News & Blog
2022 Year End in MT Workers' Compensation
2022 Year End and the positive impact of humanizing the workers compensation system has had for our recovering workers and the financials of our client organizations
Thanksgiving and Reflection 2022
Novembe 25, 2022
Reflections on the 30 years that have passed since Marsh moved to a new insurance company with industry icon Michael Galati
MCSi / IIC Receive Thanks From MT DOL&I
October 15, 2022
Thank you letter from the Montana Department of Labor and Industry for continued sponsorship of the annual Governor's Conference on Workers' Compensation
Lauren K Marsh Awarded MT WC Claims Examiner Certification
July 19, 2022
Lauren K Marsh Awarded MT WC Claims Examiner Certification
NAIIA - Celebrating 85 Years of Greatness
July 9, 2022
The National Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters is celebrating its 85th birthday in 2022
1985 Reference - Lesson: Hard Work and a Professional Attitude Have Consequences
March 25, 2022
A memo from 1985 foretells the future of the company
A.M.Best - Recommended Insurance Adjusters 2022
February 1, 2022
Midland Claims Service, Inc. and Industrial Injury Claims® once again appears in the A. M. Best Recommended Insurance Attorneys and Adjusters directory for 2022
Lauren K Marsh, CPCU Joins Midland Claims
January 24, 2022
Press release announcing Lauren K Marsh joining Midland Claims Service, Inc and Industrial Injury Claims®
2021 Montana Governor's Conference on Workers' Compensation
Recap of the 2021 Governor's Conference on Workers' Compensation from West Yellowstone Montana
Montana Legislation - 2021
Brief summary of the workers' compensation related legislation resulting from the Montana 2021 legislature
Montana and Report Only/Notice Only WC claims
How Montana treats Report Only and Notice Only claims that are not assigned for adjustment or examination
Notice of Incident = WC Claim Filing?
Is attempting to save money by classifying incidents as 'report only' actually saving employers money?
MT - Johnson v Hartford 2020 Medical Closure
December 4, 2020
60 Month rule for medical closure in MT is upheld although unresolved issues exist
One Mission - One State In A Changing Claims World
Posted on September 21st, 2020
Midland Claims Service, Inc. has been in continuous operation in the State of Montana since 1946. For a number of years, MCSi expanded operations to Idaho and Washington. As a regional P/C independent adjusting company, its seven offices provided services for nearly 300 insurance and self-insured organizations. In 2001 MCSi purchased Industrial Injury Claims Service...
Eliminate Needless Work Disability
Posted on April 17th, 2019
It was more than a decade ago that we were fortunate to have met Dr. Jennifer Christian and sponsor the 60 Summits in Montana. The alignment in our company goals for our workers’ compensation claims handling with the ACOEM work on Preventing Needless Work Disability was strong. We have continued, as a small, one state...
WC Rx Formulary Becomes Reality in Montana
Posted on March 8th, 2019
After a number of years of study in the State of Montana, legislation was passed in 2017 enabling the addition of a Workers’ Compensation Drug Formulary. A Working Group was established by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry to study the situation, make recommendations for the optimal solution for the state’s injured workers and...
Midland Claims - Billings Chamber of Commerce Employer of the Year
Posted on March 8th, 2019
It is not often that a relatively small claims office / TPA in a small city is honored among 1,800 business representatives. But that’s what took place this year with Midland Claims Service, Inc. The employees of Midland put together an application for their company to the Billings Chamber of Commerce. The application was for...
A. M. Best - Recommended Insurance Adjusters
Posted on January 15th, 2018
Midland Claims Service, Inc. and Industrial Injury Claims® once again appears in the A. M. Best Recommended Insurance Attorneys and Adjusters directory for 2018. We are proud to continue our association with A. M. Best. We are also very proud that, despite much industry consolidation, we remain an independent business serving only in the state...
Business Days In Helena and Workers' Compensation
Posted on January 12th, 2018
Michael was invited to serve on a panel at the 2018 Montana Chamber of Commerce event, Business Days at the Capital held January 10 and 11, 2018 in Helena, MT. On the panel to address the business climate of Montana, and workers’ compensation issues, were Bill Dahlgren, Sun Mountain Sports and a member of the...
Congratulations To Newly Certified
Posted on November 2nd, 2017
The entire staff of Midland Claims Service, Inc. and Industrial Injury Claims® is excited to wish CONGRATULATIONS to Valerie Betts and Kimberley Clark! Both Val and Kim passed the Montana Department of Labor and Industry / Employment Relations Division certification test, and are now the state’s newest Certified Workers’ Compensation Claims Examiners. Great work Val...
Marsh Speaks To National Council of Self-Insurers
Posted on August 27th, 2017
Mr. Michael Marsh – Speaker at the 2017 National Council of Self-Insurers Annual Meeting Mr. Michael Marsh, President, Midland Claims Service, Inc. and Industrial Injury Claims® was recently a featured speaker at the 2017 annual meeting of the National Council of Self-Insurers. The meeting was held at the Wyndham Bayside Hotel in San Diego, CA...
Kids' Chance - Montana
Posted on June 23rd, 2017
We are in a complicated, eye opening, sometimes stressful, always filled with new and different situations kind of business. MCSi / IIC administrate workers’ compensation claims in Montana. There have been situations that would challenge even the strongest of tummies. Some of the things we have seen, to quote a friend, can’t be unseen (forgotten)...
Medicare Advantage Plans Impact Upon Liability and WC Claims
Posted on June 17th, 2017
Medicare Beneficiaries Show Significant Increase in Participation in Medicare Advantage Programs For payers (insurance companies, self-insured organizations and TPAs) handling liability and workers’ compensation claims, it has become more important than ever to include in the claim handling process the investigation of the injured person’s Medicare beneficiary status. Cases have held that in addition to...
Honoring Workplace Safety
Posted on June 4th, 2017
It is such a blessing and honor to work with fine organizations such as SCL Health. In the 2016 article linked below, SCL is highlighted for their serious efforts to improve the safety of the workplace for their associates. Workplace safety is in our opinion of course very important, that is why we have donated...
Cost Per Service Is Not Effective
Posted on March 20th, 2017
Total agreement with this blog post by Joe Paduda from the perspective of a workers’ compensation Third Party Administrator. Motivating and providing incentives for excellent outcomes is far less expensive overall than negotiating individual encounter rates. Individual encounter price per service encourages additional volume of services by lowering each cost. There is usually little actual savings...
Disenfranchisement of the Workers' Compensation Recovering Worker
Posted on March 13th, 2017
What causes a worker recovering from a workplace injury to become disenfranchised? We observe that it is a system that rewards removal of the direct, human interaction between the adjuster / examiner and the worker. While we have for over 16 years pushed our agenda out to insurance companies and self-insured organizations, the push from...
Independent Adjusters Handle Billions of Dollars In Claims
Posted on February 15th, 2017
A recent article from Property Casualty 360 talks about a recent study which identifies that independent adjusting companies and staff handle billions of dollars in claims annually. Generally, independents have a wide range and many years of experience as they serve myriad clients from all walks of the insurance landscape. Further, particularly the smaller local...
