Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation Prosecutes 10 in Work Comp Fraud

10 Individuals Caught Defrauding Ohio's Workers Comp System

 

Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer recently announced 10 individuals were convicted or pleaded guilty to charges related to defrauding Ohio's workers comp system during August.

 

The court actions are the result of investigations conducted by BWC's special investigations department (SID). The department works to deter, detect, investigate and prosecute workers compensation fraud.

 

 

Workers That Break Law Will Be Pursued With Criminal Charges

 

"While Ohio workers injured on the job will receive the care they need regardless of whether employers have paid their premiums, employers must make it a priority to maintain a policy in accordance with the law," said Buehrer. "Likewise, workers filing false claims, exaggerating injury or working while receiving benefits are breaking the law and BWC will pursue criminal charges accordingly."

 

 

A summary of the cases that resulted in a guilty plea or conviction during August follows.

 

 

Allowed Coverage to Lapse

 

Keesh Edwards, dba Keesh Inc., (Cincinnati, Hamilton County) – Pleaded guilty to a felony count of workers comp fraud for allowing his businesses' workers comp coverage to lapse. BWC's employer fraud team received a referral from the finance department after banks refused to honor the checks he submitted to pay his premium. The investigation found that the employer had not submitted the required semi annual payroll reports since July 1, 2009. The owner, Keesh Edwards, was notified of the check denials and missing payroll reports. Edwards subsequently submitted some of the missing reports, but failed to make any payments for the lapsed coverage periods or the denied check. The employer continued to operate the business with employees without the required BWC coverage. A jury trial began Aug. 8 but Edwards changed his plea to guilty prior to the start of the second day of trial. Sentencing will be scheduled for this month. The total premium and penalty amount owed was $43,235.99.

 

 

Filed a False Claim

 

Travis Ametrano (Findlay, Hancock County) – Pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of workers comp fraud for filing a false claim. Ametrano alleged he was injured when he slipped on ice while walking into work. SID opened an investigation in February after receiving an allegation that Ametrano was actually injured during an indoor soccer game hours before reporting to work and allegedly falling. Agents interviewed referees and the scorekeeper from the game prior to his alleged injury. The interviews positively identified Ametrano by photograph as a player that injured his leg during a game on Sunday, the day before the reported injury. He initially denied having sustained any type of injury or having any physical issues during the soccer game. He later admitted that what the witnesses had reported was accurate but stated that he had suffered an injury not identified in his claim. BWC denied Ametrano's claim based on the investigative findings. Ametrano pleaded guilty Aug. 8 in the Findlay Municipal Court and was sentenced to a 30 day suspended jail sentence. He must also pay fines of $250.

 

 

Working While Receiving Benefits

 

Chester Fusco (Ashtabula, Ashtabula County) – Pleaded guilty Aug. 7 to working while receiving benefits. SID received an allegation through BWC's website indicating Fusco operates a snowplow in the winter and is paid in cash for his services. Surveillance, witness interviews and business and bank records revealed he worked independently as a subcontractor, for Cooper Contracting and Bauer Construction between November 2008 and February 2011. Fusco plowed commercial properties for these companies while receiving temporary total disability benefits. Fusco had previously completed a settlement agreement for his BWC claim with the Ohio Attorney General's Office representing the BWC; however, this did not preclude a criminal referral based on the investigation. Fusco pleaded guilty Aug. 7 in a Franklin County Common Pleas courtroom. He was sentenced to six months in jail, suspended for five years of community control. He must also pay restitution of $10,588.14.

 

 

Anthony Perry (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County) – Pleaded guilty Aug. 27 to one felony count of workers' compensation fraud for working while receiving benefits. BWC investigators acted on a tip that Perry was employed while receiving temporary total and living maintenance disability benefits. The investigation found that Perry had returned to work as a self employed landscaper and snowplow operator. He used his own landscaping equipment to do yard work and mow grass for residential and commercial customers, and hired staff to assist. Perry was ordered to pay $41,644.28 in restitution and serve three years of community control.

