Friday, May 13, 2016

Conspiracy of Good

We didn't solve the world's problems, nor the problems of workers' compensation.

Heck, we didn't solve any problems.

What we did do was come to a consensus about workers' compensation issues and begin the process of prioritizing them in order of importance and what was most solvable.
"Workcompster" identities obscured to protect the guilty.

I'm talking about the "secret" Workers' Compensation Summit 2016.
"Secret" because some out on the Internet, who have declared the media theirs, have accused this gathering of "workcompsters" a conspiratorial effort to further profiteering off the oppressed masses because The Summit wasn't advertised, and was invitation only.

About 40 people from diverse backgrounds who either work in, work with, or have been part of, workers' compensation from a multitude of jurisdictions.

There were lawyers, judges, doctors, insurance executives, risk managers, program managers, third party administrators, employers, and even injured workers - all to opine on the state of work comp, and essentially performa SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats).

That many people means that many different opinions. It was exhausting for the participants. Even more so for the organizers.

Keeping topics on track, keeping the discussion moving forward, ensuring that everyone had the opportunity to participate - a tough job.

Fellow blogger and president of workerscompensation.com, Bob Wilson, spearheaded the effort with a lot of help from Florida workers' compensation judicial system's head judge, David Langham.

I missed the first day because of scheduling and travel mishaps, which is fine, because I like to participate in the making of decisions, not so much the analysis of issues.

Here's what we hope to accomplish:

  1.  Catalogue, itemize and prioritize where work comp, or the current work injury protection ecosphere (which includes "opt out") both falls short, and does well;
  2. Further examine these issues and stimulate further dialogue within other groups of national influence such as IAIABC or SAWCA by publishing the findings and promoting additional meetings;
  3. Foster standards and make suggestions that jurisdictions could adopt in order to minimize differences and irregularities.
  4. Encourage a return to healthful work injury protection systems for the new economy.
We may be full of hot air. Nothing may come of this.

The soil has been parched from a work comp drought for too long. We think precipitation is on the way so we're planting the seeds of change. Then fertilization will occur as the bees of the work comp hive spread the pollen.

There are plenty of obstacles and certainly many things that we can't change.

But there's enough that we can.

That's our intent and our focus.

10 comments:

  1. While its nice to hear that injured workers were actually part of the debate. Many from the injured workers community would like to know (who) it is that is speaking on our behalf and representing our interest? Are they from groups like NAIDW? The National Association Of Injured workers. OR say from NESRI (the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative), or even some of the injured workers that were depicted in any of the NPR ProPublica stories? Who were harmed by the system and had the courage to share their stories nationally? OR were the injured workers representing the injured workers at the table, hand picked by industry insiders? Just asking.

    Im glad to see folks trying to make things better, but some times still wonder who your all trying to make it better for? When many workers in America are getting the run around, it's time for drastic measures to be implemented to stop the abuse of the injured workers, and our rights, as well as the rights of the employers, both of whom are not always getting the goods n serves we pay for.

    When injured workers and first responders across this country are being harmed on the job and then given the work comp run around, instead of being taken care of, their is something wrong with our systems as it is.

    No Back Up: Injured first responders say Michigan's Workers Compensation failed them http://www.wxyz.com/news/first-responders-hit-by-the-workers-comp-runaround

    I hope that one of the solutions on the table discussed was a way for injured workers to be able to sue these insurance company's, that are intently and wrongfully denying, delaying and defending, against those harmed on or by their jobs. A way hold them to account for their profiteering cost containing ways, that harm the injured workers and eventually the employers bottom lines in the long run. Just asking? I would also like to know that besides OPT OUT, were other solutions like say single payer or nationalized care part of the discussions as well?

    Many of the injured workers, patients rights, and labor groups, have solutions, to the work comp issue. Im just wondering if any of them, were some of the injured workers voice's in the discussion, or just those hand picked by insurance industry paid, endorsed, or sponsored insiders? Are the REAL voices, of the injured workers, (who are "adversely affected" by this broken system, even the non catastrophic one's, being allowed to be heard in these conversations? Once again, just asking.