Marsh Receives First Ever Governor's Achievement Award
Posted on October 26th, 2016
At the 2016 Governor’s Conference on Workers’ Compensation, held August 24 – 26, 2016 at the Big Sky Resort, Michael J. Marsh, RPA, CPIA was presented with the Governor’s Achievement Award for Outstanding Workers’ Compensation Professional. The award was given in recognition of Michael’s “Integrity and Professionalism in the field of Workers’ Compensation”. Presentation of...
Marsh Elected As NAIIA Western Region Vice President
Posted on October 14th, 2016
Michael Marsh was elected as the Western Regional Vice President of National Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters (“NAIIA”). NAIIA is an 80 year old organization that covers the entire United States with its membership who provide claims and risk management services to insurance companies, brokers and self-insured organizations throughout the world. Michael has been actively...
Back To Basics - Humanizing the Workers' Compensation System
Posted on June 11th, 2016
The following is a presentation to the Montana Governor’s Labor Management Advisory Council on Workers’ Compensation, June, 2016. We have previously addressed the LMAC on topics including initial lost time payment period, Plan inconsistencies, subrogation, medical fee schedules and the efficacy of the overall system in Montana. This presentation was in lieu of participation in...
Interactive Concussion Testing
Posted on April 22nd, 2016
Interactive testing for concussions. A dream of ours for many years. Having been involved in contact sports as well as motorcycle racing, we are well aware of the dangers and long-term impact of Traumatic Brain Injury (“TBI”). The possibility of testing on site, with some reliability, for brain trauma has been a long time coming...
A Leader in Healthcare and Senior Living Retires - Kent Burgess
Posted on April 20th, 2016
Kent Burgess, CEO of St. John’s Lutheran Ministries, has announced his retirement after 25 years. He has been a leader in healthcare and in developing new, innovative ways to provide for seniors. We have worked with Kent and his staff at St. John’s since late 2001, handling all of their workers’ compensation claims through the...
Workers' Compensation in Montana - What Makes Us Different?
Posted on January 20th, 2016
As of Dec 31, 2015, we have responsibility for 27,518 Workers’ Compensation Claims in Montana, representing in excess of $122,000,000 in Wage Loss, Impairment and Medical benefits. For the past decade, our combined average cost per claim (for Lost Time / Impairment claims) INCLUDING OUR FEES is nearly $50,000 PER CLAIM LESS than the largest...
Holiday Season 2015 - Workers' Compensation and More
Posted on December 21st, 2015
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to each and every one of you, our client partner organizations and friends in the industry, those that have over the years shown the confidence in the fantastic staff of Midland Claims Service, Inc. and Industrial Injury Claims®…to allow us the opportunity to provide Property, Casualty and Workers’ Compensation TPA...
Psychological Intervention in WC Claims
Posted on November 5th, 2015
Below is a link to an interesting article that addresses, at a high level, perceptions and utilization of psych professionals in the workers’ compensation process. The article is possibly a good STARTING point for the discussion of secondary psychological symptoms following a traumatic injury or occupational disease. And a discussion is needed, both at the...
How Did WC Get To Be Pay for Play?
Posted on October 4th, 2015
Workers’ Compensation. A system in the United States created 100 years ago to address a critical issue in the country, workplace injuries and the emergency of major manufacturing, primarily in the metropolitan areas of the county. Until the workers’ compensation system was ‘invented’, a person injured at work had to bring a tort lawsuit against...
Pay For Play
Posted on October 4th, 2015
Pay for Play. External service providers provide “incentive payments” to workers’ compensation claims TPAs for the ability to receive their business. We have long known of this practice in the workers’ compensation claims TPA world. Flat rate claims service agreements in many cases do not provide sufficient income for TPAs. Many have willingly, in some...
WC Insurance - Trouble On The Horizon
Posted on June 15th, 2015
Joe Paduda drives the nail in this one. And one has to wonder what the future may hold for the insurance organizations working in the Workers’ Compensation line. We think there is much room in the niche areas, specific classes and geographic areas, especially in situations where claims are handled in a ‘new’ and ‘different’...
Subrogation In Montana Makes News
Posted on May 18th, 2015
The recent legislative session in Montana which ended in April 2015 has made the national publication of the National Association of Subrogation Professionals (“NASP”). SB 288, which arose after MCSi’s President Michael J. Marsh testified in front of the Economic Affairs Interim Committee. Marsh wrote a draft of language for the bill, which was not...
The Workers' Compensation Environment
Posted on May 1st, 2015
The article linked here, by well-respected Mark Walls of Safety National Casualty Corporation, is one of the best articles (at a high level) of what is good about and challenges faced by the state-based workers’ compensation system in the United States. We have literally hundreds of claims presented to self-insured employers for whom we serve...
Misdiagnosis and Reduction of Impact To Workers' Compensation Patients
Posted on April 13th, 2015
An article in the Workers’ Compensation Outlook (Volume 25, No. 7 – April 2015) discusses the impact of misdiagnosis and incorrect medical treatment. While this is a distinct problem throughout the United States and the world, it is particularly acute in the Workers’ Compensation context. The article was written by Bruce Friedman, M.D.. The article
Montana Adding Public Adjusters to Statutes
Posted on March 17th, 2015
At the direction of the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, HB 95 was introduced to the 2015 legislature, and appears to be moving towards approval…it may soon become law that Public Adjusters can ‘legally’ do business in the State of Montana. Those in the industry can hardly believe, with the experiences that many have had...
Montana NAIIA Members
Posted on March 17th, 2015
If your organization is looking for the highest level of experience, training and proven results, look first to the National Associations of Independent Insurance Adjusters (“NAIIA”). NAIIA members are among the most experienced adjusters, investigators, umpires and mediators in the world. The organization has been in place for nearly 80 years, and is one of...
Extraterritorial WC Issues - Darnielle Article
Extraterritorial WC Issues – Darnielle Article
Posted on March 16th, 2015
Excellent article by Dennis Gamble of Darnielle Insurance about some of the basic issues that any employer should be aware of when operations include employee activity in Montana, and/or North Dakota and/or Wyoming (both monopolistic states)...
2014 - Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
Posted on December 27th, 2014
We are so proud of our staff. At each position, every level, each of the individuals that work at Midland Claims Service, Inc. and Industrial Injury Claims® work hard to foster a communicative, collaborative environment in the claims process, diligently bringing the various stakeholders and parties involved in the claims process together with one primary...
Workers' Comp Wish List
Posted on December 16th, 2014
Excellent, albeit a bit “pie in the sky”, list of issues that would provide additional smoothing of the workers’ compensation system, regardless of jurisdiction. We have worked with our self-insured clients for the past decade on nearly every one of the topics. Maybe that’s why their loss costs are so far below industry norms for...
Contentment and Satisfaction - Workers' Compensation Claims
Posted on December 11th, 2014
Over the 60 + years that Midland Claims Service, Inc. has been in operation, there have been myriad changes in our country, people and culture. As one can imagine, the types of claims made and the expectations of payers and injured individuals have changed significantly. Cycle time expectations have been reduced from monthly reports by...
