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5% Rate Increase Approved by Indiana – Still No Fee Schedule Yet

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5% Rate Increase Approved – Indiana – Needs Medical Fee Schedule

Indiana just approved a 5% rate increase for Workers Comp advisory rates.    I thought enough time had passed that most of the remaining states without fee schedules would have followed suit to help their employers receive the benefit of an easy Workers Comp savings method.

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States such as Tennessee have reduced their Workers Comp payouts by enacting a fee schedule.  I am aghast as to why Indiana does not enact even a limited fee schedule.  Many studies have shown the need for a fee schedule.

One of the main rebuttals against fee schedules used to be that physicians and other medical practitioners, along with clinics and hospitals would not see injured employees.I have yet to see any physician turning away Workers Comp patients.

With an authorization from the claims department, WC payments are a sure thing – usually.   Even if Workers Comp may not cover an accident, health insurance will usually step in and cover the medical treatment.

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We had reviewed and consulted on a few Indiana claims in the past few years.  The Usual and Customary fees seemed to be one long negotiation using bill repricers basing the charges on a percentile and then having the hospital dispute those percentiles.

The injured employee, of course is receiving notices that they are going to be referred to a collection agency while all the negotiations are occurring over time.  Medical providers want their bills to be paid regardless of the payer.

Indiana had the highest medical costs in its region in 2009 – 2010.  In my opinion, you will see Indiana have inflating medical costs over the next few years unless a fee schedule is enacted soon.

I have not read the articles explaining why the increase was recommended by NCCI.  I think we all already know the reason.

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt 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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