Journal Record Staff Reporter
One of the most frightening aspects of the future of workers
compensation insurance in Oklahoma is the way it's viewed by
young people today, according to a woman whose company monitors
industrial health insurance problems.
Too many young people feel they can fake an injury and live
comfortably off workers compensation payments for years, said
Paula Jones of Professional Audit and Rehabilitation Enterprises
"A friend of mine told me about stopping at a convenience
store where several teen-age boys were hanging out talking about
their future careers and how education fits into their plans,"
Jones said. "One of them said he didn't need to study because he
was going to get a good job in production line work and hurt his
back, then sit back the rest of his life collecting workers comp
"Obviously that boy had a role model, some adult who did this
and got away with it, so he thinks he can too. That's the real
problem with workers comp in Oklahoma, the fraud that's there
that everyone can take advantage of.
"Another problem with workers comp is that most people sit
back, even if they don't like it, and say the government has to
do something about it. I feel that each company needs to do
something because there are ways to cut costs and reduce fraud.
"We had better be able to find some solutions."
Jones and her co-worker Donnie Parsons are working on a
project for the company, called Interventions Disability
Management System, which helps contain medical costs for client
"This is the first employer-based disability management
program to integrate proven workers compensation benefits and
cost containment techniques with the Americans With Disabilities
Act," said Parsons, the company's national sales director. "This
not only helps control workers comp costs, it also reduces all
costs due to employee illness through an integrated system of
attitudinal changes, company policies and case management."
The system has been proved in California with several
corporate, municipal and medical firm clients, Parsons said. In
fact, a hospital in Fresno, Calif., which used the process
reduced its medical cost from $2.6 million to $1.1 million in one
"This is not a program," he said. "This is a process. A
program indicates there is a starting and a stopping point. A
process means that it is never ending, a continual search for
ways to improve, a sort of total quality management system
applied to helping employees who are injured or ill."
A seminar and workshop to explain the process is scheduled for
Nov. 30 at the Waterford Hotel. Participants are coming from
several states to hear Richard Pimentel discuss the so-called
crisis in workers compensation insurance and the Americans With
The process was developed jointly by Milt Wright Associates
Inc. of Northridge, Calif., and Feldman-Arakaki Associates of
Hacienda Heights, Calif.
Professional Audit and Rehabilitation Enterprises, better
known as PARE, was licensed as a multistate distributor of the
system, Jones said.
"With this system, it's not just changing attitudes, although
that's a big part of it," she said. "What it does is look at what
the company is now doing for cost containment in workers comp and
medical disability claims and helps develop new policies and
procedures to get the employee back to work faster. It also
utilizes case management to inform employees of what their rights
and responsibilities are. …