WCA releases its latest performance summary

Workers Compensation Agency (WCA) releases its latest performance summary and we reflect on misplaced priorities.

Governor Rick Snyder implemented Mi Dashboard to provide a quick assessment of various state agencies. The WCA has now released its latest performance summary and we think it misses the mark. Here are the four metrics used and how they need to be changed.

1. Cost Per Claim

This metric shows 12% growth over a 4 year period. The agency gives itself a passing grade (green) because it is less than the target of 25% growth. While cost per claim is an important factor, it ignores adequacy of benefits paid.

Many of our clients are no longer getting 80% of their average weekly wage. Legislative amendments in 2011 gave insurance companies the power to reduce benefits based upon hypothetical jobs and phantom wages. It is not a fair system and it needs to be changed.

2. Cost of Premium Ranking

The Agency gets a fair score (yellow) because it is currently ranked 32 out of 50 states for cost of premium. The target is to get Michigan into the top 10 cheapest states for workers compensation.

This metric is misguided because it is comparing apples to oranges. We should not be in a race to the bottom with all 50 states. Michigan has a proud tradition in manufacturing and has its own unique challenges. When compared to states that Michigan competes with for business, our system provides a better value proposition. Also, the pure premium rate has dropped over 20% in the last 3 years.

3. Process Improvement

The Agency gets a failing grade (red) because it has not hit a target of 50% for electronic data compliance filings. We agree that modernization is not happening fast enough. We hope Governor Snyder increases the budget so the Agency can get serious about technology upgrades. Other states have already created web based portals so that parties can check on the status of their cases and conduct electronic filings.

4. Duration of Temporary Disability

The Agency receives a fair score (yellow) for reducing duration of disability from 18 to 17.8 weeks. The target is 15 weeks. We think duration of temporary disability is only half the story and the wrong metric for measuring success. We need to focus on how long it takes for individuals to recover from injury and what improvements can be made to assist with this process.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a case. We have represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation.

Related information:

Premiums for workers compensation to decrease again in 2014

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by amboo who?.

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