 

 

Faked Injury to Receive Benefits

 

Robin Hammond and Randy Hammond (Galion, Crawford County) – Each pleaded guilty to fraud for their roles in a scheme to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits Robin claimed she needed following a workplace injury. Robin Hammond was a nurse's aide and claimed a workplace injury left her unable to use her arms and legs and without fine motor skills in her hands and feet. Based on her diagnosis, she was granted permanent total disability and BWC paid for special medical equipment. SID opened an investigation into Hammond after receiving allegation that she was not as injured as she claimed to be, and was engaged in physical activity. Surveillance video showed she visited her doctors in a wheelchair but demonstrated full use of all four limbs, walking without assistance after leaving her appointments. The couple fled the state after being interviewed by investigators. Attorney General Mike DeWine's office issued a nationwide warrant for their arrest and they were located in Hurricane, Utah. Robin Hammond pleaded guilty to one felony count of workers comp fraud and was and sentenced to one year in prison with judicial release possible after six months. Randy Hammond pleaded guilty to one felony count of complicity and received five years of community control. The couple was ordered to repay BWC $173,332.09.

 

 

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.

Ohio Pharmacy Management Initiatives Save 2.6 Million in Prescription Costs

 

Pharmacy Management Initiatives Positive for Injured Workers
 
A recent report to the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors outlined how the bureau's first ever formulary and a number of other pharmacy management initiatives are helping in efforts to increase positive outcomes for injured workers.
 
 
Narcotics Prescribed Down 1.1 million doses
 
The report includes early data showing a newly enacted formulary has driven down the number of narcotics prescribed to injured workers by 12 percent, or 1.1 million doses, supporting Governor John Kasich's efforts to address the Ohio's opiate epidemic.
 
"Ohio's new formulary is proving an effective way to help manage care and ensure we are getting injured workers the right prescriptions for the right conditions at the right time," said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "While narcotics can be a legitimate part of the treatment process, we owe it to Ohio's workers to ensure their road to recovery doesn't descend down the dark path of addiction." [WCx]
 
 
$2.6 million Saved in Prescription Costs
 
A review of prescriptions written from February to April 2012, compared to the same period in 2011 showed 1.1 million fewer prescribed doses of narcotics. This equals a 12-percent reduction in the number of doses and a 15-percent, or $2.1 million, reduction in costs. The same review showed the number of skeletal muscle relaxants (SMR) prescriptions dropped by 59 percent, resulting in a 58 percent, or $532,000, decrease in cost. SMRs are among the most commonly overused drug classes and are often prescribed in conjunction with narcotics.
 
BWC began implementing its first ever formulary in September, however, BWC chose to start its study on Feb. 1, the first day that new restrictions on opiates were implemented.
 
The formulary is helping improve the efficiency and effectiveness of treatment, limit the inappropriate use of medications and lower prescription costs. The formulary provides a concise list of medications that can be utilized for treatment of approved conditions related to an injured worker's claim and may include guidelines related to their use.
 
Additional Controls on Pharmacy Program
 
In addition to the formulary, the presentation by BWC Pharmacy Director John Hanna to the Medical Services & Safety Committee late yesterday covered several other controls BWC is placing on its pharmacy program, including:
 
      Point of service edits that allow BWC's pharmacy benefits manager, SXC Solutions, to screen out prescriptions that aren't related to an injured worker's condition to ensure they are receiving medications relevant to their injury;
      The standardization of drug utilization reviews, a process that allows for a timely, objective evaluation of prescriptions an injured worker receives to ensure they are appropriate. Drug utilization reviews evaluate the necessity and appropriateness of prescription drug treatment and can identify overuse or dangers mixing of prescriptions;
      A pharmacy lock-in program that was established to limit the practice of doctor and pharmacy shopping, and the dangers that can arise when medications are prescribed by multiple physicians and are processed in different pharmacies. The program allows BWC, under certain circumstances, to require an injured worker to use a single pharmacy for non-emergent prescriptions. BWC can also restrict an injured worker convicted of a drug offense to the use of a single prescribing physician in order to receive reimbursement for non-emergent prescriptions;
      Requiring generic medications when available.
 
"By better understanding and managing the role of pharmaceuticals in recovery, we are helping injured workers heal and get back on the job sooner," said Buehrer. "The added benefit is the cost savings that help us keep premiums affordable for Ohio's businesses." [WCx]
 
 

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.

Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation Obtains Grant for Workplace Safety Program

 

Grant Aims to Increase Workplace Safety
 
The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) has been awarded a grant by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to participate in a program that aims to increase workplace safety by compiling nationwide statistics on occupational injuries and illnesses.
 
Abe Al-Tarawneh, BWC's Superintendent of Safety and Hygiene, reported to the BWC board of directors the $117,000 grant to include Ohio in the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII), the largest occupational injury and illness surveillance system in the country.
 
 
 
Will Allow for More Comprehensive Understanding of Occupational Injuries
 
"BWC's participation will allow for a more comprehensive understanding of the nature and extent of occupational injuries and illness in Ohio, as well as benchmark our prevention efforts against the rest of the nation," said Al-Tarawneh. "BWC’s Division of Safety and Hygiene is taking a more active role in conducting research to analyze industry trends, as well as how and why injuries occur, because we will be most effective in taking action when we know the factors surrounding those injuries."
 
The 50 percent matching grant will assist BWC in distributing surveys to 4,000 Ohio employers to collect specific information surrounding injuries and days away from work. This data will be analyzed to publish research reports specific to Ohio at the end of each year. Ohio will also be included in the analyses of nationwide trends in occupational injuries and illnesses.
 
 
 
Data Used to Identify and Correct Safety Hazards
 
SOII currently has 44 participating states and territories and the data covers most private-sector industries, as well as state and local government. The data is utilized by employers and employees, policymakers, safety inspectors, health and safety consultants, and researchers for a number of reasons, including identifying and correcting safety hazards to reduce injuries.
 
 

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.

Ohio Awards 206,000 Dollars in Safety Intervention Grants

Safety Grants Designed to Assist in Reducing Illness and Injury

 

The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) recently awarded safety intervention grants totaling more than $206,000 to Ohio employers.

 

BWC designed the Safety Intervention Grant Program to assist Ohio employers in reducing illnesses and injuries and to create a partnership with them to establish best practices for accident and injury prevention. [WCx]

 

 

Two Grants Partnership of BWC and NIOSH

 

Two of the grants are the product of a partnership between BWC and National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to study workplace injuries largely in the wholesale/retail trade sector. Accurate Mechanical, Inc. (Ross County) and Alenne Corp, dba Key Construction (Ross County), which received grants through the program, will become part of a study analyzing how adding the equipment to a delivery, installation or receiving process may reduce particular on-the-job injuries.

 

"Accurate Mechanical and Key Construction are not only creating safer work environments for their employees, they are joining BWC's partnership with NIOSH to reduce injuries across the entire wholesale/retail industry," said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "Our thanks go to them for taking an interest in a larger effort to make improvements within their industry, and also to every Ohio employer taking the initiative to protect their workforce from injury and accidents."

 

 

Grant Recipients

 

Accurate Mechanical Inc. (Ross County)

BWC awarded $25,790.20 through the Wholesale Retail Trade grant program to purchase a lift gate, powered stair climbers, powered carts, enclosed trailer, material lifts, material hoists and industrial furniture movers. The new equipment is expected to reduce the risk of injuries such as sprains and strains, and slips, trips and falls related to manual material handling. Accurate Mechanical provides HVAC services to residential and commercial businesses.

 

Alenne Corp., dba Key Construction (Ross County)

BWC awarded $36,376.83 through the Wholesale Retail Trade grant program to purchase a telescoping forklift, power buggy, dumping hopper and lift gate. The new equipment is expected to reduce the risk of injuries such as sprains and strains, and slips, trips and falls related to manual material handling. Key Construction is a family-owned custom home builder.

 

J. McCoy Lumber Company LTD LLC(Adams County)

BWC awarded $36,637.84 to purchase roller conveyors and two semi-automatic pallet building machines to reduce the risk of injuries resulting from the repetitive motion and awkward postures associated with building pallets by hand. McCoy Lumber manufactures a variety of hardwood products from railroad crossties and pallets to retail products such as flooring and interior moldings. [WCx]

 

Cleveland Thermal Holdings, LLC (Cuyahoga County)

BWC awarded $6,755.72 to purchase hand trucks and a mobile drum carrier/palletizer to reduce the risk of injury related to manual material handling as 40 gallon drums weighing in excess of 300 pounds are maneuvered by hand. Cleveland Thermal Holdings is an energy manufacturer and supplier, providing thermal heating and cooling service to commercial and residential properties.

