6-11-2018; RUMC Increases Its PTSD Treatment Capabilities With Grant--Will WC Treatment Follow?; How to Become Self-Insured for Work Comp in Indiana, by Kevin Boyle, J.D. and more

Synopsis: RUMC Taking the Point on PTSD Treatment in the Midwest U.S. Will Treatment for Your WC Claimants Follow?

Editor’s comment: After a recent shooting in Florida, lots of WC claimants are seeking WC benefits for PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder due to the stress of everyday work. The problem with this concept is authentication—the fine line between true psych injuries and folks that want to game the system to bank WC benefits for life.

We just learned Rush University Medical Center is getting its biggest gift ever—$45 million from the Wounded Warrior Project to fund mental health care specifically for military veterans. As one of our top defense lawyers, Shawn R. Biery is a former U.S. Marine (and the son of a former Marine), we are sensitive to the stresses of the battlefield and the need to provide care to post-combat military veterans. If someone has a real psych injury and real PTSD issues, they need real treatment.

When we move to the private sector, we worry about your municipality and mine when every police officer and fire fighter seems to be lining up for work comp or duty disability benefits for the normal stresses of the work they applied for and accepted when hired. Every day work of police officers and firefighters can’t result in numerous folks going on the dole. If the work stress is real and intense, the workers need to be treated and brought back to less stressful settings. We feel the experts on PTSD at RUMC are going to draw the line on what is real and what is fantasy.

Either way, two years ago the same charity gave $15 million to the Rush University Medical Center to start outpatient treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. This new money will expand those efforts.

We note, of the 262 veterans who underwent a three-week Intensive Outpatient Program, more than 60 percent no longer "meet criteria for PTSD," said Dr. Mark Pollack, chair of Rush's psychiatry department. To me, that indicates the program is designed to maximize authentication of who needs care and lost time from work and who has to fight the good fight to stick it out and get back to the work force with the rest of us.

Michael Linnington, CEO of the Jacksonville, Fla.-based Wounded Warrior Project, said Rush's "phenomenal results" paved the way for additional funding, expected to cover 1,500 more veterans over five years.

Rush is one of four hospitals participating in the Wounded Warrior Network and the first in line for renewed support, he said. The other members are Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and UCLA Health in Los Angeles.

Between 90 percent and 95 percent of PTSD participants complete Rush's program, compared with a third who finish behavioral health therapies "strung out months" by the VA, Linnington said. "The beauty of this program, it is an intensive outpatient program. The only thing that separates it from inpatient, they don't sleep at night in the hospital."

The Intensive Outpatient Program is part of Rush's Road Home Program, begun in 2014 with funding from the McCormick Foundation and other donors; it has treated nearly 1,300 veterans and expects to provide therapy and counseling for another 3,500, including family members, over the next five years.

My suggestion/recommendation for my readers is to try out the program at RUMC and report back on the efficacy of what they are offering. Please let me know how they do, moving forward and I will continue to monitor and report.

I appreciate your thoughts and comments. Please post them on our award-winning blog.

Synopsis: How to Become Self-Insured for Work Comp in Indiana, by Kevin Boyle, J.D., KCB&A’s Indiana WC Defense Chair.

Editor’s comment: If you are a risk/safety/HR manager for a company that may qualify to be self-insured for your Indiana operations, Kevin Boyle is your go-to guy to assist in that process.

Kevin confirms the Indiana WC Board’s  2018 Self-Insurance Application and Guidelines are now available.

The IWCB just released their 2018 Self-Insurance application and guidelines. They are easy to complete and, if you can become self-insured, the savings may be dramatic.


Completed applications should be returned to the IWCB no later than July 31, 2018, and late or incomplete applications are subject to late fees.

Safe web links to the seven IN WC self-insurance forms are available on line here: https://www.in.gov/wcb/2367.htm.

Pursuant to I.C. 22-3-5-1(b), renewal applications must be accompanied by a payment of $250.00.


The IN WC Board does not accept cash payments. Checks or money orders must be payable to "Worker’s Compensation Supplemental Administrative Fund."


Incomplete applications and renewal applications received after July 31, 2018, will be charged an additional $250.00 late fee.


Deadline extensions shall be granted only under extraordinary circumstances and at the Board’s discretion. 


If you have further questions/concerns, email Kevin Boyle at kboyle@keefe-law.com.



Synopsis: E-Notice Announcement from IWCC.


Editor’s comment: IWCC Chairman Joann Fratianni announced another important step forward in the IWCC's modernization and technological upgrade of operations. Pursuant to the IWCC's Rules, as found in Section 50 of the Illinois Administrative Code, parties will receive case activity notices electronically beginning in about a month on July 2, 2018.  


The IWCC will no longer send most case notices via U.S. Mail as of this date.*  All parties (law firms on behalf of clients and pro se litigants) will be required to maintain a designated electronic mail ("e-mail") address for receiving case notices, just as they are now required to maintain a physical address to receive them by U.S. Mail. You only need to fill out the "E-Mail Registration Form" once (just like providing us your physical address), so they can update their system.  


PLEASE NOTE that it does not matter if you already have an e-mail on file or in use with the IWCC – they are populating the system with new and updated information.  So, please submit a law firm/pro se e-mail address to the IL Commission again.


* The only exception to electronic notices is Respondent parties at the time a case is initially filed will be notified that a case has been filed against them by U.S. Mail at the address provided by Petitioner. This is the current practice and won’t change.


Attorneys – Their system links cases before the IWCC to the law firm, not the individual practitioner.  So, please provide the IWCC your firm's e-mail address for receipt of electronic notices. If one of your attorneys "updates" your firm e-mail address with their own, all firm notices will go to the most updated address.


If you have questions on this process, send me an email.