Workers’ Compensation Archives

chris-r-reinhardt-laborersadrChris R. Reinhardt, CIC has been involved with UNION ADR workers’ compensation programs in California since their inception in 1994. In addition, Mr. Reinhardt has been providing all forms of insurance to Union offices, Trust Funds, individual members as well as contractor associations and their Signatory Contractors.

Mr. Reinhardt serves as program administrator for a number of Unionized ADR Workers’ Compensation Programs. He is responsible for all filings required by the WCIRB and DIR. As program administrator, he is responsible for the selection and approval of carrier participants.

“I also work with a group of professional ombudsmans who meet the requirements of the Labor-Management Committee. Each ombudsman has a unique approach to the ADR claims process; I work with the individual selected in seeing that our goals established for the program are met.

I can help you establish an ADR Workers’ Compensation Program under Labor Code 3201.5 or 3201.7 which protects your members while delivering exceptional claims service.

The ADR program can help reduce premium expenses for participating Signatory Contractors and Employers by reducing workers’ compensation premiums and the reduction in experience modification factors as a result of the ADR claims process.”

If you have questions regarding how an ADR Group Workers’ Compensation Program can benefit your organization, call Chris R. Reinhardt, CIC at (800) 864-6623 from within CA, (909) 234-7290 from outside CA or send an email to chrisr@unionadr.com.


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JANUARY 5, 2017: The WCIRB has completed an analysis of allocated loss adjustment expense (ALAE) cost trends in California workers’ compensation. The major findings of the report are:

  • Average ALAE cost per claim have increased by more than five-fold in the last 25 years. In addition, despite the implementation of SB 863 in 2013, average ALAE costs have increased by 20% since 2012.
  • California ALAE costs as a percentage of losses are by far the highest of any state and more than twice the countrywide median. Other interstate comparisons suggest that the differences in California ALAE costs are largely related to activities that occur later in the life of a claim.
  • Recent increases in ALAE levels are related to both increases in the frequency of claims involving significant ALAE costs in addition to the average ALAE cost on those claims. Although the majority of claims with significant ALAE costs occur in the Los Angeles Basin area, recent increases in ALAE costs have occurred broadly throughout California.
  • Cumulative injury claims are much more likely to involve significant ALAE costs than non-cumulative injury claims and these types of claims have been growing faster than other types of claims, indicating that the recent growth in cumulative injury claims is likely a key driver of recent increases in ALAE levels.
  • The proportion of claims with significant ALAE costs that have been settled by compromise and release has more than doubled since 2010. Claims settled by compromise and release incur significantly higher ALAE costs than claims closed by other means, suggesting that the recent increases in these types of claims is a factor driving recent increases in ALAE levels.
  • Based on a recent WCIRB claim survey on ALAE costs, a majority of permanent disability claims involve an applicant’s attorney and Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board appearances. In addition, significant portions of permanent disability claims involved depositions, liens, disputes for which no lien had yet been filed (i.e., “pre-liens”), surveillance or investigation costs, or costs of preparing subpoenaed records.

The full report is available in the Research and Analysis section of the WCIRB website (www.wcirb.com) and at the link below:

WCIRB Research Forum

The WCIRB will hold a WCIRB Research Forum webinar to discuss the report as well as the WCIRB’s 2016 Senate Bill No. 863 Cost Monitoring Report released last November. Register at the link below to attend the webinar.

Date: Thursday, January 19, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PT
Register now>

For those unable to attend the live webinar, a recording will be posted on the WCIRB Research Forum page of the WCIRB website following the event.

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DECEMBER 19, 2016: A new study on California’s workers’ compensation system finds a “strong association” between attorney involvement and the high cost of cumulative trauma claims.

The California Workers’ Compensation Institute study looks at CT claims and identifies characteristics that differentiate CT claims from non-CT claims.

The study finds a strong association between attorney involvement and regional variation in the Los Angeles Basin and the high cost of CT claims.

Cumulative traumas are physical or mental injuries that arise over time from repetitive stress, motion, or exposures, rather than from a specific event or accident.

California’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau earlier this year reported that CT claims as a percentage of California workers’ comp lost time cases had more than doubled over the past decade, climbing to about 18 percent of all indemnity cases in 2015.

Because CT claims have become a significant cost driver in the system, CWCI initiated a study to gain a better understanding of where these claims come from, identify characteristics and factors contributing to the rapid growth in CT claims and to compare average medical and indemnity benefits for CT and non-CT claims.

Authors of the study used data from its Industry Research Information System database on 41,000 CT claims and 608,000 non-CT claims that received California workers’ comp benefits between 2005 and 2013.

They compared the claim characteristics of CT claims to those of non-CT claims, including the workers’ average age, gender, earnings, and job tenure.

Also studied was: the mix of claims by employer premium, industry and region; the type and nature of injury; notification lag times; level of attorney involvement; presence of indemnity payments; presence of a compensability dispute; and whether or not the injured worker had filed any additional claims.

The study found that CT cases:

  • Were far more likely to have come from the Los Angeles Basin;
  • Were most prevalent in the manufacturing sector;
  • Had a higher proportion of claims involving multiple body parts and mental disorders;
  • Had twice the attorney involvement rate of non-CT claims and 53 percent higher average claim costs.

Workers claiming CT injuries were 10 times more likely to have claimed other injuries against the same employer, according to the study.

Nearly 56 percent of all CT claims in the study population were filed in the Los Angeles County/Inland Empire/Orange County region compared with 36.5 percent of non-CT claims, the study shows.

Limiting the analysis to lost-time cases, the study noted that 91 percent of the CT claims involved an attorney, which was twice the attorney involvement rate for non-CT claims. And while CT claims appeared to have higher medical costs than non-CT claims, that difference disappeared when attorney involvement and region were factored into the equation.

This result confirms a strong association between the higher costs of CT claims in the study sample and the high levels of attorney involvement and the regional variation in the L.A. Basin, the study’s authors note.

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Information courtesy of Insurance Journal

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