 

Mayfield Village Fire Dept. (Cuyahoga County)

BWC awarded $34,588.37 to purchase a power load system to reduce the risk of injury related to manually lifting and loading patients into emergency vehicles. Mayfield Village Fire Dept is a public employer providing first response and transportation for emergencies.

 

Canei Roofing & Construction, dba C & C Associates (Franklin County)

BWC awarded $9,972.23 to purchase an automatic welding machine with portable generator, and tall and short boy screw guns to reduce the risk of injury and cumulative trauma disorders related to manual material handling, awkward postures, forceful exertions and repetitive motion. C & C Associates is a family owned construction, remodeling and roofing business.

 

Elford Inc. (Franklin County)

BWC awarded $8,240 to purchase 4', 6' and 8' platform ladders to reduce the risk of injury related to slips, trips and falls. Elford is a general contractor and construction manager.

 

Packard Forest Products, Inc. (Franklin County)

BWC awarded $26,166.66 to Forest Products to purchase an automated tarping system to reduce the risk of injuries such as sprains and strains related to manual material handling and awkward postures.. Forest Products is a wholesale distributor of specialty wood building products.

 

LifeShare Community Blood Services (Lorain County)

BWC awarded $1,016.94 to purchase an adjustable workbench and anti-fatigue mat to reduce the ergonomic stress injuries related to repetitive motion, static posture and prolonged standing. LifeShare Community Blood Services is a nonprofit blood center servicing hospitals across Northeast Ohio.

 

Kelchner, Inc. (Warren County)

BWC awarded $20,734.08 to purchase vacuum pipe lift to reduce the risk of injuries such as sprains, strains and cumulative trauma disorders related to manual material handling and manually rigging pipe. due to repetitive motion and injuries related. Kelchner is a site utility and excavation company.

 

Ohio private and public employers are eligible for safety intervention grants, which include a 2-to-1 matching amount up to a maximum of $40,000 for a total of $60,000 – $20,000 from the employer and $40,000 from BWC. Quarterly data reports and follow-up case studies help BWC determine the effectiveness of employers’ safety interventions and establish best practices.

 

 

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.

Ok, I Did It. Ohio Convicts Eight Individuals from Guilty Pleas in Workers Comp Fraud

 

Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer recently announced eight individuals were convicted of or pleaded guilty to charges related to defrauding Ohio's workers compensation system during June.
 
The court actions are the result of investigations conducted by BWC's special investigations department (SID). The department works to deter, detect, investigate and prosecute workers comp fraud. [WCx]
 
A sampling of cases that resulted in a guilty plea or conviction during June is as follows:
 
Kelly Hart (Diamond, Portage County) pleaded guilty June 12 to two counts of theft for working while receiving benefits. An allegation indicated Hart was working while receiving temporary total disability benefits. Investigators found Hart returned to employment as a car detailer for Just the Details LLC while receiving benefits. The business owner and Hart himself confirmed his employment. Hart was sentenced to 18 months prison, suspended for five years of Community Control. He was ordered to pay $4,861.91 in restitution and $500 in investigative costs as a condition of his community control.
 
Ronald J. Richards (Weirton, West Virginia) pleaded guilty June 12 to one count of theft for working while receiving benefits. Richards was awarded temporary total and living maintenance benefits after he was injured as a truck driver for Riley Petroleum Products LLC in Toronto (Jefferson County). Working on a tip, investigators found he was employed as a truck driver for Bee Mack Trucking in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, while receiving these benefits. Richards was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $5,153.05 and sentenced to 180 days incarceration suspended for 36 months of community control. The judge also ordered him to maintain viable employment and will serve an immediate 30 day sentence if he misses a single restitution payment.
 
