Tag Archives: injured workers

Interesting Approach

10/17/18   Julius Young

Recently I became aware of an interesting experiment by the SCIF, the State Compensation Insurance Fund.

Titled the “Injured Worker Incentive Program”, this SCIF program (see link below) promised certain monetary incentives to those who it deemed in compliance with certain benchmarks.

savings graph for article about Injured Worker Incentive ProgramsThis apparently was a small SCIF program, and inquiries by some of my colleagues have resulted in head scratching by various SCIF attorneys who claimed no knowledge of it. The program may not be getting off the ground at this time.

I’ve heard whispers that this program came to the attention of some at the DWC, but to my knowledge there’s been no public discussion of it.

The July 2018 explanatory letter from SCIF notes that “the sooner injured employees return to work, the sooner they feel better.” The letter explains that this program is established to encourage injured workers “to establish and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle”. As a result, “State Fund is prepared to assist you in your efforts by supplying some fitness equipment which you or your physician may think would be helpful.”

Other benefits of the program included:

• Potential eligibility for a $1,000 payment to those who return to work within 7 days of release by a doctor and who remain employed for 6 months;

• Payments of $500 for maintaining pre-injury weight or $1,000 for losing at least 5% of pre-injury weight;

• Potential monetary payments of $1,500 (compliance with treatment), $1,000 (staying within the MPN), and $1,250 (agreeing with the PTP findings to avoid use of the QME medical-legal evaluation process);

• Wellness program participation ($500)

These cash awards were noted to be considered taxable income and as a result 1099 forms would be issued by SCIF.

How should we assess this program?

One could argue that experimentation in workers’ compensation may be a good thing. And some of the program’s goals are laudable, i.e. getting people back to work and supporting healthy lifestyles and “wellness”. Extra monetary incentives for workers could possibly be a tool to drive behavior that arguably might lead to some better outcomes.

It’s an issue that the comp community should debate.


Using Technology to Improve Injured Worker Satisfaction

November 24, 2015 by Michael B. Stack Leave a Comment

filling workers' comp claim on smartphoneEvery workers’ compensation claims starts with an injured employee.  Improving the process when it comes to the reporting of that injury can save claim management teams time and money.  It can also buy good will from the people who deserve it most—the injured worker.


Barriers in the System

Countless studies demonstrate that injured workers believe the biggest barrier they face post-injury is a reporting system that is not responsive to their needs.  This is due in part to state (and sometimes federal) regulations that require paper work be completed in a timely manner.  In addition to being off work, injured workers get frustrated with time spent completing required forms.

Successful workers’ compensation programs are able to overcome these threshold barriers.  Improving the way an injured employee communicates with their employer and claims management team can lead to decreased time away from work and lower medical costs associated with the injury.


Making Technology Work for Your Program

Simplifying the injury reporting process can allow an injured party to report easily their injury.  Efforts to improve the process include the following:

  • The use of telephonic reporting systems has proven the ease of reporting work injuries.  In an age where a vast majority or workers have quick access to a telephone allows for injury reporting to be completed in a promote manner.
  • Web-based technology. Access to the Internet is nearly universal in the United States.  This allows injured employees to complete the required paper work in a prompt manner and ensures the accuracy of the reporting.
  • App based technology. Innovative companies are taking the reporting of work injuries to the next level.  The use of smartphone apps is allowing injured parties to complete documents immediately and can include photography to document the incident.

Synchronization Improves Claim Handling

Technology is also allowing claim management teams to provide a timely response to employees injured in the workplace.  One example of this includes the concept of “synchronization.”  This process recognizes the potential needs of an injured worker and allows the claim handler to customize a holistic approach to a claim and exceed the expectations of their client and claimant.