Urgent Reminder: 2017 Changes for Workers Compensation First Aid Claims

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Effective January 1, 2017, employers are now required to report ALL first aid claims to their insurance company regardless of whether the employer or insurance carrier paid for the first aid medical services.

We recommend you immediately discontinue the practice of paying first aid claims and notify all those within your company who handle workers compensation claims of this new policy.

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau recently updated these reporting requirements. Prior to this date, employers had the option of not reporting and submitting first aid claims. In opting to pay expenses out-of-pocket, employers could potentially reduce their Experience Modification Rate calculations.

California Labor Code Section 5401 defines First Aid as, “any one-time treatment, and any follow-up visit for the purpose of observation of minor scratches, cuts, burns, splinters and so forth, which do not ordinarily require medical care. Such one-time treatment and follow-up visits for the purpose of observation is considered first aid even though provided by a physician or registered professional personnel.” The term “small medical only claim” is used also to refer to first aid claims.

As a reminder, every physician attending to any injured employee must send copies of the Doctor’s First Report of Occupational Injury or Illness to the workers compensation insurance carrier or employer within five days of the initial examination.

The team at Basi Insurance Services is happy to answer any questions you have regarding how best to handle first aid or small medical only claims. As a reminder, all our agribusiness and commercial clients are encouraged to participate in our complimentary Safety Services programs. These valuable training and certification sessions help ensure OSHA compliance and may reduce potential workers compensation claims through safer workplace practices.

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