Robert T. Howland (Millersburg, Holmes County) pleaded guilty June 12 to one count of theft for working while receiving benefits. SID received an allegation from a BWC claims service specialist that Howland may be working for the Robinson Country Inn/Hotel in Millersburg while receiving Living Maintenance benefits. These payments are available to an injured worker instead of Temporary Total Disability while he or she is actively involved in an approved rehabilitation program. The claims service specialist submitted the tip after reviewing a pay stub submitted by Howland and suspecting he may be receiving wages from the hotel. The investigation confirmed that Howland did work for the hotel performing kitchen duties in conflict with his collection of benefits. Howland was ordered to pay restitution of $5,928.43. He was also sentenced to 90 days of incarceration suspended for 60 months of community control. [WCx]
 
Benjamin Lawrence (Covington, Kentucky) pleaded guilty June 4 to one count of workers comp fraud for filing a false claim. Lawrence was allegedly injured on the job and was receiving benefits until a co-worker secretly taped him confessing to faking the injury. The co-worker supplied the employer with the tape, in which Lawrence states he purposely injured himself and knowingly filed a false claim. He also brags that he was able to receive pain pills. Lawrence pleaded guilty to one count of workers comp fraud in a Franklin County courtroom and the judge ordered him to pay restitution of $2,057.92 to BWC. He will serve 180 days in jail he does not pay the full amount by Oct. 1, 2012. He paid $500 towards his restitution the day of sentencing.
 
 
 

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.

60 Percent of Work Comp Claims Preventable Slips, Trips, and Falls

 

The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) recently wrapped up National Safety Month with tips for preventing some of the most common workplace injuries. BWC claims data show that more than 60-percent of Ohio's lost-time injury claims were caused by preventable slips, trips and falls and overexertion.
 
"Preventing the most common injuries can be as simple as maintaining good house-keeping practices, using slip resistant shoes, eliminating lifting tasks and training employees on proper lifting techniques," said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "Attentive employers can make a few minor changes at minimal cost that can significantly increase safety in the workplace and provide the added benefits of healthy, productive workers and lower workers' compensation premiums." [WCx]
 
Thirty percent of lost-time injury claims result from slips, trips and falls. They are largely associated with slipping on ice/snow, water/grease and tripping over objects. Overexertion is a cause associated with more than 30 percent of all lost-time injury claims, mostly related to lifting, pushing and pulling, bending and twisting, repetitive motions, and awkward postures. Fifty-four percent of lost-time injury claims resulting from overexertion are associated with lifting and pushing and pulling tasks.
 
There are several simple solutions that can prevent injuries caused by slips, trips and falls:
  • Establish good house-keeping practices;
  • Fix poor lighting;
  • Keep floors and stairs clean and free of objects;
  • Clean slippery surfaces (wet, oily, icy) regularly;
  • Cover hoses and cords or run them out of the path of walking areas;
  • Don't allow aisles to become cluttered;
  • Establish a procedure for regularly sweeping granular or powdered material;
  • Wear slip resistant footwear;
  • Repair uneven surfaces (such as cracks or holes).

Solutions to preventing injuries caused by overexertion include:
  • Reduce forceful exertions;
  • Reduce manual material handling and eliminate manual lifting by using convey-ors, hoists, lift-assist devices, lift gates on trucks, and other mechanical means;
  • Reduce the weight of objects to be lifted;
  • Lift with the legs not the back;
  • Use handles on objects to be lifted;
  • Reduce the frequency and distances of lifts;
  • Bend the tool, not the wrist;
  • Minimize reaching. Locate frequently used items as close to you as possible;
  • Reduce mechanical pressure on soft tissues;
  • Add padding to tools;
  • Use cushioned chairs;
  • Use floor mats.  [WCx] 

 

BWC safety consultants provide on-site services to help implement injury-prevention solutions like these in Ohio workplaces. Employers can visit ohiobwc.com or call 1-800-OHIOBWC to request the services of a safety consultant at no additional cost. 
 

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.

 

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.

Ohio Women in Jail for 2 Felony Counts in Workers Comp Fraud Scheme

 

A Vinton (Gallia County), Ohio woman recently pleaded guilty to workers compensation fraud and forgery after she was found forging documents in order to receive undue injured worker benefits.

 

 

According to the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC), Maria Patterson must repay more than $7,000 as a result of her attempt to extend the benefits she was receiving for a prior workplace injury beyond her eligibility.(WCx)

 

 

Physicians are an important part of the process of evaluating the condition of injured workers and whether they are able to return to work,” said Steve Buehrer, Administrator/CEO of the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation. “Forging a provider’s name to extend benefits is not only illegal, it denies them their role in guiding a medical treatment plan designed to get injured workers back on the job.”

