Summary: When workers are injured many times the employer transfers the cost of recovery to the worker by making it difficult or impossible for the employee to obtain authorization for access to medical treatment. Failing to prevent preventable work injuries is another way of transferring the costs of doing business to employees and their families. The solution is a greater effort to prevent work injuries and illnesses caused by the work environment. [I have queued up a few videos about how medical care is authorized or why it is not authorized in an Iowa workers' compensation cases. Call us if we can help with your case.]
Headline : The Costs of Employer Controlled Authorization of Medical Care in Iowa Work Comp Cases
Here are a few excerpts.
“Work injuries and illnesses exact a tremendous toll on society. Despite the decades-old legal requirement that employers provide workplaces free of serious hazards, every year, more than three million workers are seriously injured, and thousands more are killed on the job. The financial and social impacts of these injuries and illnesses are huge, with workers and their families and taxpayer-supported programs paying most of the costs.
The most effective solution to the problem posed by this paper is to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses from occurring. This would spare workers and their families from needless hardship and suffering, as well as the loss of income and benefits associated with these conditions. At the same time, it is vitally important that state-based workers’ compensation programs take steps to eliminate roadblocks that prevent workers with compensable injuries or illnesses from receiving the full compensation to which they are entitled.
The costs of workplace injuries are borne primarily by injured workers, their families, and taxpayer-supported components of the social safety net. Changes in state based workers’ compensation insurance programs have made it increasingly difficult for injured workers to receive the full benefits (including adequate wage replacement payments and coverage for medical expenses) to which they are entitled. Employers now provide only a small percentage (about 20%) of the overall financial cost of workplace injuries and illnesses through workers’ compensation. This cost-shift has forced injured workers, their families and taxpayers to subsidize the vast majority of the lost income and medical care costs generated by these conditions.
The failure of many employers to prevent millions of work injuries and illnesses each year, and the failure of the broken workers’ compensation system to ensure that workers do not bear the costs of their injuries and illnesses, are truly adding inequality to injury.”