WCI 2022: Session Sneak Peak
Inaugural Summit On First Responder / Correctional Officer Claims In Workers’ Compensation: Turning The Adversarial Into The Collaborative And Saving Dollars In The Process
For years, WCI has presented Breakout Sessions related to special provisions in the law regarding workers’ compensation benefits payable to First Responders. Across the nation, states have enacted new laws or are debating legislation to enlarge the compensability of injuries, illnesses, and disease for this class of employees, with sometimes little to no forethought on the cost impacts.
Whether these increased benefits payable to First Responders for particular medical diagnoses such as heart and hypertension, PTSD, certain cancers, and most recently COVID-19 should or should not be a part of workers’ compensation laws is not the subject of these newly developed sessions. That debate is best made in another forum. The laws related to First Responders “are what they are” and system participants are required to follow their mandates. These new sessions deal with how best to provide benefits to First Responders by “turning the adversarial into the collaborative and saving dollars in the process.” In other words, what actions can be taken in collaboration with the First Responder and his/her employer/carrier to properly treat the condition, return the First Responder back to work, and save money as opposed to utilizing an adversarial process. Data will be provided as to the current costs of these new First Responder benefits. The lability of such new laws is unknown, and thus, the true costs and their affordability have not yet been determined. Hopefully, through the participation of stakeholders, “best practices” can be developed to provide some basis upon which these new initiatives can be more accurately priced.