Workers’ compensation fraud costs millions of dollars but it’s not what you think.
Attorney & adjunct law professor Leonard T. Jernigan Jr. has published his 2014 list of the top ten workers’ compensation fraud cases. He found employee fraud represented $450,000 while non-employee fraud cost a staggering $74,876,000. Five of the top ten fraud cases were in California.
Michigan has seen its own fair share of controversy. A local back surgeon was recently charged with performing lumbar fusions without implanting intended medical devices, misleading patients, and billing for services not performed. This included treatment for individuals on workers’ compensation.
Many people are under the false impression that employee fraud is an out-of-control problem. Special interest groups use this misconception to attempt “reform” for their financial gain. Accident Fund Insurance Company estimates that fraud occurs in just 4% of total claims. Not exactly the crisis that some media outlets would have you believe.
Issues such as premium fraud and employee misclassification rarely get much attention in the news. Employers commit premium fraud by underreporting the number of workers they employ or misrepresenting the nature of work performed. Some employers also misclassify employees as independent contractors. These actions result in higher insurance premiums for everybody.
Workers’ compensation is supposed to pay for medical treatment and lost wages. If there is no insurance available, others must take responsibility. This ends up costing taxpayers through government programs like Medicaid and Medicare.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by 401(K) 2013.