Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Colorado Injured Workers Survey

Over at the Colorado Division of Workers Compensation they just posted the results of a survey now required by law. Once the case is over or close to over a survey request is sent out to the claimant. For this first survey not that many responded but it is enough to tell us something. The survey itself asks about courtesy, promptness, medical care and overall satisfaction. The weakest area, according to claimants finishing their case, is in disputes being promptly resolved. Amen to that as delays are common in a field originally set up with good intentions. Most cases seem to take 2 years if they involve a serious injury and an attorney. Some cases go much faster but often it is because they are being treated as minor. I have always planned on at least a year but it does depend on the injury and how much medical care is needed. Even then many cases seem to drag on largely because the system has remedies that take time to work through. A Division IME adds a minimum of 3 or 4 months to the process. You file this paper and wait for the other side. Then they file and you respond. Then you wait for the Division to give you doctor names and then once selected there is a window within which you must set the appointment. Even then it takes time to receive the report and more time for the insurer to act before the claimant can act. It is a bit like a baseball game as the law gives each side a time at bat so no matter how fast you want to go it takes time to line it all up. As for the survey results you can access them by clicking here. Pinnacol received a 3.6 grade out of 5 for overall satisfation. Zurich Insurance was a 4 and the worst among the larger companies was Kroger at 2.5 but all the results have been posted. You may need a spreadsheet program to look at it all but what it tells me is that the overall grade is like a C or C plus. Let me add this...it is not good enough for those disabled and relying on a government mandated compensation program to say it was just okay. Claimants are often hurting physically, financially and are also stressed by the situation even under the best of circumstances. They deserve courtesy, promptness and decent medical care. To me the lower the grade the more adversarial the company. Persistent low grades on surveys may warrant further review or further regulation.

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