the management of workers compensation claims while at the same time being compassionate to the employee’s injury and needs. During a recent assessment of 20 locations of a trucking company using nurse triage, we found that the immediate conversation with the nurses turned many potential lost time claims into either med only claims or “self-care” claims where the employee could ice the injury, for example, and remain at work with his or her ankle inclined.

 

To learn more about nurse triage and other services, please find sources in our Directory.


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. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: RShafer@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.

 

©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.

 

Setting up a Remote Occupational Clinic Has Challenges

 
 
 
Peru – Medcor CEO Philip Seeger testing Medcor’s telemedicine software with an Imarsat/BGAN satellite system on the bank of the Elto Madre river in the Amazon jungle. Seeger and his team also tested their telemedicine system with Iridium sat phones.
 
 
Working in the creature-infested and disease-prone Amazon jungle is not all just fun and games – no indeed – someone might get hurt (just as they might at a less remote worksite).
 
 
And that is what companies such as Medcor are for.
 
 
 
Founded in 1984, Medcor operates more than 170 non-traditional clinics located on-site in client locations around the United States. Medcor’s staff, systems, and software in these clinics help employers control costs, improve outcomes, provide rapid access to medical care when necessary and avoid claims when they are not necessary.  This means planning ahead, even when the worksite is very different from the typical office.
 
 
Privately held with 400 full-time and 400 part-time employees, Medcor does $54 million in business per year, and claims to save its clients several hundred million in workers compensation and general health care costs every year. In addition to its on-site clinics, the company provides telephonic injury triage to more than 80,000 triage worksites from a wide variety of industries across the US.
 
 
Although its core business is focused on providing on-site medical clinics to large worksites and providing injury triage to small worksites across the country, Medcor has a great deal of expertise in the fascinating field of wilderness medicine.
 
 
The company provides on-site medical services at Yellowstone National Park, supports a clinic at the base camp of Mount Everest, and has provides medical services to remote projects such as oil pipelines, windfarms, and highway construction. The company has provided medical support to government projects on Kwajalein and Midway Island in the pacific ocean. Medcor has also has served those affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and provided on-site medical services at the World Trade Center after 9-11. Medcor is currently deployed helping the flood relief efforts in Minot, ND.
 
Currently, Medcor is working for the Zoological Society of San Diego. The society hired Medcor, to establish a wilderness medical program to support a research station in the jungle, at Cocha Chashu in the Amazon jungle of Peru. Zoo officials asked Medcor to help assess the medical needs and response options for people at the station as it is very remote, requiring four days travel from the U.S., the last two being by small boats 10 hours a day.
 
The zoo is assessing the risks to the participants — zoo employees or visitors — and planning to provide for the safety of everyone there. These goals include providing medical services to the program.
 
 
Executive Vice President Curtis Smith says there are many challenges to such a remote project.
 
 
First, he says, most medical providers are trained and experienced to work within a broader system. Here, there is a 911 system to call in emergencies, there are specialists to refer to or to consult with by phone. In the US, X-ray, lab, and other diagnostic tools are readily available, and well-stocked pharmacies exist nearby. If on-site clinic staff in the US rely on those off-site resources too much, they negate many of the benefits of resolving cases on site, avoiding unnecessary claims, and reducing costs, Smith says.
 
 
If they rely on those systems in remote locations, they are really in trouble, Smith says. Clinics operating in remote locations cannot rely on traditional off-site resources, forcing the on-site staff to be self-reliant. Those efficiencies help Medcor’s on-site clinics perform better back in the U.S.
 
 
13 common challenges to setting up a remote medical clinic include:
  1. Recognizing the hazards and limitations of the area.
  2. Determining a scope of care that minimizes risks and costs – then writing standards and protocols to match.
  3. Figuring out the logistics of getting there and back routinely, and during medical emergencies..
  4. Determining the equipment and supplies that are truly needed and what is extraneous.
  5. Developing practical reliable emergency plans based on the logistics, staff, and supplies that are available.
  6. Establishing the method, reliability, security, and cost of various communication methods.
  7. Selecting the right staff – not only in terms of medical skill and experience, but with the personality to get along with the client team at the remote site, and the character to function independently.
  8. Training the staff in advance of deployment so they are not learning the basics, such as equipment, software and procedures, on the job. The on-site staff will have to learn the specifics of each site once there, which will be tough enough.
  9. Handling turnover – in the event that the medical staff leaves, for whatever reason.
  10. Finding valuable and rewarding work for the medical staff to do when not treating patients so the staff stays engaged and motivated to remain on the project.
  11. Establishing clear goals with clients – often they, too, do not understand everything about the remote site.
  12. Language barriers between the employees and local medical providers, if not English speaking, need to be addressed.
 