Medicare and Workers' Compensation Conflict
Posted on November 12th, 2014
The Medicare Secondary Payer Act continues to complicate the workers’ compensation process. Essentially, the Act requires that any treatment for a workers’ compensation injury or disease be provided and paid for by the WC payer, with Medicare serving as a “secondary payer”…hence the name of the Act. With the status of Medicare’s funding, the Act...
The "Ideal" Job for a Workers' Compensation Adjuster
Posted on October 26th, 2014
Recently, we read an article that gave us encouragement in the workers’ compensation claims business. The article, “The Ideal Workers’ Compensation Adjuster Job”, was written by Michael B. Stack, CPA, a principal in Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. Midland Claims Service, Inc. and Industrial Injury Claims has been leading the workers’ compensation claims industry for two...
Marsh to present at CLM Claims College September 2014
Posted on August 29th, 2014
For Immediate ReleaseAugust 29, 2014 Mr. Michael Marsh to Speak at the 2014 CLM Claims College Mr. Michael Marsh, President, Midland Claims Sevice, Inc. and Industrial Injury Claims® will be a speaker at the School of Worker’s Compensation. The Claims College will be held from September 7-10 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. Marsh is currently the...
Montana WC Costs Continue To Rise
Posted on July 21st, 2014
Yep, Montana remains one of the most expensive Workers’ Compensation states in the United States…and while safety messaging from Work Safe MT has been helping to further the trend of declining claim frequency, a number of challenges continue to combine to push costs higher....
Hail Storm Hits Billings - May 18, 2014
Posted on May 19th, 2014
Billings was hit with a moderate hail storm Sunday evening, approximately 5 pm on May 18, 2014. Hail was pea size to golf ball size. Moderate damage has been noted all over the city. Significantly larger hail was noted to the east of Billings, causing significant damage in a widespread area. Our ladders are ready...
Bill Zachry and Internet Explorer in BusinessInsurance.com
Posted on April 28th, 2014
From Business Insurance, advice from the Feds to not use Microsoft Internet Explorer until security hole is patched. And on the cover, our friend and well-respected collegue William M Zachry (Risk Manager of the Year)...
Montana - Costly Results
Posted on April 25th, 2014
Montana is well known as a difficult jurisdiction for property, casualty and workers’ compensation claims. Not only is the Supreme Court one of the most liberal (pro plaintiff) in the nation, they aren’t afraid to make ‘new law’ at times. The duty to defend is a high duty in Montana law and has not changed...
RMIS Risk Manager of the Year - Bill Zachry
Posted on March 13th, 2014
Congratulations to the RMIS Risk Manager of the Year Honoree, Bill Zachry! We have known and worked parallel to Bill since the late 1980’s. He has always been a kind, thoughtful professional in an otherwise challenging business…workers’ compensation claims. Mr. Zachry was among a few in California during the very difficult days of the 80’s...
Use of Medical Case Managers (Nurses) and Fees
Posted on February 26th, 2014
Midland Claims Service, Inc. and Industrial Injury Claims® has for over a decade approached the use of nurses on workers’ compensation claims as a common sense tool in the adjuster’s tool box. Unfortunately, the practice of retaining and working with medical case managers on less than catastrophic injury claims seems to be somewhat contrary to...
More Money Flows Into the WC TPA World - Sedgwick is Sold
Posted on January 27th, 2014
According to Joe Paduda, KKR has acquired a majority state in Sedgwick for over $2 Billion. His column indicates that the current management doubled the company’s value in a fairly short period of time. We are confident that Paduda’s prediction of pressure upon Sedgwick management to increase top line and bottom line revenues will bear...
Can we learn from the experience in Illinois? WCRI study released.
Posted on January 15th, 2014
Similar experience in Illinois as we have seen in Montana, adjust the per visit / per encounter / per procedure reimbursement rates downward, and the utilization rate and number of procedures for similar claims seems to rise. Illinois has enjoyed a significant medical cost decrease in their WC system due to their reforms, while Montana...
What is Claims Man? ...or claims professional in today's lingo...
Posted on January 15th, 2014
What is a claims person (today’s language for a claims man)? According to Edward G Robinson in the movie Double Indemnity the claims professional has many aspects to what they do every day. Amazing how so little and yet so much has changed since the 1940’s…
Study Shows Surgery Rate in CA Higher than WA...Financial Motivation?
Posted on January 13th, 2014
Joe Paduda’s recent column discusses a recent study showing the significantly higher rates of back surgery (fusion) in CA than in WA, where the threshold is far higher than in CA before significant surgery can be approved under workers’ compensation. We agree with the tone of the article, where there is financial motivation to do...
Posted on January 6th, 2014
The claims industry can be challenging. Needs and demands of stakeholders throughout the process can be so monumental that in certain circumstances the actual reason to have an adjuster, that being to lead and facilitate a claim from date of injury to resolution, can become cloudy. From injured worker and their family to the employer...
Sedgwick - Another National TPA On The Block
Posted on December 20th, 2013
Sedgwick is for sale. The following is from Business Insurance: (Reuters) — Private equity-owned Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc., one of the largest U.S. providers of claims services, is exploring a sale that could value it at more than $2 billion, according to four people familiar with the matter. Sedgwick, which was acquired by Stone...
Newest Montana WC Claims Examiners - Certified
Posted on December 13th, 2013
Newest Montana WC Claims Examiners – Certified All three of our team members passed the test with scores of 95% or higher! Congratulations ladies!
Hannah Koch Becomes a Certified MT WC Claims Examiner
Posted on December 6th, 2013
Hannah Koch has passed the Montana Department of Labor and Industry test and has been awarded her certification as a Montana Certified Workers’ Compensation Examiner. Congratulations Hannah on achieving a 96% !
Lisa Byers Becomes a Montana Certified WC Claims Examiner
Posted on December 6th, 2013
Lisa Byers has passed the Montana Department of Labor and Industry test and has been awarded her certification as a Montana Certified Workers’ Compensation Examiner. Congratulations Lisa!
Nicole Erhardt Becomes a Certified Workers' Compensation Claims Examiner
Posted on December 2nd, 2013
Congratulations to Nicole Erhardt for passing the final exam and achieving her certification as a Workers’ Compensation Claims Examiner in Montana.
Stop Dryer Fires Before They Start
Posted on November 19th, 2013
The following article was taken from AAA Mountain West. Normally we don’t repost articles in whole, but the message was so simple and positive that we thought that it should be shared. Cudos to AAA Mountain West for providing personal risk management information to its customers. Dryer Fires and How to Prevent Them...
Cyber Liability - A New (and unknown) Exposure
Posted on October 23rd, 2013
At a recent conference, we learned a great deal about Cyber Liability and the costs associated with data leakage / breach / intrusion. Just the response costs can run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, or in the case of the recent Adobe data breach, many millions of dollars. Insurance is available for this...
Investors Moving to Workers' Compensation Space
Posted on October 22nd, 2013
More information about another merger / acquisition in the WC field. More evidence that big investment dollars are flowing away from the health care industry and into the workers’ compensation industry...
Federal Court of Appeals Rejects RICO Litigation
Posted on September 25th, 2013
Federal Court of Appeals Rejects RICO Litigation From Larry Holt of the National Council of Self-Insurers Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 9:35 AMSubject: RICO Case Decided Members of National Council of Self-Insurers: I have happily received the following information from Jerry Marcinkoski, Executive Secretary of the Michigan Self-Insurers Association. His words are from an email Jerry...
