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2022 Workers Comp Resolutions – Major Updates to 2021 + COVID

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2022 Workers Comp Resolutions – A Few Major Changes

The 2022 Workers Comp resolutions have changed from the 2021 resolutions.  I have written resolutions for almost 15 years.  As with the whole Workers Comp industry, the resolutions have changed a little, but not substantially.

Keeping to the below resolutions will avoid the “consultant cannot fix it” situation.  Check out tomorrow’s article for self-insureds and enjoy Mr. Liu’s excellent photo of New Year’s fireworks in Taiwan.

2022 workers comp resolutions fireworks pic
Wikimedia Public Domain – Artemus Liu

2022 Workers Comp Resolutions – Start with 2021 Summary

The resolutions for 2022 will start with a summary of the 2021 workers comp resolutions:

  1. Check the resolutions that I wrote each year for the last 13 years for ideas.   You can type resolutions in the search box or follow the link in the next sentence.
  2. Were there any surprises in your Workers Comp program?  If so, find out why they occurred so they will not become worse in 2020 and beyond.
  3. Read your current Workers Comp policies, including the endorsements.  Many disputes start with the insureds not receiving the endorsements.  If you have questions, email your agent.
  4. Read your current Workers Comp loss runs for ALL claims over the last 10 years.   The new analytics packages examine much longer time spans than just what your E-Mod covers.  If you have any questions, email your adjuster.
  5.  Dust off your claims reporting guidelines.
  6. Update and clarify your medical treatment network.
  7. Create a job bank.
  8. Review your return to work program.  Accommodating injured employees with light-duty jobs can save an employer thousands on just one claim.  The days of an employer only allowing a full-duty return to work is coming to an end.
  9. Trust of the employer before an accident causes a quicker return to work and better claims outcomes – multiple WCRI studies verified this fact over the last 5 years.  
  10. Explore alternative coverages such as PEO’s, self-insurance, captives, etc. if you must have a Mod below 1.0.   Many contractors, including governmental, require their subcontractors have an E-Mod of 1.0 or below.
  11. Analyze your premium audit very closely.  Does it look right?
  12. Join and become active with an association of similar companies.
  13. If your company expands into other states, those states’ Workers’ Compensation rules and laws may be totally different.  Local defense attorneys usually have summary cheat sheets that cover the state’s WC rules in a few pages.
  14. Monitor any of your subrogation files using a diary system.  Do not leave claims money on the table and walk away.
  15. Get online access.  I can tell you after reviewing claim files since the 1980s, online access to your claims saves time, aggravation, and premium dollars.
  16. I added this one in as many workers will return to their jobs in 2021 having not worked in the job for over a year.  The learning curve (accident curve) shows when employees first return to their jobs their risk of injury is similar to a new employee.

New Resolutions for 2022 – No Deletions from 2021

Coding Is Critical

Please notice that I have not deleted any of the 2021 resolutions.  They are all still in play.  For full explanations of each resolution, follow the very first link in this article to the original 2021 resolutions.

  • Make sure that all COVID claims have been reported as COVID claims.  Why?  Because NCCI and the WCIRB and other rating bureaus consider Coronavirus claims as catastrophe-coded claims.   Catastrophe claims are not charged against your Experience Mod.   From this webpage on ELE Catastrophe Codes –

2019 ELE Code 12

Identifies claims attributable to COVID-19 Coronavirus with Accident Dates of 12/1/2019 and subsequent. At this time, the ending accident date has not yet been established. Once the ending accident date has been established, this document
will be updated.

  • Your Workers Comp premiums do not necessarily reduce in proportion to your decrease in payrolls.  We have seen “Experience Mod bumps” when payroll decreases but an employer may have higher prior year claims that figure into the Mod.  This is a point of debate but I am going on what I have seen in our Mod reviews.
  • Make sure that furloughed employees are reported as furloughed employees.  The Class Code for these employees is 0012 for NCCI and 0012 for WCIRB.  Your premium audit or premium audit workpapers should have these amounts separated into the 0012 class code.  Some consultants have said that reporting the employees in 0012 will have a little positive effect on your Mod – not true.   
  • 8871 Telecomuuter Class Code  If your employees are working at home, then they probably should be placed under the 8871 classification code.   The same code is used for California-based employees.   The main difference with California telecommuters is the 50% rule – if a clerical position works more than 50% of the time in the office, they are coded as 8810.
  • Post-pandemic return to work whether from a Workers Comp injury, furloughed, or working from home.  The Six Keys to Savings on Workers Comp that I wrote in 1988 listed #4 as to how the injured worker has been treated by their employer.  That still holds true for any employee that is returning to work in the post-pandemic era.  Check the 2021 resolution #9 above for the WCRI link.  Trust is everything in employee/employer relationships.

2022 Workers Comp Resolutions Shortcut

This list could go on many more bullet points. From what I have seen so far in late 2021 and just after the new year comes down to two things for the 2022 Workers Comp resolutions:

  1. Make sure that everything is reported properly to the carrier – COVID claims, employee’s duties, – the first reports of injury are critical.
  2. Make sure you inform the premium auditor of any furloughed or telecommuter employees.
  3. Review and re-review all data to make sure all data is correct before paying the audit bill.   Do the review and re-review timely.

I know this is a long list of 2022 Workers Comp resolutions – no time like the present to get or keep your program on track.

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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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