 
Another common challenge to setting up remote clinics is being underbid by people who grossly under estimate the work involved and resources needed.
 
Each site and project can be very different from others. Long-term assignments are very difficult to staff because the medical personnel miss their families, friends, and “professional life,” Smith says. Short term assignments are difficult because they interrupt or prevent long term work elsewhere.

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 www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: RShafer@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.

San Diego Zoo and Medcor Set Up Telemedicine Program for Employees in Amazon

 
Johan Perez checks depth with bamboo pole in shallow part of the muddy Elto Madre river. On board in the red 55 gallon drum, is fuel — one of two such drums on the riverboat traveling roughly 20 hours each way to reach the research station at Cocha Chashu. Between the two boats on this mission, the Medcor team carries a spare outboard engine and 4 props. On this trip, both boats had had to replace propellers damaged by submerged logs and shifting shallow bottoms. Every few hours, they must stop to clean silt from the engine intake. And, in some places, when the current is too strong to manually push the boat, the team is forced to backtrack to find a deeper channel.
 
 
When the San Diego Zoological Society was chosen by the Peruvian government to manage its research station in the Amazon jungle — the trackless Manu National Park — it had the responsibility of providing emergency medical care to its staff.
 
 
The hazards: poisonous snakes and crocodiles, malaria and yellow fever, parasites and fungus, as well as normal strains, sprains and lacerations.(WCxKit)
 
 
Helicopter evacuation? Forget it. The dense jungle canopy, long distance and bad weather in the rainy season make it next to impossible – even if the nearest helicopters weren’t on the other side of a mountain range.
 
 
So, the zoological society hired Medcor, an on-site medical firm based in Illinois, to help establish a wilderness medical program to manage a research station in the jungle, at Cocha Chashu in the Amazon jungle of Peru. The zoo contracted with the Peruvian government to help manage the site. Since the zoo has worked with Medcor for years in San Diego, they already had experience working together and had proved the effectiveness of this kind of risk management in other projects.
 
 
June 8, Medcor founder and CEO, Philip Seeger, and EVP Curtis Smith traveled to the jungle with the zoo’s risk manager, David Matthias, to conduct a first-hand assessment of all the travel and evacuation logistics. Medcor needed to assess the medical needs and response options for people at the station that is so remote it requires four days travel from the United States each way, the last two by small boats, 10 hours a day.
 
 
This means the 20-year-old Cocha Chashu station, according to Medcor executive vice president, Curtis Smith, is two days to the nearest town. So telemedicine is essential, particularly when the science group is too small for an onsite medical professional. Research groups vary from two people up to 30, staying from days to months.
 
 
While navigating the rivers, they test two different satellite systems to connect to Medcor’s existing triage call center. Medcor’s telemedicine service is already used by over 80,000 worksites (and many mobile workers) in the US and is available 24/7. Connecting from the jungle involves data, audio and video links – all of it battery and solar powered.
 
 
Shortly after arriving at the station, the Medcor team had opportunity to use their triage service on a real patient. The first on-site injury? An insect bite (presumed to be a spider) that was becoming inflamed. Treatment was given immediately and the patient recovered without complication, Smith said.
 
 
Medcor is also working with locals who provided travel and support services for the station. The project includes stocking the station with essential medical supplies; protecting them from insects, heat and humidity is key to having them available when needed. Supplies in place could be used by researchers being directed by Medcor clinicians remotely, or used by Medcor staff who travel on-site to support large groups.
 
 
Wilderness medicine is not new for the company, which supports a clinic at the base camp of Mount Everest, provides on-site medical services at Yellowstone National Park, and has ranged far afield with services on Pacific islands, as well as remote areas in the US. “Of course wilderness medicine is specialized,” says CEO Philip Seeger, “but there are many similarities to our core on-site services in the US, too, Most of the injuries we deal with are still sprains and strains, and we have to train and support our staff, get reports to our clients on time, and stay in compliance with HIPAA and other regulations. Delivering our services remotely forces us to become more efficient overall – many of those improvements also benefit our patients and clients using our services here is the US.”
 

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 www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: RShafer@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.

Workers Comp Medical Crew Cares for Employees in Amazon Jungle

 
Not quite what U.S. professional travelers would call business class in Atalaya, Peru — where Medcor staff stayed befoe starting the wo-day river trip through Boca Manu, Peru and on to the Cocha Cashu research station.
 
Indeed, whether in the Peruvian jungle or at the Mount Everest base camp, Medcor is there for more than 170 worksites, including factories, distribution centers, studios, farms, and mobile or temporary units.
 
 
Founded in 1984 by CEO, Philip Seeger and COO Ben Petersen, Medcor operates many onsite clinics across the United States to support employers who want to control costs, improve outcomes, provide rapid medical response when it is really necessary and avoid claims when they are not necessary – and this means planning ahead even when the worksite is far from the typical office.
 