Medical Community - We Can Do Better
Posted on September 25th, 2013
We have no relationship with the author of the following snippet about a book written by Dr. Otis Brawley, but experience has shown that there is a good deal of reality in his words. Refreshing to hear someone from the medical community say “we can do better”, even if it is on the verge of...
WC Fraud - Reality
Posted on September 23rd, 2013
There are many discussions, seminars and vendors nationwide that warn in a threatening way of the ‘devastating’ costs of workers’ compensation fraud. To be sure, there are some egregious situations which lead to millions of dollars leaving the system to undeserving workers, vendors, medical clinics, and even physicians. In our experience, supervising and administering claims...
FDA To Raise Labeling Standards for Prescription Pain Killers
Posted on September 12th, 2013
FDA To Raise Labeling Standards for Prescription Pain Killers. Additional labeling will be unlikely to stem the tide of large number of prescription medication overdose deaths, but additional information, even if it saves one person, is probably worth the cost and effort...
Montana Governor's Conference in Billings Sept 4 - 6, 2013
Posted on September 3rd, 2013
Midland Claims Service, Inc. and Industrial Injury Claims® are primary sponsors of the 2013 Montana Governor’s Conference on Workers’ Compensation, which begins Wednesday September 4 in Billings at the Crown Plaza. The schedule for the 3 day conference is as follows: Wednesday, September 4, 2013Non-conference meetings9:00 – 12:00 Montana Self-Insurance Association Meeting Conference Room 510:00...
Use of Annuities to Fund Future Medical Costs for Legacy WC Claims
Posted on August 28th, 2013
Use of Annuities to Fund Future Medical Costs for Legacy WC Claims We have since the mid-1970’s been a strong proponent of using annuities as a tool to bring long term medical WC claims to resolution as well as the classical application for catastrophic liability injury claims. Driving the use of annuities has not been...
Paduda on Private Equity Firms Entering the WC Space
Posted on August 22nd, 2013
We tend to agree with Joe Paduda, the number of Private Equity (“PE”) firms entering or at least studying the workers’ compensation industry is on the upswing. The insurance industry had a similar ‘intrusion’ in the 1970’s when equity firms entered the industry in the name of modernization, efficiency and cost cutting. The insurance industry...
NICB Announces Ten Most Stolen Vehicles in 2012
Posted on August 21st, 2013
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (“NICB”) has released a report which summarizes stolen vehicle statistics nationwide. The top ten stolen vehicles in 2012 were: For 2012, the most-stolen vehicles in the nation were (total thefts in parentheses): 1. Honda Accord (58,596) 2. Honda Civic (47,037) 3. Ford Pickup (Full Size) (26,770) 4. Chevrolet Pickup...
Narcotics dispensed by physicians are killing people
Posted on August 12th, 2013
The WC industry has long pointed out this issue, which is at long last getting ‘main stream’ medical provider attention locally. We have seen so much injury and death following what appeared to have been in appropriate dispensing of narcotic medications (but hey, we are only claims adjusters, right?). Hopefully this discussion can open up...
Back Pain Treatment Results Getting Worse
Posted on August 9th, 2013
The following is from OMCA (Occupational Managed Care Alliance, Inc.) in a newsletter dated August 9, 2013. Pressure upon physicians to “do something” from patients, as well as the ever-present risk of medical malpractice claims, seems to be moving many physicians away from well-established, more conservative, treatment of non-specific back pain. While this may not...
TPA Operations and Ancillary Services
Posted on July 16th, 2013
As many of you have heard Mike Marsh talk about the past decade, with the pressure on claim TPA operations that do business with flat rate claim service charges to do “more with less”, many of the national and regional TPAs are going into the bill review and nursing businesses. The shell game that is...
Ten Years After - Montana To Begin Looking At "Real" Cost Drivers
Posted on June 17th, 2013
Work Comp Study Assigned to EAIC HJ 25 (Rep. Scott Reichner – Bigfork) directs the Economic Affairs Interim Committee (EAIC) to study various work comp issues, primarily the issue of “subrogation.” In a situation in which a worker is injured by a third party, work comp benefits should be offset if the injured worker is...
Main Street Montana Project - 5/28/13
Posted on May 28th, 2013
The Main Street Montana Project came to Billings for the first of many gatherings across the state today (May 28, 2013). Michael Marsh attended after receiving an invitation from the Office of the Governor (Bullock). Many were in attendance (around 75) including the Governor, Commissioner Bucy of the Department of Labor and Industry, all of...
Montana Governor Reauthorizes WC Study Group LMAC
Posted on May 21st, 2013
Press release from the Montana Chamber of Commerce. Despite significant efforts, the decision for inclusion on the LMAC panel has been limited once again to Labor (unions) and Business. A special ‘permanent’ sub-group was created to accomodate most of the parties that complained about the former LMAC operations, such as the Montana Hospital Association. Unfortunately...
OSHA Announces Initiative to Increase Workplace Safety
Posted on May 14th, 2013
DOL/OSHA Launches Initiative to Protect Temporary Workers OSHA has announced an initiative to further protect temporary employees from workplace hazards. A memorandum sent to the agency’s regional administrators directs field inspectors to assess whether employers who use temporary workers are complying with their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Inspectors will denote when...
MT Legislature Firms Up Standard of Proof for "Intentional Injury"
Posted on April 5th, 2013
The Montana legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law, HB-0232. The change creates a higher standard of proof for claims against an employer or fellow employee for ‘intentional’ injuries alleged to go beyond the Exclusive Remedy. Allegations after the effective date of the change (July 1, 2013) must now show that the intentional and...
Pain in WC
Posted on April 1st, 2013
The North Dakota legislature has debated the issue of pain in the context of pre-existing conditions and claims made for such pain if the pain gets worse at work. http://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/senators-debate-pain/article_881a171a-98af-11e2-b7f3-001a4bcf887a.html Pain continues to be an issue in workers’ compensation across the US, as the population average age increases and the number of pre-existing issues climbs...
Milestones Continue Proud Tradition
Posted on March 11th, 2013
Midland Claims Service, Inc. and its subsidiary Industrial Injury Claims® , based in Billings, MT, celebrates 12 years with two of its valued workers’ compensation claims clients in 2013. The two clients make up over 10,000 employed staff in Montana, both operating in the challenging field of health care. The company has proudly represented these..
CT Court Steps Around Medicare Secondary Payer Guidelines
Posted on March 7th, 2013
My reading of this case and the comments is that the Connecticut court has averted compliance with the spirit AND the letter of the Medicare Secondary Payer guidelines…and has placed the attorneys (both sides), the payer and (most importantly) the injured party at a direct risk of a) an action by Medicare for recovery of...
Mark Walls to Move to Marsh
Posted on March 4th, 2013
According to Joe Paduda, Mark Walls is making an employment move to international broker Marsh. Walls was a senior executive at Safety National, a company known for excellence in Workers’ Compensation Excess insurance. Mark Walls moves to Marsh...
