July 2010 Archives
Twenty years ago this week, President George H. W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Although the ADA legislation included sweeping reforms intended to improve the lives of Americans with disabilities, there is still much debate over the cost and litigation associated with it. The ADA laws regulate employment practices, federal and local programs, transportation, public accommodations and commercial facilities.
Statistics: The Census Bureau claims that 54 million people have a disability - that's almost 1 in 5 Americans. More than 15 million people 15 years or older currently use a wheelchair.
News, information and events regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act:
MV-1 Wheels Across America Tour - Debuts the first factory-built wheelchair accessible vehicle
Disabilities debate rages 20 years later - an article by CNN.com
ADA Anniversary - a website devoted to events and information about the 20th anniversary of ADA
Disability.gov - a website connecting the disability community to information and opportunities; includes an announcement by President Obama
Disability Blog - a blog about the latest disability-related news, information and trends.
President Obama describes important updates to ADA
Does your claimant need disability ramping installed to access their home? Having ramping or other home modifications installed for injured workers is a big responsibility. And costly. The next time you need to purchase or install ramping for a claimant, Cara Barde, President of Total Medical Solutions, encourages you to consider the benefits of aluminum over wood:
- Maintenace Free
- Does not rust or decay (aluminum lasts for 100+ years)
- Easy assembly with minimum tools
- No building permit required
- Can easily be expanded, reconfigured or moved
- Aluminum ramping is an asset that can be reused, resold or rented
- Installed in less than an hour!
- No environmental impact
- Requires regular maintenance
- Will rot or decay over time
- Must be installed by a contractor or carpenter (increases costs)
- Requires a building permit (increases costs and time)
- Reconfiguration must be made by demolition and reconstruction
- No resale value; could actually lower the value of the home
- Typical installation takes 2 to 3 days
- Could include dangerous chemicals or applied treatments
As you can see, there are many benifits to using aluminum vs. wood disability ramping. In addition to the benefits of using aluminum ramping as outlined above, when you purchase your ramping through Total Medical Solutions, you can:
- "Bank" your aluminum ramping - when it is no longer being used by your claimant, the insurance carrier can reuse the ramping for future claimants for a substantial cost savings
- Rent aluminum ramping for temporary needs
- Reconfigure aluminum ramping sections to fit any home
- Easily move aluminum ramping to a new home if your claimant moves
- Rest assured that the aluminum ramping we sell is dependable, durable and American made
For more information about aluminum disability ramping, anytime, anywhere you need access, please contact Total Medical Solutions at 1-800-700-9393 or visit www.NewTMS.com
Today's blog post is directing you to Workers' Comp Insider where Julie Ferguson did a fantastic job earlier this week of pointing out the shortcomings in the way the media reported a recent farm accident involving two teen boys. Read Two farming teens killed in silo: media is mystified. I agree with Julie, rather than classifying accidents such as these as "mysteries" or "freak accidents" the media should rather emphasize the importance of proper safety precautions in order to minimize the risk of future accidents and deaths.
In this case the two teens, one who worked on the Michigan farm for 4 years, and another teen who had only worked on the farm for a month, were found dead inside a silo that had been used to store a molasses mixture for cow feed. The teens were supposed to be washing the exterior. A ladder was found on the inside along with the two teens dead bodies.
Cara Barde, President of Total Medical Solutions is proud of her employees. So why is she calling them Big Fat Total Losers? Because they are! A story on the front page of the Orlando Sentinel yesterday confirmed it. Read Sanford company gets leaner - in a positive way.
Total Medical Solutions launches it's very own Biggest Loser contest.
These days, employees at Total Medical Solutions are talking about weight. That's because they have launched their very own version of The Biggest Loser contest. Twenty five (25) out of seventy one (71) employees signed up for the contest and after 12 weeks have lost a total of 400 pounds!
Incentives vary, but success is total.