 

 

BWC’s Special Investigations Department (SID) opened an investigation after receiving an allegation from a BWC employee who suspected that Patterson submitted three falsified C-84 forms. These forms are used by injured workers and their physicians to initiate or extend payment of temporary total disability benefits.

 

 

The investigation revealed Patterson did in fact falsify three forms by signing her doctor’s name and misrepresenting her dates of disability. As a consequence, she was paid benefits she would not otherwise have been eligible to receive.

 

 

Patterson pleaded guilty May 8 to one felony count of workers comp fraud and one felony count of forgery. Franklin County Judge Guy Reece sentenced Patterson to 180 days incarceration on each count and ordered her to pay $7,450.63 in restitution. [WCx]

 

 

Patterson is currently serving a nine-year sentence for unrelated charges of burglary, two counts of theft, tampering with evidence and breaking and entering.

 

 

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. Contact:  Mstack@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.

 

Ohio Bureau of Workers Comp Awards $350,000 in Grants for Workplace Safety

 


The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) has awarded safety intervention grants to 16 Ohio employers totaling more than $350,000.
 
 
BWC designed the Safety Intervention Grant Program to assist Ohio employers in reducing illnesses and injuries, as well as to create a partnership with them to establish best practices for accident and injury prevention. [WCx]
 
 
"These grants can be very helpful to employers that want to create safer workplaces for their employees but are discouraged by the expense," said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "They also help to establish best practices by allowing BWC to measure the effectiveness of each employer's safety interventions and advise other employers on how to contend with similar safety concerns."
 
 
Ohio private and public employers are eligible for the grants, which include a 2-to-1 matching amount up to a maximum of $40,000 for a total of $60,000 – $20,000 from the employer and $40,000 from BWC. Quarterly data reports and follow-up case studies help BWC determine the effectiveness of employers' safety interventions and establish best practices.
 
 
Grant Recipients 
 
 
City of Monroe (Butler County)
The city's Public Works Department is responsible for water and sewer maintenance for the city. BWC awarded $27,666.67 to purchase a hydro-excavation system and hydraulics trailer to reduce the ergonomic risk factors associated with manually exercising water/sewer system valves. Risk factors include repetitive motion, excessive force, and awkward postures, in addition to the hazards related to exposure to extreme weather and traffic conditions.
 
 
Mid State Restoration, Inc. (Cuyahoga County)
Mid State Restoration is a construction industry employer specializing in masonry restoration. BWC awarded $8,359.93 to purchase new dustless technology safety tools used in concrete finishing work, such as saws, grinders, hammer drills and vacuum systems. These tools will help reduce the risk of injury related to overexposures to silica and noise.
 
 
Buckeye Tire Co-Columbus Inc. (Franklin County)
Buckeye Tire is an automobile service facility that specializes in auto, light and heavy duty truck service and repairs. BWC awarded $28,315.80 to purchase a tire balancer with wheel lift and tire changer to reduce the risk of injury related to material handling, forceful exertions and awkward postures.
 
 
G.A.G. Inc. (Franklin County)
GAG Inc. is a landscape maintenance company. BWC awarded $40,000 to purchase a mulch mule to reduce the risk of injury related to manual material handling, such as strains/sprains, repetitive motion, slips/trips and falls, and exposure to vehicular traffic.
 
 
Archbold Refuse Service, Inc. (Fulton County)
A.R.S. is a waste hauling company for residential, commercial and industrial customers. BWC awarded $40,000 to purchase hydraulic container lock systems to reduce the risk of injury related to manual material handling as yard containers are pushed/pulled to trucks and manually locked in place prior to dumping.
 
 
LICCO Industries, Inc. (Licking County)
Licco is a sheltered workshop serving the developmentally disabled population. BWC awarded $3,589.33 to purchase a new edge of dock plate, which includes a hydraulic 30,000 lb wall mounted control station to reduce the risk of slips/trips and falls, and injury to the upper extremities.
 
 
LifeCare Ambulance (Lorain County)
LifeCare is an emergency/non-emergency medical transportation provider. BWC awarded $30,792.37 to purchase a Power-LOAD system and three bariatric transport cots to reduce the risk of injury related to manual handling of patients as they are loaded and unloaded from emergency vehicles.
 
