EK Perspectives

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The Power of Choice

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Published on: Wednesday, August 26, 2020

  The Power of Choice An informed decision is the best decision.     By Zebrah JahnkeAssistant Vice President of Business Development, EK Health Services, Inc.August 2020   The perception has been that a consolidated claims/care management program is streamlined to provide greater efficiencies and outcomes, with one company providing an all-in-one solution. There is another school of thinking, however, that this…

The 5 Cs of Catastrophic Nurse Case Management

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Published on: Thursday, July 2, 2020

  The 5 C's of Catastrophic Nurse Case Management    By Aimee Boggs, RN, MSHI, CCM, CPHIMSDirector of Specialty Programs, EK Health Services, Inc.July 2020   Catastrophic nurse case management is a complex endeavor, complicated by injury severity, the need for expedited medical care, and the fear that accompanies a critical injury or illness. EK Health’s catastrophic care alleviates the uncertainty while clinically…

Taming the Wild, Wild West of Medicare Set-Asides

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Published on: Monday, June 22, 2020

  Taming the Wild, Wild West of Medicare Set-Asides    By Jake ReasonVice President of MSA Services, EK Health Services, Inc.June 2020   Since the inception of the Medicare program in 1965 and the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) Act being established in 1980, the world of Medicare Set-Asides (MSAs) has been like the Wild, Wild West. Why? The regulatory guidelines are relatively open to interpretation with a lack of…

SB1160: The Road to Exemption (EWC Magazine)

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Published on: Thursday, April 18, 2019

  SB1160: The Road to Exemption   Featured in the Executives in Workers' Compensation (EWC) Magazine.   By Glenn Crafts, DC, QME, Assistant Vice President, Utilization Review & Quality Assurance  Once upon a time, health care providers roamed workers’ compensation freely and without restraint, treating without limitations--that is, until SB 228 became effective in 2004 and the implementation of what is now known…

UR Beyond Expectations - Utilization Review in Workers' Comp

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Published on: Sunday, March 3, 2019

  UR Beyond Expectations   Utilization Review in Workers' Compensation   What comes to mind when you hear the words “Workers’ Compensation Utilization Review?” Unfair, delay in medical care, unnecessary fees to the claims administrator, non-integration with Bill Review, the “Dark Side,” or maybe all of the above?   Six years ago Health Strategy Associates (HSA) completed the first survey of Utilization Review (UR)…

2019 PARMA Panel Discussion: MSAs and Non-CMS Submissions

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Published on: Tuesday, February 19, 2019

  SESSION SUMMARY: The Art of Non-Submission (Medicare Set-Asides and Non-CMS Submissions) Public Agency Risk Management Association (PARMA) 45th Conference & Expo - FEBRUARY 2019   Panelists: JAKE REASON, Vice President of Medicare Set-Aside Services at EK Health Services, Inc. NEGAR MATIAN, Managing Attorney at Matian Law Group DeANNA SORIA, Risk Manager at City of Huntington Beach   Panelists discussed…

The Rising Role of Anticonvulsants in Treating Pain in California Workers’ Compensation

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Published on: Thursday, December 13, 2018

  Navigating the complexities of chronic pain and opioid addiction is an ever-present challenge for those in the workers’ compensation industry. A few anticonvulsant drugs are commonly seen in treatment plans for some pain conditions.  A recent study by the California Workers Compensation Research Institute reported the 2nd most common non-exempt drug undergoing UR in first four months of 2018 was gabapentin at 12.6%…

2018 CCWC Panel Discussion: Exploring the Impact of SB 1160

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Published on: Tuesday, July 24, 2018

  SESSION SUMMARY: Exploring the Impact of SB 1160 (and new Formulary and MTUS Guidelines) California Coalition on Workers' Compensation (CCWC) 16th Annual Conference - JULY 2018   Panelists: Doug Benner, MD. Chief Medical Officer of EK Health Services, Inc. Roman Kownacki, MD, MPH, FACOEM. Chief of KaiserPermanente On-the-Job Rajiv Das, MD. Medical Director for Safeway Inc., VONS and Albertsons Alex Swedlow. President,…

Celebrating National Nurse Week

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Published on: Wednesday, May 9, 2018

  Across the country, there are millions of nurses united by a deep desire to care for others in their greatest times of need. They are the compassionate faces and the healing hands that work tirelessly to ensure that each patient receives safe, quality care. They are leaders, they are communicators and professionals,…

A Special Thank You to our Nurses

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Published on: Monday, May 7, 2018

This week is National Nurses Week, so before we celebrate our fantastic nurse case managers, we thought you might like to learn a bit more about our Case Management team and all that they do for injured workers, and for EK Health as a whole.  Where It All Began Eunhee started as a home health nurse and developed a specialty in medical case management.  She founded…

Drug Formularies in the Workers' Compensation Industry

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Published on: Tuesday, June 20, 2017

  Drug formularies have become one of the biggest trends in worker's compensation over the last few years. A drug formulary or preferred drug list, is a continually updated list of prescription drugs supported by current evidence-based medicine and it is overseen by a body of clinical experts. The main purpose of the formulary is to promote the use of safe and effective medications, in addition to controlling costs.   Formularies…

