Archive | Experience Modification RSS feed for this section

Even One Injury Can Raise Your Ex Mod

14 Apr

It is becoming increasingly clear in 2013 that recent changes in the California workers’ compensation experience modification process are severely hurting small employers, who have even 1 work injury reported. A single claim can push an employer’s experience mod up by 15 to 25 %, or more. Now that the first $7,000 of each claim are used in the “primary” loss portion of the experience modification, up from just $2,000 in past years, a single work injury can increase future workers’ compensation premiums by 3 to 4 times the dollar cost of the claim, according to UC Berkeley researcher Frank Neuhasuer and others.
And experience mods being reported in 2013 are showing this impact. The increases are so high that the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau has met recently to consider limiting the impact of one claim. The problem, however, is that many times, what appears to be multiple claims really is just an attorney for an injured worker taking advantage of filing two different claims, one for a “specific’ injury such as an injured shoulder, and a second claim for “cumulative trauma” over the work life of the employee. In truth, these are not two claims, but the lawyer’s effort to magnify injuries to obtain more money for himself and the worker.
Employers, in self-defense, need to consider “post offer pre employment physical exams”, immediate and through accident investigations, and full cooperation with their workers’ compensation claims personnel.

New Resource for California Employers – Website Launched

23 Feb

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau has launched a completely redesigned website to provide more in-depth information relevant to employers, insurers and agents, and anyone interested in learning more about the WCIRB and California’s workers’ compensation system. The website has a new online address:

What’s Available- Visitors to the website will find information and resources specifically tailored to their needs.

• Publications and Filings
Locate and access California manuals and plans, WCIRB Bulletins, regulatory filings and more.
• Research and Analysis
Search for and find current data, reports and analyses about the workers’ compensation system.
• Learning Center
Access online educational tools on a variety of topics including the standard classification system, payroll auditing, experience rating and more.
• About
Learn about the WCIRB Click: for a video tour.

If you would like to learn about your own company’s experience modification or how to control it, please contact Don Dressler Consulting by our email: or view our website at

Do You Know the Rules About Classifying Medical Treatment As First Aid and How it Saves You Money?

4 Aug

When an employee is injured on the job, it is important that they receive the best and most appropriate medical care. However, not all medical care must be either reported to your workers’ compensation insurer and charged against your claims – increasing your future experience modification – nor recorded as an injury in your OSHA Injury Records.

Cal/OSHA and Federal OSHA define “first aid” as any one-time treatment, and any follow up visit for the purpose of observation of minor scratches, cuts, burns, splinters, or other minor industrial injury, which do not ordinarily require medical care. This one-time treatment, and follow up visit for the purpose of observation, is considered first aid even though provided by a physician or registered professional personnel. California Labor Code 5401 (a).

Only the following services qualify as “first aid”:

  • Using a non-prescription medication at nonprescription strength
  • Administering tetanus immunizations (other immunizations, such as Hepatitis B vaccine or rabies vaccine, are considered medical treatment);
  • Cleaning, flushing or soaking wounds on the surface of the skin;

Continue reading

Using the California Workers’ Compensation “Employer’s Bill of Rights”

23 Jul

Many employers have been frustrated by workers’ compensation claims – they felt claims were either fraudulent or  improperly paid.  At the least, the employer did not know what happened and was upset by the impact on his experience modification.

In 1993, the California law was changed to give employers tools to deal with these concerns, in two sections of the California Labor Code, entitled the Employer’s Bill of Rights, Sections 3761 and 3762.

Continue reading

Five Keys to Controlling Your Workers’ Comp Ex Mod

11 May

Employers usually get the experience modification they earn, even if they don’t know how to act to control it. Here are several ways to controll workers’ compensation claims, and thus your ex mod.

  1. File  the First Report of Injury – within 24 hours
  2. Physician’s network – know and control where  the employee  receives medical care
  3. Return to work program – in 99% of the instances, have the employee back to work the very next day, and always have the employee back on a job as soon as possible.
  4. Keep informed about employee treatment by their  Doctor, keep in touch with the claims adjuster – reduces malingering and fraud
  5. Making workers’ comp a priority – do you just write a check to the or insurance company.

In a study of 7,000 Workers’ Compensation files, that if an employer does not do just one of #’s 1 – 4, the claim cost will increase by 400%.

Don Dressler Consulting has had excellent sucess in helping clients lower ex mods.  Email to learn more.