Saturday, March 03, 2012

2011 Workers Comp Exit Survey

Colorado attempts to survey injured workers once the workers comp case is over. Just recently released are the survey results for the year 2011 in which over 28000 were sent surveys and over 4000 responded. The survey is like a customer satisfaction type survey and as a result it may be skewed. When I looked at it I saw that of the some 4000 that answered the survey only about half had disputes. Clearly then only some 2000 of those responding or about seven percent of 28000 claimants had any dispute or battles in their case. Since almost one in four cases are contested the survey seems to be primarily coming from satisfied claimants and less so from those with disputes. More interesting is what is the satisfaction rate when there is a legal dispute. There the rating, on a sliding scale from 5 being most satisfied to 1 being least satisfied, comes out at 2.9. That does not appear to be very good. I interpret it to mean that 58% are satisfied after a dispute. That would not be considered passing in most situations or at best is barely passing. So it appears even with those responding there is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with how speedily disputes were resolved. I am not surprised. Many cases can take several months to resolve once there is a dispute. The concern I have is with medical benefits and compensation that the process should move along faster. Any dispute which requires a hearing even to obtain benefits can mean a few months to get to the hearing and perhaps longer to obtain an order which could then be appealed. While we all believe in due process it seems to me that the process can be expedited but that is up to our legislators. According to my view of the survey we may have a satisfactory system when there is no dispute but at best a barely passing system when there is a dispute. But what about the over 85% who never even responded to the survey? It would make sense to find a way to get greater participation to see how satisfied people really are but for now this survey is what we have.