 
Privately held with 400 full-time and 400 part-time employees, Medcor does $54 million in business per year. The company boasts seasonality and flex work to meet changing client needs – for example, the retail distribution industry during the holiday season. In addition to itson-site clinics, Medcor also serves more than 80,000 worksites with telemedicine.
 
 
Although its core business is focused on providing on-site medical clinics to large worksites and providing injury triage to small worksites across the country, Medcor has a great deal of expertise in the fascinating field of wilderness medicine.
 
 
The company provides on-site medical services at Yellowstone National Park, operates a clinic at the base camp of Mount Everest and has operated clinics on pipelines and windfarms and projects in locations  such as Midway Island, of the northwest Hawaiian islands. Medcor has also has served those affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and provided on-site medical services at the World Trade Center after the events of 9-11. Medcor is currently back on site sat the World Trade Center supporting rebuilding projects.
 

Not your typical day at the office for Medcor team members in Peru where they are setting up a remote clinic to support research scientists. From left, Phillip Seeger, Medcor founder and CEO and Dave Matthias, risk manager for the San Diego Zoological Society.

 
There are also a variety of other similar companies that provide remote medicine services. Many of them are highly specialized, focusing on evacuations, off-shore oil rigs, pipelines or military bases.
 
 
Medcor Executive Vice President Curtis Smith notes there are at least eight benefits of having an onsite clinic for employers with remote locations:
  1. Improved medical outcomes for employees and workers onsite.
  2. Improved morale and confidence for employees and workers onsite (which, in turn supports recruiting and retention at the remote site).
  3. When done properly, remote medical crews reduce costs and liability.
  4. Avoids unnecessary travel costs by resolving cases on site.
  5. Better screening and monitoring of on-site staff, including early intervention of injuries and illness.
  6. For patients who do need evacuation, there is better planning, stabilization, prep, and continuity of care that helps reduce complications. For example, on the Amazon trip, a scout team discovered other river evacuation routes for emergencies before they happen.
  7. There is less litigation because outcomes are better, documentation is better, and the employer is more likely to be in compliance with applicable laws and best practices.
  8. It is morally the right thing to do.
 
 
Benefits may extend further for U.S.-based companies including compliance with U.S.-based workers compensation and other laws which are likely to be claimed as an applicable standard for expat employees and the parity of service/benefits with other employees who are not in remote locations.

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 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.

Work Comp Provider Helps North Dakota Recover from Floods

 
Designated FEMA responder since working with hurricane Katrina, Rita, Ike, and Lili support staff, Medcor, a workers compensation medical care provider, will be providing on-site medical services to support about 360 relief workers in Minot, ND, for the next three months. Relief workers operating from a field operations center help Minot (pronounced “my-not”) residents devastated by flooding. The company has deployed a mobile clinic that includes staff living quarters, office space, and an exam/treatment room.
 
 
Medcor executive vice president Curtis Smith said the deployment took place within 72 hours of being asked. This assignment’s staff includes Brian Schroeder and Jodi Meere, paramedics and U.S. Army veterans from Iraq.
 
Headquarterd in McHenry, Ill, Medcor travels the globe to provide corporations with efficient healthcare. While the company works extensively with off-shore drilling industry, it also provides support to remote scientists in the Amazon jungle, for example. In this latest deployment, Medcor gives flood relief workers in North Dakota appropriate health services which greatly contains their employers workers compensation costs.
 
 
Now that floodwaters have dropped below flood stage for the first time since spring, relief workers are able to assist in cleanup and rebuilding Minot. The city experienced extensive damage after the Souris River broke a 130-year high-water record, cresting nearly 13 feet above flood stage. Approximately 11,000 people were evacuated from the Minot area — flooding damaged 4,100 homes in the hundreds of businesses, Smith said. Minot is a city of just over 40,000 people – the fourth largest in the state. It is also known for a U.S. Air Force base 15 miles north of it.
 
 
“Relief work is physically demanding in unstable environments, so injuries and exposure hazards do occur. Medcor accompanies the relief workers so the workers do not need to rely on local medical resources which were also affected by the floods,” Smith said via press release. “Having Medcor at the field operations center also frees up local medical resources to focus on providing care to local residents.”(WCxKit)
 
About Medcor:
Medcor provides telemedicine services to nearly 90,000 worksites in all 50 states and operates 174 on-site workplace clinics. Medcor’s services are available 24/7 for worksites of any size in many industries. Medcor’s services help employers reduce health care costs while improving access to care and outcomes. Medcor is headquartered in McHenry, IL. For more information, visit www.medcor.com or contact Curtis Smith at csmith@medcor.com.

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 www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: RShafer@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.

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