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  2. And like Columbo used to say, I have just one more question? OK maybe a couple of questions. Certain folks know that there are injured workers out there, damaged, and harmed from what they have gone through with their personal work comp saga's. Some may even have mental health issues, derived from their work comp saga's and OJI's, and may or may not have conspiracy theory's going on. And all of you professionals, who claim to be on a mission for good? For the "adversely affected" patients. Choose to mock the possibly mentally ill injured workers valid concerns and questions? Nice folks, and really mature on your intellectual parts. With folks on a mission for good like you all, the injured workers sure do not need any enemy's. Just saying. We have police officers in this Country and many others,screaming fraud, and committing suicides, and being driven insane, over the injustice in their workers comp claims and health care, or lack there of, and the solution from the intellectual insurance industry insiders, is to mock and make fun, of injured workers questions and concerns? Injured workers, who's only harm, is questioning if the injured workers voices, who have been "adversely affected" by these broken workers comp systems,are being represented, by other injured workers who have been "adversely affected", in these national discussions. Discussions that have an impact on how workers comp will or will not be in the future? Do I have that correct? Im still only seeing my mental health therapist twice a week, over mine and my father in laws work comp saga's, but maybe the injured workers need even more therapy, when dealing with folks who are on a mission of such good for the injured workers? Hmmm?It's no wonder that some of the injured workers give up hope, and OD on their meds, or some other manner of ending their pain, emotional and or physical. When those in the key positions, and that profess to help the injured workers, only seem to mock them and their concerns and questions in regards to fixing this broken one sided system. Is mocking the "patients" really a professional demeanor, for the industry insurance insiders to have? Or does it lead to even more harm and despair for those "adversely affected" by these broken State workers comp systems? Just asking. Peace to all of those at the table, even the "adversely affected" injured workers, who's voices may, or may not be being heard at the table in these national debates.

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    Replies
    1. Just one more thing, “If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth--certainly the machine will wear out… but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.”
      ― Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays

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  4. 1 of 3 comments: I hope that the meeting includes mandating a warning to all injured workers of the deceptive and often times outright crimes that are facilitated against injured workers.
    WHY ARE INJURED WORKERS NOT WARNED THAT THE MOST PREVALENT AND HEINOUS CRIMES IN THE WORKERS COMPENSATION SYSTEM ARE THOSE THAT ARE FACILITATED AGAINST THE INJURED WORKERS!???
    Injured workers (IW) are experiencing horrific crimes & deceitful scenarios set against them in their workers comp claim, including but not limited to;
    - Employers who lie about the circumstances of the injury in efforts to deny the employee WC benefits, employers who take control of the forms that the IW is to complete while either falsifying the information or leaving out information, causing the IW to be ostracized or bullied at work, tampering with the IW’s computer (shadowing) while the IW is working in an effort to “create mistakes” thereby adding to “cause” for termination (not at the IW’s/employees fault), unplugging the IW’s computer causing the IW get down on the floor to plug the computer back in, these tactics and others are often referred to as workplace bullying or "organized stalking" aka "group stalking" aka "workplace mobbing"
    - Terminate / fire the employee due to the WC claim (includes the employer falsely documenting derogatory or defaming information about the employee to create the appearance of just cause to terminate)
    - Documents, forms, charts altered over and above IW’s signatures
    - Surgery & medical reports falsified, medical studies falsified
    - A multiple page form marked one way on the top page of a form however, fraudulently marked differently on the flow through pages underneath
    - IW’s are intentionally maimed and battered. One IW in particular was brutally forced under anesthesia & awakened maimed from the skull down to the tailbone thereby causing permanent disability, chronic and excruciating pain
    - IW’s systematically maimed over time during multiple medical treatments (NOTE: Maiming IW’S is done for strategic reasons that may include A. To create the look of a condition, B. To deter the IW from seeking more medical treatment, C. Retaliation from a vindictive employer, D. Transfer the IW off the books of the insurance carrier and onto social services and social security disability, E. Aid in an attack of the IW’s credibility once the IW’s speak out about what has been happening
    - Unwarranted denial, delay of medical treatment for the injured worker thereby causing permanent injury and chronic pain/suffering
    - Video and audio is surreptitiously placed inside the IW’s home
    - Intrusions into the IW’s home, theft of documents related to medical studies, thefts of documents acknowledged by the WC Justice system
    - Surreptitiously tainting the IW’s food and drink with chemicals that may cause heart or nervous system issues
    - Personal property is vandalized including their auto, other tricks to their trade is letting the air out of the IW’s tires
    - Biased in favor of the insurance carriers, some Primary Treating Physicians, AME’s, QME’s will not document the IW’s file honestly, removing evidence & information from the file to downplay the seriousness of the injury or leaving out important matters, falsely documented statements that appear to have been made by the IW
    - Insurance carriers who interfere with the IW’s healthcare and medical visits OUTSIDE of workers comp preventing the IW from getting medical treatment or having their medical studies those medical studies falsified or treatment is delayed or denied there as well – YES, they have the power!

