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North Dakota Workers Compensation Conundrum Getting Worse


Workers Compensation Conundrum in the Peace Garden State

North Dakota has a Workers Compensation Conundrum.  One of my prior posts addressed some of the problems with North Dakota‘s Workers Comp system. I think there now may be a problem larger than the ones they tried to fix with multiple audits of their WSI. The WSI paid over $160,000 for an overpriced and underperforming audit. I, which I rarely do, would stake my reputation on it.

Picture of wooden conundrum Workers Compensation Conundrum

We were given a Request for Proposal along with other organizations that do Workers Comp claims file audits. The number that was supposed to be considered was 30,000 claims over the last few years. The provider and I used the term loosely and reviewed little more than 350 files. Using straight division, that would be 350/30,000 files. That totals an unconscionable 1.17% of the files. NO JUSTIFIABLE CONCLUSIONS CAN BE DRAWN ON THAT SMALL A % OF WORKERS COMP files. As a long-time student of statistics, and as the industry standard dictates, the provider could not have drawn one iota of any type of recommendation. The number of Workers Comp files that needed to be reviewed should have been 3,000 – 4,000.

Man Drawn Business Strategy Icon Workers Compensation Conundrum On Transparent Board

The cost of the project was astounding. It was about 100% larger than most providers would have charged. The bidding for the project left it to the bidder to figure out what was a statistically significant number of files. Quite a few promising companies did not even bid due to the sheer volume. A number should have been published by ND to make sure that there was a level playing field, which there was not.

The time taken to do the project was longer than allowed, which once again pushed out the small companies, as the RFP said the project had to be completed in a very short time, without question.

I am aghast that ND took this lackluster (at best) Workers Comp file review and is now drawing numerous conclusions from it. The file review was at a minimum of 2,650 files short of being able to draw any conclusions. The minimum standard for the industry is 10% of the files. No company could object, as according to ND rules, the prospective bidders must file a dispute BEFORE the bid, not after.

I do hope North Dakota realizes the mistake made and tries to rectify it. Without doing that, the citizens of ND were heavily shortchanged on this one.

Up Next – Wyoming’s Concerns About Their Monopolistic System

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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