State Workers’ Compensation Program Advisory Board Meeting, April 29, 2021
The State Workers’ Compensation Program Advisory Board held the final FY 21 meeting virtually on April 29, 2021 via Webex. Chairman Engle opened the meeting with best practices that we implemented last year and explained we won’t know the complete benefit since our work from home initiative has contributed to a reduction in new claims volume and cost savings.
Chairman Engle indicated that he would love to take credit for the reduction in claims, but he believes that most of it is based on our COVID-19 protocol and our work from home initiative that has contributed to the improvement. The last 12 months of claims data April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021 demonstrates that we have increased significantly in our settlement contracts. The addition of a Northern District Work Comp Manager to the team and her work knowledge
has contributed to that as well. Reduction in claims volume shows how significant the claims reported vs the previous years. CMS accepted roughly 20% less claims in this time period when compared to same time period for the prior two years. The work from home initiative is proving to reduce injuries and claims incurred.
A discussion regarding the overall financial impact over the last few years was held. Savings were discussed and a table was presented demonstrating the actual savings.
COVID-19 impact on claims volume in the past 12 months was discussed. CMS has received 229 COVID-19 claims and paid just under $14k on 15 claims which does include admin/investigation expenses. Of the 229 claims, 20 have been filed with the Commission, 17 of the 20 have been with one agency and 10 of the 20 are at one location. Details regarding COVID-19 claims and potential fraud were discussed.
Discussions were held regarding the Attorney Generals’ IT Network being compromised and the new CompFile system at the IWCC.
Chairman Engle explained the steps from now until the next meeting. Numbers for the fiscal year will be provided by July 15th and he will dig deeper into them like we did two years ago regarding injury type with the mental health facilities, law enforcement and corrections facilities. We will see how they are after COVID-19. He explained he will dig down deeper into facilities, injury types, job titles to discuss more and where our resources could be spent with safety training in the future once we get into the next chapter towards normalcy. He explained that we don’t know when that will be, but we plan on being prepared and we will handle our business appropriately. Our goal is to prevent injuries, to process claims and provide appropriate treatment in an effort to return an employee to work in a timely fashion and to improve their health to allow them to be a more productive employee.
Future meetings for 2021: Invites will be out by August. That will allow a few weeks to review those numbers by mid-August and then close to the end of the year or beginning of next year. The meeting was adjourned.