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  5. 2 of 3 comments: - Health history can be changed or lost
    - Hacking into the IW’s computers, cell phone, e-mails and social media accounts. Harassing the IW’s by changing their passwords on e-mail accounts, altering their social media pages, uploading malware, trojan, etc to the IW’s computer & cell phone
    - Wire tapping the IW’s cell and home phone
    - Harassing family members in different ways for example calling the family member with false debt collection calls, threats of incarceration by phone
    - Interfering with the IW’s cell phone calls, disconnecting phone calls, intercepting incoming or outgoing phone calls, calling the IW’s on their home number with false caller ID that indicates the IW’s is calling from their cell phone which is obviously not in use
    - Causing 911 phone calls to be dropped repeatedly
    - Overt aggressive stalking which may include following the IW in a fashion that is NOT sobrosa in order to harass or intimidate – smiling, laughing waiving at the IW, speaking to someone on the cell phone about the IW
    - Malicious prosecution – falsely painting the IW’s as a liar and intentionally but fraudulently prosecuting the IW for fraud.
    - Fraudulently painting the IW as mentally ill after they speak up about the crimes pitted against them. Efforts to encourage the IW into a psych claim that will also be falsified and used to destroy the credibility, reputation of the IW
    - WC Justice system employees who participate in these crimes including corrupt Judges who are biased in favor of the insurance carrier / employer. Participating by denying the IW their right to present their case, not allowing the IW to finish speaking while being questioned, removing documents from the IW’s stack of exhibits and more

    Corporate American greed is what is driving these and other crimes. IW’s have found that the workers compensation system is NOT what it appears to be. It is intended to be a tool to protect the employer while providing medical treatment and compensation to the injured worker. We use the term “legitimate” when describing medical treatment in the worker comp system due to the fraud and corruption that is inherent in the workers comp system (especially in the State of California). What many injured workers don’t understand it that filing a workers comp claim is conducive of filing a lawsuit. In any other arena, would you file a lawsuit and then expect to receive legitimate medical treatment paid for by the parties to the defense whom you have an open lawsuit against? Especially in the State of California wherein IW’s must go to the insurance carrier’s “network of medical providers”. Aside from the “go to” medical providers who are willing to harm the IW’s, we believe that there are a few good souls who will provide legitimate medical treatment IF APPROVED BY THE INSURANCE CARRIER.

    Insurance carrier fraud is a well-known fact. Workers comp insurance carriers have been known to falsify or cause to be falsified medical reports/studies of injured workers. Add to the mix those who practice law – attorneys. Not all attorneys are un-ethical, however there are those that are intensely corrupt & seemingly psychopathic based on the crimes they are willing to facilitate against IW’s. Pressured to “win” so they don’t risk losing the huge insurance carrier and employer as clients. Invite in a few “go to” medical providers whose primary business is WC claims (workers comp mills) and other approved medical providers including hospitals, surgery centers, anesthesiologists and you have a group of people who are willing to do almost anything to keep the insurance carrier happy. Shocking but true!

