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Workers Compensation Negativity Volcano Erupts On A Daily Basis

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Workers Compensation Negativity – What Happened To Positivity? 

Measuring Workers Comp Negativity remains one of the easiest tasks for bloggers and authors inside and outside of the industry.   

workers compensation negativity volcano picture
(c) Acealexa Corp.

One has to ask how many times has a reader read an article extolling the virtues of a system that has been in existence since ancient Sumeria.  

Yes, the original workers’ comp coverage was not invented by Wausau or mariners in the 1800’s.

What caused me to write this article began when I came across an article where a well-known blogger posted four negative articles in one post.  I found that amazing. 

One has to wonder what subject the blogger would cover if not finding the workers compensation negativity in the nooks and crannies of what is an admittedly imperfect system. 

Growing Plant Workers Compensation Negativity Volcano In The Ground
Wikimedia License – Mark Dixon

Mark Walls of Safety National wrote a very poignant response to ProPublica’s slamming of the Workers’ Compensation system a few years ago.   As published in Insurance Thought Leadership some of the positive developments he was working on included:

  • A paraplegic worker lived with his family in a dilapidated mobile home that was insufficient for his wheelchair. We were obligated to provide him with comparable housing, which would have been a new mobile home. Instead, we purchased a house that was large enough for him and his family, complete with all the necessary modifications needed to make the home handicap-accessible.
  • A paraplegic worker used to enjoy hunting with his family. We purchased an all-terrain wheelchair in addition to his regular wheelchair so he could continue to enjoy this activity with his family.
  • We recently purchased experimental motorized leg braces for a paraplegic worker. Because of these braces, he is able to walk again.
  • I have seen numerous injured workers whom we have assisted in recovering from an addiction to opioid pain medications. When these injured workers are free of this addiction, their quality of life and their relationship with their families is significantly improved. We have had both injured workers and their family members thank us for helping them overcome this addiction

In 2015, I wrote an article titled “In Defense of Workers’ Compensation” to the same type of vitriolic reporting covering workers’ compensation negativity.  

Even the bloggers and authors that deride the Workers’ Compensation system live off the same tree as the vendors and other service suppliers.  Without workeers’ negativity, what would they cover in their articles?  One has to wonder.

If a company or governmental entity invented a better system, where are they now?  Why has not workers’ compensation been replaced and in the rearview mirror for providing benefits to injured workers?

Even in other countries, such as China or the Philippines, the workers’ comp structure stays in place when paying benefits.   These two countries are monopolistic and pay the benefits as more of a governmental program.

The only benefit that I have seen that competes with Work Comp is the AFLAC wage benefit replacement.  I mentioned the AFLAC model when I analyzed the Affordable Care Act and its possible move into a 24-hour coverage benefit.  No such coverage was ever expanded for injured workers.  Why?  Because the structure in place still works today. 

The system does have its downfalls.  Mistakes were made along the way.   Many vendor companies such as Corvel, OneCall Medical and others have been chided for their earnings; conduct of business; and in other areas including forecasted earnings.   However, Corvel’s stock price can be seen on the chart below:

workers compensation negativity Corvel 5 year stock price graph
(c) Yahoo Finance Derived

I think they call that a “win’ in stock price evaluation.    The Five-year graph shows that CorVel remains very profitable for investors. 

OneCall Medical struggled recently.   I have talked to some of the capital providers in the industry.  Most analyzed the short-term struggles as a “bump-in-the-road’ of any rapidly growing company.  

The newest “sky-is-falling” workers comp negativity buzz may likely come from the recent Sedgwick purchase of York Risk Services.  One can see that York provides a few platforms that Sedgwick would require in the future.  Overall, one would have to wait and see what happens with York.  

Many of the large moves in the marketplace do not occur without hours and hours of analysis by very competent investment experts. 

Ok, so back to the workers’ compensation negativity after a little positivity.

©J&L Risk Management Inc Copyright Notice

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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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