Recently, the state comptroller for New Jersey made a statement calling for increased awareness of the potential for wasting taxpayer money on fraudulent worker’s compensation claims. Specifically, the statement called for increased scrutiny of third party companies that are hired by state and local governments to administer workers’ compensation claims.
This statement was issued in response to a deal made by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) and a company administering worker’s compensation claims. The company had struck deals with side vendors, such as healthcare providers, that provided a markup fee back to the company in exchange for work. This arrangement has the potential to lead to a conflict of interest, in that it could encourage the approval of fraudulent claims in order for the third party company to make increased profits.
The NJSEA settled the case with a “substantial payment,” and no admission of wrongdoing. The Comptroller’s statement stated that increased scrutiny of worker’s compensation administrators could lead to the saving of taxpayer dollars, citing as an example a New Jersey county that unbundled its workers compensation and saved $15,000. The statement claimed that the savings from such actions could be even higher, including amounts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Anyone injured on the job in New Jersey is entitled to a just and fair compensation for their injuries. The state of New Jersey requires that all employers carry workers’ compensation insurance in order to provide coverage for workers injured on the job. Workers’ compensation covers a number of basic services needed by an injured worker, such as medical bills and compensation for lost wages.
Source: The Record, “N.J. state comptroller calls for vigilance in administration of workers’ compensation claims,” John Reitmeyer, Aug. 29, 2012