 
MacQueen Orchards (Lucas County)
MacQueen Orchards is a small family owned apple and peach orchard. BWC awarded $8,266.67 to purchase vented bins to reduce the risk of injury related to manual material handling, such as sprains/strains, in addition to cuts/lacerations from loose metal and nails protruding from wooden crates.
 
 
North Toledo Graphics (Lucas County)
North Toledo Graphics is a privately owned printing company that provides mailing and bindery service along with high quality web offset printing. BWC awarded $5,629.66 to purchase portable scissor lifts to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders related to manual material handling and repetitive bending and lifting.
 
 
M & M Wine Cellar (Mahoning County)
A service industry employer, M & M Wine Cellar is a small family-owned wine and restaurant business. BWC awarded $40,000 to purchase an automated wine bottling system to reduce the risk of injury related to manual material handling, such as sprains/strains, cuts and lacerations, as well as the ergonomic risks associated with prolonged standing, repetitive motion, and grip force during the bottling process.
 
 
MLC Inc., dba Electro Polish Company (Montgomery County)
Electro Polish provides metal finishing service for the tool and die industry. BWC awarded $7,999.98 to purchase a power flight bar, trolley and catwalk to reduce the risk of injury related to material handling, awkward postures, forceful exertions and contact stress.
 
 
Gahm's Inc. (Scioto County)
Gahm's is an auto and truck dismantling and recycling center that performs towing, recovery and truck crane services. BWC awarded $15,376.76 to purchase a tire changer with retractable air reels to reduce or eliminate the risk of injury related to manual material handling, forceful exertions and awkward postures.
 
 
Countryside Veterinary Service, Inc. (Trumbull County)
BWC awarded $4,031.24 to purchase mobile examination/transport tables to reduce the risk of injury related to manual handling of animals for examination, such as sprains, strains and animal bites.
 
 
Marietta Ambulance Service, Ltd (Washington County)
BWC awarded $40,000 to purchase two power load systems for cots, to reduce the risk of injury related to manually lifting and loading patients into emergency vehicles.
 
 
Manufacturing Company, Inc. (Williams County)
Bard is a manufacturer of light commercial HVAC equipment. BWC awarded $40,000 to purchase a powered conveyor system to reduce the risk of injury related to manual material handling as HVAC equipment, weighing between 100 -700 lbs, is manually pushed down assembly lines on gravity conveyor systems. [WCx]
 
 
Carey Exempted Village Schools (Wyandot County)
BWC awarded $10,386.67 to purchase lightweight tables to reduce the risk of injury related to manual material handling, such as sprains and strains to the hip, back and shoulders, in addition to pinch points as employees set-up and break down existing heavy weight tables.

 

 

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk 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. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@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.

Ohio Company Ordered – Provide Workers Comp Coverage or Stop Operations

A Cuyahoga County, Ohio judge has ordered Gray Container, a 55-gallon drum manufacturer, to discontinue its operations for repeatedly refusing to maintain workers compensation coverage. See Ohio's Guidelines here in our WC resource center. 

 
 
The injunction against Gray Container, requested by the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC), was filed to protect employees. This injunction is believed to be the first action of its kind by BWC. The Attorney General’s Office represented BWC during this action. [WCx]
 
 
This case is ultimately about fairness to the employees who deserve protection in the case of workplace injury and fairness to the 250,000 other Ohio businesses that have to pick up the tab when a worker for an uninsured company is injured," said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "In this instance, Gray Container ignored repeated efforts by our staff to find a workable solution, even as multiple claims were filed by its workers."
 
 
Gray Container allowed its policy to lapse in September, 2006 and despite repeated attempts by BWC to assist the company to maintain coverage, it failed to protect its employees.
 
 
During that time, 22 claims, one of which was a death claim, were filed and Gray Container now owes almost $700,000. Ohio law ensures benefits for the injured workers even if the employer is without coverage. When an employer fails to pay premiums, other Ohio employers are forced to carry the burden. [WCx]
 
 
The company's owner already pled guilty in May to felony failure to comply with workers comp laws.
 
 
At a hearing in June of last year, Gray agreed to make a lump sum payment, make monthly payments, and continue to report payroll and pay premium in a timely manner. In all instances, Gray failed to meet any of these agreements.

 


Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk 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. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@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.

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