Nancy Perez, Home Health Account Coordinator for Total Medical Solutions, found that being accountable to her teammates made all the difference for her. She has lost 37 pounds. The fact that her teammates are counting on her provides the incentive she needs to stay focused and committed to the program.
Paulette Howard, also a Home Health Account Coordinator, has lost 47 pounds. She admits that at first she wasn't really interested in the contest. She had tried Weight Watchers before and found that it really didn't work for her. She did, however, jump at the chance for a cash prize. After getting into the program she found that cash really wasn't the thing that motivated her. She says, "It's the camaraderie that I've developed with my new 'loser' friends."
Kevin Glennon, Vice President of Clinical Services for TMS, often lectures company executives about the added costs of obesity in workers' compensation claims. He has lost 68 pounds.
Wellness programs: a good way to address obesity?
As the writer of the Orlando Sentinel article points out, obesity is a big problem for Americans. Obesity rates have steadily climbed over the past few decades and it is well documented that obesity complicates other health risks and issues. Personalized corporate wellness programs like these are likely to become more popular as corporate America embraces the idea coupled with incentives provided by the new healthcare reform.
Are you involved in the clinical management of catastrophic claims? If so, it is important to establish a checklist to ensure you consider all the needs of the injured worker. Having a checklist will help you cover all the necessary bases and aid you in providing the right level of care.
Kevin Glennon, Vice President of Clinical Services for Total Medical Solutions, suggests the following checklist as a tool to help in the clinical management of catastrophic claims:
- What is the level of injury and resultant deficit in functional ability?
- What are the basic equipment needs of the injured worker?
- What soft goods (daily supplies) are needed to complete daily living skills?
- Are there any home modifications / accommodations that need to be implemented?
- Identify any specific concerns that are associated with the level of disability.
- Will the injured worker need assistance on a daily basis? If so, for how many hours? What level of home care does the patient need?
- What are the ongoing medication needs? Will they change? If so, identify intervals for re-evaluation.
- Is the patient obese? Consider the physical changes that may occur and be ready to adjust care / needs accordingly.
- What clinical care partners do you need to engage to ensure the best treatment results for your patient?
- Identify regular intervals for re-evaluating the needs of your catastrophic claim patient.
Kevin also highly recommends finding a clinical care partner that specializes in catastrophic claim management for workers' compensation patients. Total Medical Solutions coordinates case and clinical strategies to ensure the most appropriate, yet cost-effective treatment plans and results. Your clinical care provider should be an integral partner in the advancement of positive outcomes for your injured workers.
For more detailed information on the clinical management of catastrophic workers' compensation claims, contact Total Medical Solutions at 1-800-700-9393 or visit them online at www.NewTMS.com
A massive factory in the Southern Chinese city Shenzhen is known for assembling widely popular electronic goods such as Apple's iPhone and iPad as well as other products consumed by Americans from Sony, Hewlett Packard and Dell. Recently, a dark cloud has emerged over the factory where young workers have thrown themselves to their deaths. As a result, the Foxconn factory has recently been under intense scrutiny for its labor practices, where working conditions have been under fire for years.
What is Foxconn?
Foxconn is a very successful Fortune 500 company that employs some 420,000 workers in Shenzhen alone. The company is a subsidiary of the Hon Hai Group, a Taiwan-owned company. Foxonn is the subcontractor for many of Apple's popular products on the market now.
Some Young Workers Would Rather Die
The dead have all been young migrant workers performing assembly-line work at the factory. Most workers earn the city's minimum wage which is $130 per month and most live on on-site dormitories with no family and very little time to make personal connections of any kind. The average shift is 10 hours per day, but many work significant overtime hours. As can be imagined, the work is long, monotonous and boring. Foxconn runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in an attempt to keep up with the demand for the products manufactured there.
Suicide Rate at Foxconn Less than National Average
Some reports show that compared to the national suicide rate for China, Foxconn's suicide rate is actually lower than the norm. However, some question if it is a fair comparison given that the most recent suicide statistics for China are from 1999.