Wearable Tech Changes Work Comp Rehab

Written by on 9/20/2017 3:40 AM in , , , . It has 0 Comments.

Wearable and smart tech are redefining work comp rehab management. First gaining traction as activity trackers, tech has now progressed to allow for features capable of monitoring vitals like blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration, to body mechanics that can contribute to injury risk.

Offering Advantages For Every Phase of Workers’ Comp
Assistive technology experts help advise case managers what tech is best for:

Safety & prevention
Tracking vitals, of particular use to those at-risk from chronic conditions (hypertension, diabetes, obesity, smoking),

Injury reporting
Wearable and smart tech capable of pairing with other wearable devices such as GPS tracking chips, smart phones, and voice-activated communication devices could speed attention in the event of accident or injury.

Work comp rehab & treatment planning
The right wearables tech can greatly improve outcomes and accelerate recovery.

Avoiding re-injury
Monitoring repetitive motions and body mechanics that could lead to injuries.

Managing long-term, catastrophic claims
Exoskeleton tech is giving paralyzed patients the ability to walk again, giving hope to those with serious, debilitating injuries. Scaled-down versions, such as those for the hip, knee, and back conditions, could later aid in rehab as tech evolves, enhancing function, productivity, and independence.

In High-Demand
Such wearable tech, vast and growing in capability, is expected to grow in demand, increasing from a $20 billion industry based on 2015 figures, to $70 billion in the next 10 years. There's potential for even higher demand in the healthcare-sector in managing chronic conditions and the aging boomer population.

Looking for new ways to improve work comp rehab outcomes? Stay up on the latest in effective treatment trends and tech with Minnesota Comp Advisor today.

Tips for Handling Marijuana in the Workplace

Written by on 9/18/2017 3:42 AM in , , , . It has 0 Comments.

For employers, the issue of marijuana at work grows increasingly complicated. 28 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana to some degree. 60% of the public supports such efforts, with the surprising majority in the 55+ age group. Growing in prevalence, the legalized use of this drug could have significant repercussions for your business.

How Can You Balance Workplace Safety with Off-Duty Conduct?

With hiring that mitigates risk.
Consider job descriptions, duties and responsibilities of each position. Could hiring an employee that uses marijuana off-duty affect performance and safety in any aspect of this position? Some state laws do not require the accommodation of marijuana usage in positions in which an employee cannot fulfill any part of their job responsibilities.

However under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a medical marijuana user could argue for accommodation based on disability. The devil is in the jurisdictional details, with HR and legal counsel playing pivotal roles.

With training to recognize impairment.
The ability to recognize an employee impaired by marijuana at work is essential to preventing accidents, and critical post-accident. Procedural training on recognizing and documenting impairment, and the timing of testing (if used) are key to compliance here.

By considering drug testing or alternatives.
Consider legally-allowed drug testing for hiring and for cause (following a safety incident), subsequent to HR or legal counsel. Or consider psychomotor testing as an alternative, which measures reaction time and coordination that can directly impact job performance, and has been shown to improve safety 82%.

Concerns about marijuana at work? Let the experience of Minnesota Comp Advisor help you travel these previously uncharted waters. Contact us today

Work Comp Management is Growing Increasingly Complex

Written by on 9/13/2017 3:39 AM in , , , . It has 0 Comments.

Work comp management is more challenging than ever. Changing state and federal legislative demands require higher levels of jurisdictional expertise than ever before. And emerging issues such as the aging workforce, chronic health issues, opioid use (and abuse), and the ever-evolving landscape of marijuana are making claims more frequent, more complicated, more drawn out and more expensive.

Is There Any Way to Stop the Insanity?
New and improved solutions could help you rise to the occasion, including:

Carefully matching the expertise of claims specialists with specific claims.
Involving the right professionals at the right time is key to successful work comp management. This includes…

• Using experienced professionals for high-exposure losses.

• Finding the right professional for unique claims.

• Utilizing clinical experts early and often for a fully-integrated program and successfully-managed costs.

• Monitoring workloads to enable higher-quality handling, responsiveness, and ultimately savings.

Building teams with jurisdictional expertise.
Jurisdictional knowledge is integral to determining the compensability of the claim, loss mitigation, and potential for savings. Each state’s varying rules, fee schedules, reporting requirements, panel/network utilization regulations, billing codes, rules, and more will vary drastically.

With laws changing daily on a myriad of minutia, it produces an environment rife with the potential for errors for those not in the know. It is this jurisdictional expertise that can help maximize savings.

Employ data analytics…

• To capture crucial data from reporting to return-to-work.

• Utilize it proactively to identify claims trends and opportunities for early intervention.

• Assign the right manager per case.

• To achieve and benchmark optimal results.

Struggling with today’s vast array of work comp management challenges? Minnesota Comp Advisor can help. Learn how today. 

Understanding the Time Limitations for Catastrophic Work Comp Claims

Written by on 9/6/2017 3:06 AM in , , , . It has 0 Comments.

Before a 2016 ruling, the role the statute of limitations played in Georgia’s catastrophic work comp claims remained in question. Today, however, these limitations have been clearly-defined. How might case precedents regarding such claims impact your state’s pending legislation?