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  6. 3 of 3 comments: Many of us have learned the power of the insurance carrier, employer & to what end their law firm / attorney (ies) are willing to go. Some of the methods of harassing the injured worker are intentionally juvenile, some bizarre and others are done professionally. All of which will be to lend to the attack on the IW’s credibility or mental health if or when the IW speaks up about the attacks & fraud.
    Crimes which IW’s are the target of have been in full swing for decades. They are the most heinous of crimes, fraud and acts of violence in the workers comp system. Yet, the public is not made aware and IW’s are NOT WARNED! Why is that? Less than 1% of claims in the workers comp system are fraudulently filed by employees. No less than 12% of employers are actively committing some sort of worker compensation fraud every year! Doctor’s, attorneys, medical providers, surgery centers, hospitals, AND, the insurance carrier itself, all in some way or another commit WC related crimes.
    YOU ARE NOT ALONE! We are here to spread awareness of the prolific crimes set out against injured workers. To help in some way to warn IW’s. Our goal is to organize our efforts and experiences that we might gain strength in numbers, so that crimes against injured workers will be publicly recognized and IW’s will not be turned away by law enforcement, DA’s offices, medical associations or insurance commissioners. Those who are participating in crimes against IW should be prosecuted with as much fervor as insurance carrier’s push to prosecute employees who commit WC fraud.

    We invite you to participate. You may tell your story or encourage another person to share their story. You may want to help spread awareness. If you have your own FB page, website, LinkedIn page or other public forum, you may choose to send us a link, we may choose to link with you.
    JUSTICE & LEGITIMATE MEDICAL TREATMENT IS WHAT WE SEEK: We want to help others avoid what we are experiencing & have experienced. Seeking justice in a system influenced by HUGE corporations who have powerful connections may be difficult but we will persevere. If nothing else, we must warn the public.

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  7. There were only two injured workers at this meeting of the minds. One had a severe work injury, and the system did right by her, so she had no complaints about the system. And that's great! The other was a lady who had to fight for everything in her claim, even a wheelchair her Dr. requested, that she later ended up not needing, for now she walks seven miles a day after beating her pain med addiction. So she was grateful for the system trying to cost contain in her claim. Many others who need their wheel chairs to be approved, that are being wrongfully denied, will not be as grateful for the cost containment in their care. You see neither of these workers were speaking up about the harm the deny, delay, and defend strategy creates for many of the injured workers across this country. 5000 are on the NAIDW web site, plus many more on the other web sites. Why are only the injured workers, who's views align with the industry's agenda, the only one's called to speak? Why were none of the injured workers from the ProPublica reports called on to share their views? Is this to keep the conversations one sided? It certainly has that appearance to the injured workers adversely affected who's stories are not being told.

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  8. What is annoying is that the industry insiders say their having these meetings to make things better? Yet they only invited injured workers to the table, who have not had any adverse experiences (with the system) to speak at the table. It's like a business or government entity, that is having trouble and accused of doing wrong by many of its customers, saying were going to talk with our costumers about it, but then only invited "happy satisfied" costumers to discuss the issues. And do not invite the dissatisfied costumers to air their concerns and stories of harm. Then the business is able to say, see, were doing no wrong for we invited costumers to the table to speak and none of them said any thing is wrong, and to the contrary, they said were doing a great job. It's very misleading to the American public, and shows that the intent of these meetings, is not to help the injured workers, but to use them as ways to cover up the harm, and paint the industry's picture, that all is well in workers comp, and that there are only a few folks being harmed, while were helping so many. When no one should be getting hurt at all, no harm to patients/injured workers of any kind, should be being considered the norm,and justifiable by the good one does, when one does not address the harm being done as well. NO harm, no matter how small or frivolous, should be seen as acceptable, just so a few can profit. IF the industry truly wants to help itself, and those it professors to be there for? It needs to hear from those being injured by it. Not lock them out and label them.

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