Preventing Violence in Our Workplaces

Recently, there seems to be an almost palpable and growing concern of violence occurring in our communities, schools and workplaces. At the same time there is a confusing dynamic. The issue of workplace violence seems to dominate our news feeds (and interest) in a very predictable manner; for a few days, or weeks after a high-profile incident occurs, then the energy fades.

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Defining First Aid Claims in Workers’ Compensation

First aid is one of the most frequent topics of conversation I have with my clients.  The confusion typically arises from two main issues:

  1. The WCIRB (Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau in California) rule changes, starting in 2019, which deducts $250 from ALL claims in the X-Mod calculation (more on this later).

  2. The differences between a First Aid designation for Workers’ Compensation insurance purposes, and a first aid incident under the OSHA definitions (listed below).

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Abe Jabhan, JDComment
New “Utilization Review” rules as of 1/1/18 to combat the rise in UR costs

We have seen UR fees run anywhere from $98 to upwards of $9,500 per treatment. 

  • Routine treatment such as PT, diagnostics and consults are usually approved with an average UR fee up to $500 per review.
  • The UR cost drivers are surgeries and opioids/narcotics - whether approved, modified or denied. 
  • We recently saw a TPA charge $9,500 in UR fees for a request for spine surgery because of the unbundling of the Utilization Review and fees.
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What is First Aid and how can it be managed?

Effective Jan. 1, 2017, all insured employers within the state of California must report all claims to their carrier or Third Party Administrator for which medical treatment costs are incurred. This includes reporting of first aid claims. If you have previously paid your “first aid” claims directly to the medical clinic, these costs must now be reported to the carrier and will impact your future Experience Modifier. 

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Organizing and Effective Safety Committee

An active and effective safety committee whose membership and functions are reflective of the company’s size, complexity, and operating exposures will play a key role in the overall performance of that company.  The Safety Committee is established to be of benefit first and foremost to the employees it represents, but it is also established as a safeguard and protector of the Company’s assets. 

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