Tricky Definitions
To receive income benefits beyond the typical 400 weeks, Georgia claimants must seek a status change to be designated catastrophic within 2-years. Most categories for designation are clear-cut: Brain injury, paralysis, major appendage amputation, severe burns, and blindness.

However the last, “any other injury of a nature and severity that prevents the employee from being able to perform his or her prior work or any work available in substantial numbers within the national economy for which such employee is otherwise qualified,” presented many interpretational challenges over-the-years, particularly in regard to time limits pertaining to catastrophic work comp claims.

How Long is Too Long?
In a 2016 Georgia Supreme Court decision, Roseburg Forest Products Co. v. Barnes, Barnes, whose left leg was amputated in a 1992 accident, returned to work in 1994. When laid-off in 2009, he requested reinstatement of Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits, adding a second claim of chronic knee pain, arguing the 2-year statute of limitations shouldn't apply because his injury was catastrophic.

However, the Court upheld the 2-year limitation, noting prior cases. They further prevented the claim from being revived after the initial period ran out, noting “rather than creating closure, it would instead allow an injured employee to simply revive a stale claim at any time by seeking remedial treatment…”

Confused about catastrophic work comp claims? Get the help you need in today’s ever-complicated worker’s comp environment. Contact MinnesotaCompAdvisor today.

Test Your Knowledge on Worker's Compensation Insurance Coverage

Written by on 9/4/2017 3:15 AM in , , . It has 0 Comments.

Are you falling victim to worker's compensation insurance myths? Test your knowledge, separating fact from fiction with this quick quiz…

Myth or Fact?

1. Large Discount Networks Offer Better Cost Control.
Myth. Penetration and discount rates will eventually plateau as a cost control measure. Amount and types of service are often what drive inflation. Instead, a customer-specific, multi-tiered, multi-layered approach is integral to identifying cost drivers - and incorporate specific solutions tailored for each employer’s medical cost issues.

2. An Employer’s Role Ends When the Claim is Paid.
Myth. Your most important role is in the healing process, monitoring the ability for return to work. Return to work supports employee recovery physically and psychologically, reducing the indirect costs of lost days, as well as claims and premiums.

3. Complex Claims will Improve, Given a Little Time.
Myth. The treatment needs and demands of the injured worker will not improve over time. The longer injured workers remain away, the greater the likelihood they will NEVER return to work. Additionally, medical costs for worker's compensation insurance ALWAYS increase over time. The best time to handle complex claims is NOW.

4. Workcomp Costs are ‘Out of Control’.
Myth. The real cause of workcomp costs is lack of control. When companies don’t take control post-injury, employees do, resulting in longer claims, with time away disproportionate to the length of their disability. Those with tight post-injury procedures and follow-up, however, better navigate pitfalls and obstacles on the path to their return to work.

When it comes to worker's compensation insurance laws and rules, make sure you get the facts. Find the information you need fast with the help of Minnesota Comp Advisor today.


Do You Need Absentee Management for Your Firm?

Written by on 8/30/2017 3:26 AM in , , , . It has 0 Comments.

As workers’ comp claims continue to decline in frequency and jobs continue to become safer, you may want to consider looking to other avenues for savings. With employee leave, disability management, and wellness absences continuing to rise in prevalence, and legislation increasingly complex, absence management offers an array of opportunities in controlling costs and preventing headaches.

For these reasons, workers’ comp management providers are supplying their clients with a new benefit: Employee management tips and systems for better management of employee absences.

How Can Your WorkComp Management Program Help You Handle Absenteeism?
Workers’ comp claims management professionals can help businesses manage non-occupational absences by tapping into skills and resources necessary to manage illness and injury-related absences, as both essentially involve the same things:

• Claims processing.

• Reducing incident rates.

• Coordinating services.

• Navigating the complexities of return-to-work and associated absences.

• Costs associated with absenteeism.

• Compliance with pertinent laws.

Are You Skirting Absence Management Disaster?
With the strong correlation between health behaviors and claims costs, and the link between employee absence and lost revenue, it pays to have a plan for managing absences of all kinds - from both the injury management and health and wellness perspectives.

From FMLA and ADA to jury duty and blood donor leave, federal and state mandates continue to grow increasingly complex. Ever-changing rules elevate your risk of violation without expert outside assistance and employee management tips. Fortunately, claims management firms are in the perfect position to provide them.

Looking for a few outside-the-box employee management tips to control your rapidly-changing labor landscape? Minnesota Comp Advisor has the total health of your company covered. Discover more about our amazingly flexible skills and solutions today.

Free Webinar Wednesday August 30, 2017: Big Changes in Iowa Work Comp

Written by on 8/28/2017 4:01 AM in , , . It has 0 Comments.

Come join us online Wednesday for a FREE webinar on the changes to Iowa's work comp law. Register online today for this informative seminar at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/334858849739406595

In this seminar you will learn...

Work comp attorney Abigail Wenninghoff addresses how big changes to Iowa work comp law will significantly impact employers operating in the state.

