Will The Feds Control Workers Comp In 10 Years?
In the future, will the Feds control Workers Comp. In my last post, I commented on how the Federal Government, namely CMS, is encroaching on the state-by-state sovereignty of Workers Compensation. The CMS is basically overvaluing Workers Compensation pharmacy benefits.
The response to this intrusion is for the employers and their insurance carriers/TPA’s to not settle the medical indemnity on claims where the CMS has jurisdiction. I was not shocked to see this development as I have noticed small but important power grabs by the federal government.
One of the most recent cases where the Feds seem to be overreaching is the decision by OSHA to subpoena the Workers Comp records from an insurance carrier. Two teenage males were killed in an incident in IL. The complicating factor was one of them was 14.
OSHA decided to subpoena the inspection records, and in fact, all records from their insurance company. The insurer, Grinnell Mutual, fought the subpoena as having a federal agency with access to an insurance company’s safety inspections may have a highly negative effect on employers requesting safety inspections by their insurance carrier. OSHA has been granted access to all of the insurer’s records including communications between Grinnell Mutual and the employer.
The following is a quote from Dr. David Michaels – OSHA administrator – “The court affirmed OSHA’s authority to obtain relevant information from an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. This is not surprising legally, but it does illustrate that workers’ compensation and OSHA are not separate worlds divorced from each other.”
I do agree that there are extenuating circumstances. However, this may result in employers not being compliant with safety inspections by their carrier. As OSHA cannot inspect all employers, would this not have a negative effect on safety?
I have written often on the federal government’s increasing interest in Workers Compensation. This is a quick list of the articles I have written on the states’ Workers Compensation systems being encroached on by federal agencies:
- A fellow Workers Comp author points out the increasing reach of our federal government into Workers Comp
- The CMS was put in charge of the Federal Insurance Office
- A Senator thinks the federal government is overreaching into Workers Compensation
There are other articles in this blog on the Federalization of Workers Compensation. The three above are a random sample. You can search the word – federalization – using the search box on the right side of the page to find more articles on this subject.
If the Feds control Workers Comp in the future, additional forms for every aspect will be required at every step. m
I have received many questions on what are the minimum thresholds for having to obtain CMS approval to settle a file. I will cover that next time.
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