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Doc In A Box – Bad Name For Great Risk Management Technique


Great Risk Management Technique with Bad Name – Doc In A Box

This Great Risk Management Technique known ass Doc in a Box deserves a better slang term.  The Five Keys To Workers Comp Savings that I wrote 25 years ago have as their key savings component – medical control.

Clip art of Great Risk Management Technique

Even in states that do not have medical control,  non-agenda injured employees will usually ask their employer a medical practitioner they recommend for treatment.

Establishing a medical treatment network before an accident happens is one of the best ways to save Workers Comp $.  This was the first note I ever wrote to myself on how to save WC $.  You may have seen posts and articles where a walk-in clinic is referred to as a doc-in-the-box.

That is such an unfair term for the easiest and highest return on investment post-accident risk management technique in workers comp.  Many walk-in clinics are very industrial-minded and will perform applicable drug testing.   I saw one post on LinkedIn where the author thought that walk-in clinics kept treating injured workers as a “churning” process.

Graphic Man and Woman Cycling Great Risk Management Technique Doc In A Box

In my opinion, nothing is further from the truth.  The one main consideration I like about walk-in clinics is they have no personal involvement with the injured employee.  A family doctor may have brought the injured employee into the world.

I have seen hundreds of medical notes where a family physician will write the employee completely out of work and not even consider that there may be light-duty jobs available.

Walk-in clinic office managers can usually even ask where you want you to have your injured employees referred if they warrant more extensive treatment.  I have not seen very many opioid prescriptions from walk-in clinics.

This scenario is also applicable to California MPN’s and other states that require a panel of treating physicians.

The bottom line is the extra cost of not using a medical treatment network = 400%.   I have an example that I use in presentations that traces the medical treatment of how a $350 medical only claim turned into a claim that was settled for a total cost of $475,000 in 1994 dollars.  I still see similar files today.   

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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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