DATE: Wednesday, August 30, 2017

TIME: 2:00pm - 3:00pm CST

WHERE: Go To Webinar


CFO's, HR, Risk Managers - Anyone Who Feels the Pain of Workers’ Comp


NO COST TO ATTEND: Open to All Minnesota Employers

CE Credits Available!

What Issues Should You Be Watching for Worker's Comp Insurance in 2017?

Written by on 8/28/2017 3:34 AM in , , , . It has 0 Comments.

2017 is well underway. What’s in the works for worker's comp insurance this year?

Keep an Eye Out for These Changing Worker's Comp Insurance Issues

The New Administration
Former President Obama was headed toward federal reforms including minimum state benefit standards. President Trump, however, is a vocal opponent of federal regulations, leaving this issue on hold.

Healthcare Reform
Healthcare reform has the potential to affect benefit requirements, quality of care, the calculation of premiums, and claims filings — if and when anything passes. Stay tuned...

More recently, OSHA had shifted resources from education to enforcement.
With a successor yet to be named by the Trump Administration a new direction is expected, but like healthcare reform the path remains unclear.

The broadening of regulations and enforcement increased under the Obama Administration are expected to relax, with the federal government less likely to expand the boundaries of existing ADA/FMLA laws.

Workcomp Rates & Premiums
More driven by changes in market competition than changes in exposures, the previous hyper-competitive marketplace is expected to slow as new entrants respond to long-tail losses hitting the books.

Long-Tail Exposures
Long-tail exposures, premiums collected today for tomorrow’s losses, will require close scrutiny in the coming years. What could inflate your costs? Raised life expectancies, costlier new drugs and treatments, medical science advancement in prosthetics, and more.

In 2017, there’s expected to be continued emphasis on alternatives to opioids for acute and chronic pain, with expanding coverage.

Are you staying aware of the worker's comp insurance issues that could significantly impact your bottom line? Minnesota Comp Advisor has you covered. Contact us to learn about new ways you can save today.

Watch the Video: Too Hot to Handle: Help Your Employees Avoid Heat Stress

Written by on 8/23/2017 3:48 AM in , , , . It has 0 Comments.

Did you miss our latest, FREE, employee health management worker’s comp seminar: “Too Hot to Handle: Help Your Employees Avoid Heat Stress?” Luckily, it’s not too late to cool things down on your jobsite!

FREE Safety Resources for All Employers
Download the video recording of this informative employee health management presentation, boosting safety on-site as the summer heats up. Packed with useful information, this seminar is designed to help you and your employees better understand the dangers of working in hot environments, and ways to improve safety. Prefer print, or want to pass it on in your own safety seminar? A PowerPoint and PDF version are also available.

Many Employees Are Exposed to Heat-Related Risks
Thousands become sick year after year, and sadly, some die as a result of the complications of heat exposure. Are your workers at-risk?

• Workers exposed to direct sun and other forms of radiant heat, as well as those in high temperature, high humidity environments are directly at risk.

• Employees in contact with hot objects, and those requiring stifling protective gear or safety equipment can easily suffer heat stress.

• Jobs requiring physical exertion, and individuals working in areas with limited breeze or ventilation are also at-risk.

• Younger workers suffer a higher risk of heat stress, as do others with a low tolerance for heat, as well as individuals with health conditions that put them at increased risk of heat stress.

Take Advantage of this FREE Employee Health Management Seminar Today!
Boost the health and safety of your employees with the help of Minnesota Comp Advisor, putting this preventable risk on ice on your worksite. For more information, contact us today.


The Path to Better Catastrophic Claims Management - Part Two

Written by on 8/21/2017 1:40 AM in , , , . It has 0 Comments.

Catastrophic injuries are complex, costly, life-altering events for injured workers and their families. In this next installment, we’ll continue looking into the path to improved catastrophic workman’s comp claim outcomes.

Other Considerations for Catastrophic Claims:

Comorbidity Complications
Comorbidities such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, poor circulation, obesity, and age greatly complicate injuries and recovery. By identifying these factors and monitoring corresponding issues, a catastrophic claims team can better circumnavigate pitfalls.

Ask the Worker
The worker knows best which treatments/equipment are working/lacking. Today’s technology allows for this information to be directly compared with physician notes, case management reports, and claims data to provide a broader picture and better outcome.

Include the Family
The catastrophic claims team should also meet with the family to discuss care progress and pitfalls, as well as clarify care and recovery expectations.

Understand Home Care May be Unavoidable
Most suffering catastrophic injuries will never return to work. Worse, some may not gain full independence. In these situations, options of 24-hour home care, nursing care, and family care must be carefully considered based on dynamics and injuries, to ensure quality of life.

Consider Environment/Modifications
Environment can significantly impact post-discharge plans. Payers may have to cover the additional costs of home modification/relocation necessary to meet care needs.

Don’t Overlook the Importance of Ongoing Monitoring
Regardless of the point in the path of the injured worker’s journey, regular file reviews are essential to identifying red flags. This safeguards compliance, and ensures the continuation of proper, quality care.

Helping workers avoid catastrophic workman’s comp claims is job #1. If the unimaginable occurs, know that Minnesota Comp Advisor is here to help. Learn how today.

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