MCSi Given BEST's Recommended Adjuster Status for Over 10 Years
Posted on February 27th, 2013
A. M. Best has awarded Midland Claims Service, Inc. with its coveted Best’s Recommended Adjuster status again for 2013. For more than 10 years MCSi has been on the Best’s Recommended list. We are proud to be among the highest quality independent adjusting and Third Party Administration companies in the United States to receive the...
Marsh Presentation to Billings West High School Business Class 2/25/2013
Posted on February 26th, 2013
Michael Marsh was honored to have been given the opportunity to speak to Shelly Stanton’s Business class at Billings West High School on Monday, February 25, 2013. Mr. Marsh talked about building a business, use of the SWOT concept on a recurring basis, the current and recent economy, risk and risk finance, insurance, self-insurance, the...
MT Supreme Court Validates Intentional Injury Standard for WC Exclusive Remedy
Posted on February 25th, 2013
The Montana Supreme Court has validated the intentional injury rule for piercing of the workers’ compensation exclusive remedy rule. In Harris v The State of Montana and Department of Corrections, the court found that the employer’s training in the use of tasers did not go beyond knowledge that an injury was possible. In order to...
David Schmiel named as a Finalist in Risk And Insurance 2013 Power Brokers®
Posted on February 19th, 2013
Congratulations to David Schmiel of HUB International (Chicago) for being named as a Finalist in Risk And Insurance 2013 Power Brokers®...
Willis Group Reports Massive Loss
Posted on February 15th, 2013
Willis to Eliminate 200 Positions; Reports $800 Million Q4 Net Loss By Mark E. Ruquet, PropertyCasualty360 | February 13, 2013 Insurance broker Willis Group Holdings says it plans to eliminate 200 full-time positions after reporting a fourth-quarter net loss of more than $800 million due to charges and tax. Dominic Casserley, Willis CEO, said the firm...
Midland Claims Selected by A.M.Best in 2013
Posted on January 30th, 2013
Midland Claims Service, Inc. and Industrial Injury Claims® are recognized by the well-respected rating agency A. M. Best as one of the highest rated Recommended adjusting companies in the United States! For more than 3 decades MCSi has been included in the A. M. Best selections for Recommended Adjusters. Thanks goes to our professional and...
Resolution of WC Claims - Faster is Better
Posted on January 15th, 2013
The following is a letter from the National Council of Self-Insurers to its membership, quoting information from Business Insurance. It has been the experience of Midland Claims Service, Inc and Industrial Injury Claims®, servicing over 20,000 WC claims over the past decade, that aggressive, appropriate medical care following contact with the injured party and consideration of...
2013 Holiday Schedule for MCSi and Industrial Injury Claims®
Posted on January 2nd, 2013
Midland Claims Service – Industrial Injury Claims® 2013 Holiday Schedule 1) Tuesday January 1, 2013 – New Year’s Day 2) Monday February 18, 2013 – President’s Day 3) Monday May 27, 2013 – Memorial Day 4) Thursday July 4, 2013 – Independence Day 5) Monday September 2, 2013 – Labor Day 6) Monday October...
5 Workers Comp Cost Containment Techniques for 2013
Posted on December 28th, 2012
5 Workers Comp Cost Containment Techniques for 2013 Midland Claims Service, Inc and Industrial Injury Claims® have worked with their self-insured organizational clients to promote these common sense techniques to first understand and then proactively address workers’ compensation claims costs. Understanding. Safety. Promotion of Health. Good stuff. Aticle dated December 27, 2012 By Michael B. Stack...
FDA Voluntary Hydrocodone Product Recall - From myMatrixx
Posted on December 26th, 2012
FDA Voluntary Product Recall – From myMatrixx Hydrocodone – APAP 10mg/500mg Dear myMatrixx Clients, On December 20, 2012 a voluntary recall was issued for hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets 10 mg/ 500mg. This recall follows a recall issued on both September 10, 2012 and December 6, 2012 for the same product...
Workers' Compensation Claims TPA Industry - Flat Rates and Peripheral Services Negatively Impact Bottom Line
Posted on December 20th, 2012
From insurance industry blogger Joe Paduda: “I was talking to an insurance company claims exec about CorVel; this was her/his take: “We have always been concerned about them from an ALAE [allocated loss adjustment expense] standpoint. They only started the TPA business because the other TPAs were taking all their other bill review and case...
H.R. 1845 Passes House - Modification of Medicare Secondary Payer Act
Posted on December 20th, 2012
If this passes the Senate (has already passed the House with a 95% Yes vote), it will provide some much needed modifications to the process of handling Medicare liens involving workers’ compensation claims...
Fiscal Cliff May Lead to Higher WC Costs
Posted on December 19th, 2012
With the fiscal cliff looming, Joe Paduda accurately points out that on a national basis, Medicare reimbursement rates are more than likely going to be restrained or significantly reduced. As history has shown, where per encounter rates drop, utilization and other methods have been used to increase the amount of income per patient. In this...
Paduda about Rx dispensing in Florida
Posted on December 17th, 2012
Joe Paduda is not pulling any punches today in his write up of the Florida association that supports physician dispensing of medication. The Florida Medical Association’s new tagline: Profits before Patients...
The Industry May Be Catching Up...
Posted on November 12th, 2012
The Industry May Be Catching Up…Link to a Joe Paduda article about the ‘future’ of workers’ compensation claims management, that being aggressive, appropriate medical intervention and assistance. For too long, medical management in the workers’ compensation industry has been a ‘save the Indemnity’ play, focusing only on long term treatment issues, malingering and catastrophic cases...
Medical Records In WC In GA and MT
Posted on November 8th, 2012
In Montana, it is difficult (and in some cases impossible) for the claims payer or TPA to contact the treating physician and obtain medical information / reports without the injured worker or their attorney’s permission and presence. The GA Supreme Court has ruled that in their state, it is fulfillment of the necessary full disclosure...
CMS Approval of MSAs Slow, But Improving
Posted on November 6th, 2012
The Official Medicare Set Aside Blog And Information Resource published a new post entitled “CMS Update – MSA Approvals Trickling In…. Slowly” on 11/6/2012 9:52:37 AM, written by Medicare Set Aside Services. CMS Update – MSA Approvals Trickling In…. Slowly On August 12, 2010, CMS released a request for proposal seeking a qualified 8(a) contractor...
Reducing Claims Costs In Montana
Posted on October 24th, 2012
The only way to truly reduce workers’ compensation costs in a state (Montana) that leads the nation in the most accidents and deaths per capita…is to reduce or eliminate accidents. WorkSafeMT is a non-profit 501(c)3 that is dedicated to education and training employees and employers for a Safer Today...
Montana Improves in WC Premium Rate (OR Survey)
Posted on October 22nd, 2012
From the Montana Chamber of Commerce 10-22-2012: Oregon Study Shows Improvement/Problem Our work in the 2011 Legislature has paid off! The 2012 Oregon Work Comp Rate Ranking Study has been released, showing Montana went from 1st highest to 8th highest work comp rates in the nation last year. The press release, including links to a variety...
