Montana WC State Fund Chooses New Guidelines in Claims Management Process

April 28, 2004

Reed Group announced that Montana State Fund (MSF) has adopted “The Medical Disability Advisor” (MDA), for use in their claims management processes. The MSF’s medical and non-medical staff will use the MDA guidelines to support their decision-making
process in the adjudication of workers’ compensation claims.

As the largest provider of workers’ comp insurance in the state of
Montana, MSF insures nearly 26,000 employers in the state. One of their key objectives is to assist injured or ill employees in their recovery and return to work when medically appropriate. The timing for the use of the MDA is reportedly critical as states nationwide, including Montana, struggle to correct problems within workers’ comp systems.

Within the United States, Montana has ranked number 10 in the nation (tied with Alabama) in the overall highest percentage of disabled workers per capita; West Virginia ranks number one in
this category (Leopold RS, “A Year in the Life of a Million American Workers” 2003, MetLife Disability Group).

“We are pleased that Montana has joined many other states such as West Virginia, Texas, and California, as well as countries such as New Zealand and Mexico, in using or recommending the MDA guidelines for disability and workers’ compensation claims,” said Dr. Presley Reed, editor-in-chief of “The Medical Disability Advisor”, and CEO of Reed Group Ltd. “This system-wide approach will help ensure consistent and fair treatment of all injured and ill workers, allow sufficient time for recovery, and provide useful information for all involved parties.”

The MDA guidelines provide the MSF claims staff with descriptive medical information and disability duration figures for more than 5,000 common injuries and illnesses of working people. The MDA’s disability duration tables supply reasonable, objective expectancy figures for normal recovery from a medical condition, injury, or procedure. These duration tables provide minimum, optimum, and maximum recovery periods against which actual case experience can be benchmarked to facilitate the claimant’s return-to-work within medically-appropriate timeframes.

Use of “The Medical Disability Advisor” does not reportedly replace the need for consulting medical opinion, but can assist in establishing a framework for dialogue among all involved parties (employee, employer, provider, payer, etc.) to help ensure consistent and fair treatment for all injured and ill workers.

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