The traditional concept of Workers’ Compensation is evolving and Bellaire business owners and managers (employers) should understand these changes to take advantage of the benefits. Each state has its own specific laws and regulations for its Workers’ Compensation program. One of the biggest changes in Texas can be the medical treatment for the injured employee.
First, let’s review the “what is” of Workers’ Compensation. Workers’ Compensation is a mandated insurance program for each state that was / is designed to protect employees in the event of an accident or illness related to employment. It is designed to provide employees money for lost wages and medical costs. In return for receiving these guaranteed benefits, the injured employee(s) agrees to not sue the employer for negligence or fault. In general the employee can receive benefits even if the employee’s injuries were caused by carelessness.
Second, not all job related injuries are covered by Workers’ Compensation in Texas. There are some important exclusions. In general, employees are NOT covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance if the employee is found:
1) Using Illegal Drugs or Intoxicated
2) Violating a Company Policy
3) Committing a Serious Crime
4) Creating Self-inflicted Injuries
Bellaire businesses can now refer their injured employees to Free-Standing Emergency Rooms (ERs) that are independent of hospital chains. Bellaire ER, like other independent ERs, offer far more flexibility than large, bureaucratic hospital organizations. Some of the key benefits of working with an independent ER are below.
1) Contain Premium Increases – With Competitive Self-Pay Rate employers can elect to self-pay and avoid filing Workers’ Compensation claims with the state; this will help tamp-down or contain future insurance premiums for the employer.
2) Limit Employer Liability – Most injuries are minor and should be treated immediately. Employers should avoid situations where employees are not treated immediately because these employees can make claims at a later date that could be very costly for the employer to deal with.
3) Instant Drug Screening – Bellaire ER offers instant drug screening and full diagnosis of the injured employee. If the employee is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs then it should be documented in the medical records for the protection of the employer.
4) Quick Turnaround Time – Bellaire ER is located at 5302 Bellaire Blvd and any employee that has suffered a minor injury can usually return to work with minimal delays. The common wait time at a free-standing emergency room is usually less than 15 minutes compared to 4 – 15 hours at many of Houston’s large hospitals.
5) Cost Flexibility – Independent ERs are owned and operated by local entrepreneurs that can offer employers competitive and often more reasonable medical costs for many treatments.
6) Free-Standing Emergency Rooms can handle all Workers’ Compensation claims
In sum, consider using independent ERs for medical treatment of employees. They can offer more flexibility, more liability protection, and can help the employer contain future premium increases.