Claims Adjuster Training Needed
Posted on September 18th, 2012
Adjusting skills are decreasing in the industry as more senior, experienced staff retire and fewer new people are entering the claims industry. The CLM and its member organizations (M Marsh is a fellow in CLM) recognize this as a challenge to the long term health of the industry. Midland Claims Service, Inc has long been...
Absurdity - Montana Supreme Court Rules on IME Rights 9/11/12
Posted on September 17th, 2012
The Montana Supreme Court pulls another “…really?…” moment. In Lewis v. Macek OP-401 9/11/12 the court found that in a UM claim the insurer does NOT have the right to request or compel a psychological examination for a condition (chronic pain) that physicians on both sides of the case say may be caused or exacerbated...
Health and Human Services Secretary Announces Compliance Date for ICD - 10
Posted on September 12th, 2012
Health and Human Services Secretary Announces Compliance Date for ICD – 10 On August 24, 2012, Health and Human Services, (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the release of a rule that makes final a one-year proposed delay—from October 1, 2013, to October 1, 2014 in the compliance date for the industry’s transition to ICD-10 codes...
Evidence-based Treatment Guidelines in WC
Posted on August 23rd, 2012
Evidence-based Treatment Guidelines in Workers’ Compensation was introduced in Montana more than one year ago. Initially, the provider community was mixed in their acceptance of the hybrid guidelines into their practices. Slowly, the positive impact that following evidence-based treatment has been increasing and the number of patients requiring care outside of the guidelines to meet...
Glendive Medical Center Honored for Safety Record
Posted on August 20th, 2012
Seriously EXCELLENT News! Midland Claims Service, Inc and Industrial Injury Claims® have been working with a self-insured group in Montana since late 2001, Montana Health Network Workers’ Compensation Insurance Trust (“MHN”). MCSi / IIC is the third party claims administrator for MHN in the state of MT. The MHN group is one of the leading...
Why is Adjusting Claims Not Getting Easier?
Posted on August 20th, 2012
From the Montana Law Week, we read today that there has been a jury verdict in a Montana case alleging bad faith and violation of the UTPA (Unfair Trade Practices Act). The suit arose after Mountain West Farm Bureau denied payment on a homeowner’s hail claim for damages from hail. The plaintiff asked for $60,000...
OSHA 300 Reporting
Posted on August 10th, 2012
From the Associated Employers’ Newsletter August 2012, quoting source CAI Management Newsletter: If a physician recommends a work restriction due to occupational injury or illness, employers are required to record such on the OSHA 300 if the restriction affects one or more of an employee’s routine job functions. Recommended restrictions that keep an employee from...
Midland Claims / Industrial Injury Claims Accepted to NRRDA
Posted on August 9th, 2012
The National Retail And Restaurant Defense Association has approved MCSi / IIC as a member. The NRRDA is a national association made up of retailers and food service oriented organizations as well as professional organizations that provide services in the claims and legal areas for them. MCSi is proud to be a member of the...
Data Confirms Obesity Increases Claims Duration
Posted on July 16th, 2012
This new NCCI study and the Duke study from several years ago once again point out the importance of wellness programs and the significant cost increase for workers’ compensation involving severly obese workers when they are injured over injured workers that are not obese. And under the new Utilization and Treatment Guidelines implemented in Montana...
Joe Paduda Comments On the Impact of ACA
Posted on June 29th, 2012
Joe Paduda comments on the potential impacts of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act upon the workers’ compensation system...
Federal Health Care Bill - Supreme Court
Posted on June 29th, 2012
The US Supreme Court has found that the Affordable Care Act was essentially constitutional, when the penalties were reclassified as taxes. This is such a fundamental change in the economics of the health care delivery system that it is impossible to speculate with any accuracy what the impact may be to the supply of providers...
Paduda comments upon narcotics in WC and recent NCCI study
Posted on June 6th, 2012
Narcotics dispensed on WC claims, the frequency has exploded over the past few years, using medications primarily designed for mid to late stage cancer pain treatment for back pain, knee pain, etc. The statistics are alarming…
Montana Death Rate 2nd Worse in the United States
Posted on May 24th, 2012
Montana has the distinction of the highest premium cost for workers’ compensation insurance in the US. One of the factors in the high premium rates is the high rate of injurious incidents, including those that lead to death. Separate from workers’ compensation, as reported on May 24, 2012, Montana’s death rate of injury-related deaths, at...
Medical Reimbursement Changes Predicted To Impact Unfavorably Upon WC
Posted on May 22nd, 2012
Joe Paduda’s article about medical reimbursement methodologies and rates, particularly in Medicare and Medicaid, and how these trends may well impact upon the workers’ compensation system by increasing frequency and utilization. Many involved in the workers’ compensation system on the claims side have seen this trend, particularly when it involves workers that do not have...
RICO suit allowed to continue on WC claim denial
Posted on April 20th, 2012
From BusinessInsurance.com: A RICO federal lawsuit allowed to continue alleging collusion between the self-insured employer and the workers’ compensation claims TPA. S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in Paul Brown et al. vs. Cassens Transport Co. et al. that the RICO suit can continue against Cassens and Crawford and Company...
Montana Bad Faith Verdict tops $34,000,000
Posted on April 10th, 2012
Insurance companies and the concept of bad faith in Montana…is it any wonder that companies are hesitant to write insurance in Montana? A judgement of $34,000,000…more than all the annual premium written in the long term care insurance sector for a full year in the state…for one claim with a partial/interim denial.
Montana Energy 2012
Posted on April 4th, 2012
Midland Claims Service, Inc is a presenter at the 2012 Montana Energy expo held at MetraPark in Billings, Montana. Day one was sold out. Excellent opportunity to meet with folks in the energy related businesses and talk about workers’ compensation, the high costs in Montana, safety and the efforts of the non-profit supported by MCSi...
CGL Duty To Defend in Montana
Posted on April 3rd, 2012
Scottsdale Insurance and National Union Fire Ins held responsible for coverage for underlying case Newman v Lichfield, result when an insurance company doesn’t provide a defense to its insured in Montana, judgement of $4,757,166.57....
National WC Frequency Rates Up for first time in decades
Posted on March 26th, 2012
The following is from an announcement from the National Council of Self-Insureds, and quotes highly respected national experts in workers’ compensation. If this trend holds, combined with recent changes in U&T guidelines, payment rates and case law developments, Montana’s status as the most expensive jurisdiction in all of the United States will be assured for...
MT WC OD Coverage Extended by Supreme Court
Posted on March 26th, 2012
Montana’s Workers’ Compensation Court and the Supreme Court have further expanded coverage under MT”s workers’ compensation laws. In Clarence Grande v Montana State Fund (DA 11-0492; Supreme Court 2012MT67), the courts have found that pre-existing illnesses and diseases may be covered under workers’ compensation OD if the leading cause of the “worsening” of the condition...
Joe Paduda To Present Webinar
Posted on March 26th, 2012
Narcotics in the workers’ compensation system has quickly become one of the highest priorities for many payers, providers and workers in the system. Joe Paduda is one of the industry commentators leading the way in opening up the mystery and secrecy behind the over prescription and useage of narcotics. Catch the webinar on March 28...
