Workers Comp Documents – Paper Is Best In These Instances
Many Workers Comp documents can be left as PDFs in a computer file. Some documents read better on paper. This article came about due to the article from two weeks ago on paper files in the age of the small screen.
Most of these go well with a highlighter on paper. If you cannot stand reading anything on paper, you may be missing some important points. Why? We all read so many documents on a screen all day that we tend to rush over the top of them.
A policy and a highlighter can be your best tools for generating questions and possible savings. Workers Comp policies remain one of the better workers comp documents to print. Almost all policies were designed back in the time where everything was on paper. I had written on this subject a few times over the years. Follow the links to see those articles. You should always have a paper copy of your business policies of all types at your fingertips.
Rating Bureau Information or LDF For Self Insureds
We receive at least 2 – 3 calls per week on these often misunderstood Workers Comp rating documents. Rating Bureaus (NCCI, WCIRB, and others) have designed the documents to be more readable in the past few years. California’s WCIRB has completely redesigned their rating sheets.
Rating bureaus can and often do make changes to your Experience Modification Factor for your current, present, and future E-Mods (X-Mods). Filing them away can cost big $$ if you find a past mistake.
Endorsements – very critical
Business owners, risk managers, and other company personnel are sometimes inundated with policy changes on any insurance policy. That is the nature of insurance. An endorsement can change any policy including your original policy Workers Comp documents. Those endorsements should not be just filed away. Your agent will be glad to discuss them with you on receipt.
Policy endorsements should be read and kept in a quickly accessible paper file.
Premium Audits Including Auditor Workpapers
Premium audit articles are very numerous on this website. See this premium audit search. As mentioned earlier, these are usually in PDF files. Many business owners and risk managers have remarked to me that going over the very important workers comp documents on paper was beyond critical to their Workers Comp budget.
First Reports of Injury
Most carriers and Third Party Administrators require the First Reports of Injury (FROI) to be filed online. Many now even charge extra fees if an employer files a 1st report on paper.
One concern here is the slowness of inputting your company’s injury report into the system. The first 48 hours set the tone and risk for the rest of the claim. <<<Yes, but you said this article concerns paper files.
Printing out a copy of the 1st report still remains an important task. Most insurance carriers and TPA’s systems allow for printing the document. How FROI’s look on the screen and paper can be very different.
I recommend printing it out and reviewing it very carefully before submitting it to eliminate mistakes. No one workers comp document can be more detrimental to your workers comp program than an inaccurate FROI.
All Workers Comp Industrial Commission or Court Mail Including Forms
I added this one in as we had two clients within the last six months that were never notified that a very important hearing or mediation was occurring in the upcoming month.
One client completely missed the hearing. The Industrial Commission had sent them a file with 90+ pages of hearings on the document. The hearing notice was somewhere in those 90+ pages.
A mediation does not call for the employer to attend but instead an employer’s representative (claims adjuster and the defense attorney). However, mediation may be a good time for the employer to attend the proceeding. If settlement authority is needed from the employer, they are already on site instead of bouncing phone calls, texts, and emails back and forth.
Bonus – Claim Notes and Reserving
This method remains an old trick used by file reviewers for many years. Many processes happen in the workers comp file all at the same time. Even if the claim notes in the workers comp document is separated into different computer file sections, following a train of thought or even a simple form can be tedious at best.
An example –
A workers comp agreement to pay benefits may take two to three months to have it signed by the employer, adjuster, employee (and attorney if they have one), and then filed with the Workers Comp Commission.
Now some adjuster-types will now comment – Hey we have a section on the forms in our system. Yes, but what if there were complications getting the form signed or having the proper amounts on the agreement, etc. I have not seen the associated notes in a Forms section, only the scanned forms at each step of the process.
If an agreement to compensation notes appears on pages 11, 23, 45, 67, 110, 130, etc., how does one track that? Printed workers comp documents/notes can be reshuffled, not online ones to see the agreement to compensation flow through the file.
PDF Files For Storage
Mobility means everything nowadays. If you have to read documents while on the road, then PDFs remain the best file storage. However, I just flew to California and back with a brown folder with 900 pages in it for review as an expert witness. Airlines have never counted the brown folder as a carry-on.
The bottom line is that reviewing documents on paper equals “another set” of eyes even though they are still your own. Let me know (I am curious) how you handle your important workers comp documents.
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