Pain in WC
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.
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. Montana has had a number of decisions with its one politically appointed judge system that has obligated the employer to pay for, in some people’s opinions, the treatment of conditions that clearly predated any employment incident or exposure. MCSi continues to advocate for expansion of the existing system in Montana to revise the Workers’ Compensation Court to include three (3) full time judges, one a political appointee as the current system requires, and two judges elected on alternating six (6) year terms, one elected by popular vote in the Western half of the state, the other by the Eastern side. Not only will the decisions be less politically/advocacy driven, the entire workers’ compensation community will benefit by a more stable environment. A stable claims environment leads to a more predictable landscape, which will lead to a more attractive environment for insurance companies to compete…which leads to more competitive premiums and higher levels of service for injured workers and employers.