Montana's Playing Field in WC is NOT Level
Posted on March 16th, 2012
The playing field is not level in Montana for WC Insurers. Montana State Fund pays no premium tax, (savings 3% – 6%), has immunity from punitive damages in any extra-contractual or third party bad faith claim, has no obligation to take any business from agents that have less than $300,000 in written WC premium (minimum...
Author/Blogger Argues that Obesity Isn't as Unhealthy as Inactivity
Posted on March 1st, 2012
“Fitness in more important that fat.” Maggie Mahar argues a number of points that obesity alone is not solely responsible for increased disease and higher health care costs. Her point is that simple activity can go a long ways towards reducing illness and disease. Maggie Mahar is a notable health care policy blogger as well...
Physician Ranking Needed in Workers' Compensation?
Posted on February 27th, 2012
February 27, 2012 A recent article seems to support the processes used for medical insurance to rate physicians and medical providers for implementation in the workers’ compensation claims process. Read the article here…
Article On Workplace Safety Features Mike Marsh
Posted on February 13th, 2012
February 13, 2012 An article by Jacobus Hollewijn of Gesundheit! Nutrition Center and host of the radio talk show Gesundheit! With Jacobus published in Natural Life News following a 3 hour radio show in December 2012 featuring interviews of Gary Lusin, PT (Bozeman, MT), Leah Tietz (Director of Montana University System Self-Funded WC Program) and...
Opioids and Workers' Compensation
Posted on February 9th, 2012
“..workers prescribed even one opioid had average total claims costs 4 to 8 times greater than claimants with similar claims who didn’t get opioids.” This is a telling statistic. One company is featured on Joe Paduda’s blog that has successfully begun to proactively address misuse of opioids in treatment of workers’ compensation claims, helping many...
Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics
Posted on February 6th, 2012
According to an article in Claims Journal – Winter 2012, quoting from a report issued by the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”), “of the 2.1 billion prescriptions the American Medical Association estimates are written annually, nearly 25 percent of those were used by approximately 52 million Americans for something other than a medical reason.” Perhaps...
Prescription Medications Killing
Posted on February 6th, 2012
It has been recently published that prescription medications resulted in more deaths in 2010 than all illegal substances combined. The problem is in all states, even in Montana. A link to an article in the Billings Gazette about one situation...
National WC Coalition Merges with CLM
Posted on February 3rd, 2012
For Immediate Release February 3, 2012 National Workers’ Compensation Coalition Merges with CLM New York, NY — The Claims and Litigation Management (CLM) Alliance is pleased to announce that the National Workers’ Compensation Coalition (NWCC) is merging with the CLM. The NWCC is a premier workers’ compensation association focused on sharing best practices, networking and...
IAIABC and SIGFA Make Agreement for 2012
Posted on January 23rd, 2012
IAIABC and SIGFA Make Agreement for 2012 From WorkersCompensation.com January 23, 2012 Madison, WI (WorkersCompensation.com) – The International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC) and Self-Insurance Guaranty Funds of America (SIGFA) are pleased to announce their partnership in 2012. Working together, the two groups will foster greater discussion among members of U.S. guaranty funds and...
Posted on January 16th, 2012
From ScripNet, obesity in the United States is dramatically on the increase, and increasing the incidence rate and overall cost of workers’ compensation. Read the article on ScripNet…
MCSi and IIC Named as A.M. Best Recommended Insurance Adjuster
Posted on January 13th, 2012
For many years, A. M. Best has rated and ranked insurance-related attorneys and adjusters. Once again for 2012, Midland Claims Service, Inc and Industrial Injury Claims has been approved for Recommended Insurance Adjuster status in the A. M. Best list...
WorkSafeMT Board Meets
Posted on January 10th, 2012
The WorkSafeMT board met to discuss its ongoing operations and safety messages that are so important to get into the discussion in Montana’s workplaces. January 10, 2012...
Billings Clinic’s Joe Marcott Highlighted
Posted on December 28th, 2011
Billings Clinic’s Joe Marcott is highlighted in a Billings Gazette article about healthcare facility preparedness...
WorkSafeMT Radio Show
Posted on December 14th, 2011
Michael Marsh of MCSi and Industrial Injury Claims has served on the Board of WorkSafeMT, a 501(c)3 non-profit founded to increase safety awareness in Montana as well as provide education about the benefits of Stay At Work / Return To Work programs. Recently, Michael participated as a guest on a radio show hosted by Jacobus...
Insurer Held Liable for Death of Injured Worker
Posted on December 13th, 2011
It an intruguing and stunning finding, an insurer was held liable for the death of an injured worker that was over-prescribed multiple, high dosages of medication…AFTER denying the request once, the prescribing physician’s sister issued another prescription which was filled and led directly to the death of the insured worker. Read Joe Paduda’s article here...
Reduction in Physician Reimbursement Rates
Posted on November 21st, 2011
The Congress’ SuperCommittee to reduce the federal budget deficit is not looking like it will reach concensus, leading to possible implementation of a number of ‘penalties’, one of which is a 27% + reduction in physician reimbursement rates for medical care provided under Medicare and Medicaid. One industry observer predicts significant cost shifting to private...
Midland Claims Awarded Customer Service Excellence Award
Posted on November 17th, 2011
Midland Claims Service, Inc and Industrial Injury Claims has been awarded the Customer Service Excellence Award from the Billings Chamber of Commerce/CVB for the year 2011. Read the Chamber’s announcement. The management and staff of the company is thrilled and humbled by the award. For a company that specializes in the administration and...
Montana Remains Nearly Twice the Rate of WC Incidents
Posted on November 15th, 2011
Montana, in a recent study conducted by the Montana Dept of Labor and Industry, remains nearly twice the rate of WC incidents as the US. The 2010 numbers of 5.0 / 100 workers has fallen slightly from 5.3 / 100. However, when compared to the falling national average of 3.6 / 100, it is no...
Insightful Piece by Joe Paduda
Posted on October 10th, 2011
Another insightful piece by Joe Paduda, linked to an article written by Mark Walls (Safety National Insurance Co), both dealing with the fallacy that by somehow controlling maximum medical reimbursement rates the overall cost of workers’ compensation claims can be controlled or reduced. As has been the mantra of Midland Claims Service / Industrial Injury...
Excellent Write Up on Reporting and Indentification of Questionable Claims
Posted on October 5th, 2011
Excellent write up intended for workers’ compensation involved individuals, such as employees of self-insured organizations. Focuses upon timely reporting and identification of ‘questionable’ claims to give the adjuster 1) a heads up of information held by the employer that might not be available through the electronic FROI and 2) additional time to begin an investigation...
2011 Governor's Conference on Worker's Compensation
Posted on September 30th, 2011
The 2011 Governor’s Conference on Workers’ Compensation, held this year in Helena, was excellent. A slate of informative and inspirational speakers across the full 3 days of the conference were heard by the more than 350 attendees. The annual meeting of the Montana Self-Insurers Association was held before the start of the conference, and was...
Joe Paduda piece on MCSi/IIC
Posted on September 19th, 2011
From respected industry commentator Joe Paduda, the following summarizes several areas that have long been the position of MCSi / IIC. These include Mr. Paduda’s comments on bill review, case loads, pricing (flat rate to the exclusion of income received by the upstream owner of the TPA is at best misleading, if not a full...
