For workers who are injured on the job in Wisconsin, most expect that workers’ compensation insurance will provide some coverage for their medical treatment and loss of income if they are unable to immediately return to work.
They also know that the process can be stressful and difficult, with a great deal of confusing legal, insurance and medical terminology. They know they were hurt on the job and they need money to pay their bills.
They probably have heard talk of cuts to insurance programs and their employer may even have used the term “cost containment.” Employers can contain costs by improving worker safety, or by hiring a cost containment consultant.
A recent report looking at the “cost containment” industry for workers’ compensation finds that it has grown rapidly. The real question is whether it actually provides containment for any costs or instead has simply found a way to drain more money from the workers’ compensation system and into their own pockets, and shifted the price of injuries to the workers.
They claim they lower costs by sending injured workers to the “best doctors” who help workers return to work quickly, thereby lowering costs. But as it is just as likely that they will find doctors who will easily reject most workers’ claims as not being work related or find that an injury does not prevent a return to work.
This is why for serious claims many workers have to resort to representation by their own attorney, to ensure that their workers’ compensation claim is not improperly rejected.
Source: www.propublica.org, “‘All of This Because Somebody Got Hurt at Work’,” Michael Grabell, December 29, 2015