Single Judge Worker' Compensation System
Posted on September 14th, 2011
Another number of years in a state with a single judge workers’ compensation system, one judge to decide all legal matters in WC. The judge is a political appointee of Governor Schweitzer (D) and worked as an attorney representing injured workers during a portion of his career before becoming the Montana WC judge. This topic...
Milwaukee Journal Sentinal article on creation of WC system
Posted on August 22nd, 2011
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper article about the cooperative spirit which led to the creation of the workers’ compensation system in Wisconsin 100 years ago. Click here to read (pdf)….
Use of prescription opioids and Workers' Compensation
Posted on July 8th, 2011
Deaths attributed to use of prescription opioids, used heavily in workers’ compensation, outnumber those from use of cocaine and heroin, twice the rate of cocaine and five times the rate of heroin users. Click her to read the posting…
Narcotic Medications and Workers' Compensation
Posted on June 29th, 2011
An article about the growing problem of narcotic medications in the workers’ compensation claims area. Click here to read…
Overview of types of workers' compensation claims offices
Posted on June 21st, 2011
The linked article is a basic but nice overview of the variety of workers’ compensation claims offices used in the United States for administration of claims, both insured and self-insured. Read more…
Issues workers' compensation claims professionals face
Posted on June 21st, 2011
An internet blog post which highlights some of the issues confronted on a daily basis by workers’ compensation claims professionals. The adjusters are truly one of the keys to a successful workers’ compensation program, insured or self-insured. Read more….
Illinois' implemenation of AMA 6th Edition Guide
Posted on June 6th, 2011
Illinois is the most recent state to begin the process of implementation of the AMA 6th Edition Guide for workers’ compensation impairment determination. Montana has been using the 6th edition for several years. Read Joe Paduda’s blog about Illinois…
Workers' compensation costs and obesity
Posted on June 6th, 2011
Workers’ compensation claims costs for obese workers are estimated to cost 3 times as much as claims made by recommended-weight workers in the first year of the claim, claims open 36 months the medical component is more than 4 times more costly. Nearly 10% of all US medical costs attributed to obesity in 2006. (sources...
Review of Montana's workers' compensation revamp
Posted on May 23rd, 2011
NCCI has priced out the potential impact of HB334, passed in the 2011 MT Legislative Session, a sweeping revamping of Montana’s workers’ compensation system. Opinions vary greatly over the possible ‘savings’ that will result. Evidently NCCI and Montana State Fund are falling on the optimistic side. The Board of Montana State Fund has announced a...
Midland Claims Service, Inc and Industrial Injury Caims sponsor SafetyFest Billings 2011
Posted on May 20th, 2011
Prescription drug use and workers' compensation
Posted on May 3rd, 2011
Prescription drug use, according to a recent article, is responsible for the death of 18,000 people in the US per year. Overuse and incorrect prescribing of ultra-strong drugs in the workers’ compensation claims area is a very real danger to the injured workers themselves. In Montana, prescription drugs contribute to more than 300 deaths per...
Workers' Compensation Reform in Montana
Posted on May 1st, 2011
Workers’ Compensation Reform in Montana. What has been called the most sweeping workers’ compensation reform in the US in decades has passed through the Montana legislature and becomes law. Montana has the distinction of being the most expensive premium state for workers’ compensation in the United States, and hold the second position for the most...
OSHA and distracted driving accidents
OSHA to begin fining employers for employees’ accidents impacted by distracted driving (cell phone and text messaging). Read the story…
WC legislation in Montana
Posted on March 25th, 2011
Historic WC legislation on the way towards passage. Read the bill (pdf)… A summary write up…
Workers' compensation in Montana and Illegal Immigrants
Posted on March 21st, 2011
From the what were they thinking department. Bad law passed by the Montana Legislature during the 2011 session…this is a prime example of mid- and long-term unintended consequences. The bill will not reduce WC costs in MT in any substantive way, only 8 claims found by State Fund in 8,000 that ‘might’ be brought by...
Supreme Court rejects hearing on WC and illegal aliens
Posted on March 6th, 2011
United States Supreme Court rejects hearing regarding coverage under WC for illegal aliens....
Montana WC Utilization and Treatment Guideline changes
Posted on February 23rd, 2011
Utilization and Treatment Guidelines are rolling out in Montana’s Workers’ Compensation system in 2011. Attended training by the Department of Labor 02/22/2011 to learn about the blended Colorado / ACOEM guidelines, the web site and work with doctors and providers from around the state on various training scenarios. The practice guidelines are publicly available, free...
Jeff Tochihara tribute
Posted on February 19th, 2011
Long time friend and professional colleague Jeff Tochihara passed away unexpectedly in the afternoon of February 16, 2011. We worked with Jeff for 5 years while he was with Stillwater Mining Company, with one of his many responsibilities being the supervision of their self-insured workers’ compensation claims. Mr. Tochihara was active in both the National...
Workers' compensation and market conditions
Posted on January 12th, 2011
Ironic post on the web. A posting that quotes a legislator about Montana having the highest WC rates in the United States…with attorneys threatening litigation over extending or declining workers’ compensation benefits for illegal aliens.
WorkSafeMT becomes non-profit foundation
Posted on January 20th, 2011
WorkSafeMT votes to ‘decouple’ from its ties with the Montana Department of Labor. The public / private partnership was truly a great way to begin getting the message of safety and SAW/RTW out in Montana, now distinguished as the most expensive WC premium cost in the United States. However, with economic times as they are...
Commentary on Montana's high WC rates
Posted on January 12th, 2011
Ironic post on the web. A posting that quotes a legislator about Montana having the highest WC rates in the United States…with attorneys threatening litigation over extending or declining workers’ compensation benefits for illegal aliens...
Article about WC Loss Runs
Posted on January 10th, 2011
Article about WC Loss Runs and How To Use Them...
Observations of TPA Operations
Posted on January 6th, 2011
Observations of TPA Operations, Acquisitions and Non-Claims Operating Income Sources...
Workers' Compensation Prognostications for 2011
Posted on January 3rd, 2011
Workers’ Compensation Prognostications (Joe Peduda) for 2011...
Sedgwick CMS aquisition
Posted on December 21st, 2010
Sedgwick CMS to Acquire Specialty Risk Services, LLC...
OSHA and texting while driving
Posted on December 2nd, 2010
OSHA Calls for Banning of Texting While Driving...
Montana's WC claims trends announced by NCCI
Posted on November 30th, 2010
Unfortunately, Montana’s results to not appear to be as encouraging as the 2009 national trends announced by NCCI. Self-insured organizations in Montana (at least those that MCSi and IIC are fortunate to work with) seem to be doing far better than the insurance segment, however, with reductions in frequency and severity over the past 5...
Carol Gleed joins MCSi
Posted on November 14th, 2010
Carol Gleed, Helena, MT, joins Midland Claims Service, Inc and its workers’ compensation subsidiary Industrial Injury Claims, Billings, MT (“MCSi”). Ms. Gleed, the long-time Manager of the Claims Unit of the Employment Relations Division (of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry) was responsible for supervision of all workers’ compensation claims in the state of...