Getting the Most Out of Your Case Management Program

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Published on: Thursday, March 16, 2017

One of the most effective tools for assisting your workers’ compensation claims team continues to be intervention by a Nurse Case Manager. Nurses assigned, on targeted cases, can be instrumental in cost containment. They serve as an advocate for the injured worker, assist in ensuring optimal care, and decrease disability days. Strong, healthy, case management programs that bring value require work on the front end to…

UR/BR Connectivity and Effectiveness

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Published on: Thursday, January 26, 2017

  Utilization Review (UR) and Bill Review (BR) are two key components in the managed care industry that must work together effectively if a program is truly going to flourish. For years so many organizations struggle connecting these two areas effectively. Have you had situations before in the industry where a service or procedure was denied from the UR department but for some reason the bill still ended up being paid…

How SB 1160 Impacts Utilization Review

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Published on: Monday, January 23, 2017

Governor Jerry Brown Signed Senate Bill 1160, which primarily affects Utilization Review (UR) and liens. Changes will become effective on or after January 1, 2018. Medical treatment for injured workers may bypass formal UR for the initial 30 days of a claim with emergency treatment services, treatment related to an accepted body part(s), treatment rendered by a physician within the claims administrator’s Medical Provider…

MSA and the Joys of Conditional Payments

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Published on: Monday, January 16, 2017

  As part and parcel of the overall MSA process there is an item called Conditional Payments. When the Medicare Secondary Payer Act went into effect 1980, there was language in the Act which provided repayment to Medicare anytime a payment was made for treatment relating to an injury where another party was responsible. The idea being that any time there’s a work comp claim, a liability claim, or a group health policy…

California Governor Signs Senate Bill 1160

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Published on: Monday, October 3, 2016

    California Governor Signs Senate Bill 1160 Aimed at Reforming Utilization Review and Liens Waiting to the last day that he could sign or veto legislation, Governor Jerry Brown signed important workers' compensation legislation. SB 1160 had been initiated by the Department of Industrial Relations in coordination with various workers' compensation stakeholder groups. The measure passed with overwhelming support by…

EK Health Newsletter - Q2 2016

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Published on: Friday, July 8, 2016

        JUNE 2016     EK Health Featured in Forbes Magazine     Eunhee Kim is a home health nurse who built two companies that are transforming managed care in the workers' compensation industry. Now she's turning up on the pages of Forbes…

Tennessee Approves New Treatment Guidelines and Prescription Formulary

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Published on: Tuesday, February 16, 2016

  Tennessee Approves New Treatment Guidelines and Prescription Closed Formulary Tennessee Attorney General, Herbert H. Slatery III has approved new treatment guidelines and a closed drug formulary proposed by the Tennessee Bureau of Workers' Compensation. The rule is scheduled to take effect on February 28, 2016. Treatment Guidelines:Tennessee Bureau of Workers' Compensation adopted the current version of the Official…

EK Turnaround Time Results

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Published on: Monday, November 16, 2015

  We don't just promise it, we deliver! Bill Review Turnaround   While every jurisdiction has aggressive turnaround time standards, when measuring against the most strict turn -around time standard of 15 days for California electronic bills, EK Health's results definitely exceed expectations.Being able to deliver turn around times at least 2x faster has allowed…

Reflecting on a Successful 2014

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Published on: Monday, January 26, 2015

A new year can bring a number of changes that may challenges us, but it also provides us with new opportunities for growth and success. Even though we are already hard at work in 2015, we want to take this opportunity to share with you our achievements, future goals and our appreciation as we reflect on a successful 2014.At EK Health, everything that we do as a company is guided by our Vision, Mission and Values. The…

In Utilization Review, Timing is Everything

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Published on: Monday, January 19, 2015

With the enactment of the SB 863 Independent Medical Review (IMR) process, the legislature wanted to have medical determinations made by medical professionals and not workers' compensation judges or the litigation process. The challenge has been to make this paradigm shift smoothly so that injured workers receive quality reasonable and necessary medical care based on the MTUS guidelines.On October 6, 2014 the WCAB en…

Physician-Dispensed Medication in Workers’ Compensation

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Published on: Friday, September 26, 2014

by Douglas Benner, M.D.Chief Medical Officer, EK Health Services, Inc.   An interesting article in the May 2014 JOEM highlights a still significant issue in workers’ compensation: dispensing of medication out of physician offices. The results confirmed similar findings in a study in CA by CWCI in 2013. This Illinois study1 reviewed 6,824 comp claims with Accident Fund of Illinois for the years 2007 to 2012. When physicians…

Always Provide Justifications for Medical Treatment Requests

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Published on: Monday, September 22, 2014

by Douglas Benner, M.D.Chief Medical Officer, EK Health Services, Inc.   Reminder: When making medical treatment requests, it is essential to explain WHY a particular treatment is requested. This will help the Claims Administrator approve the request at their level, or facilitate approval by a UR organization if the request is elevated to them for review. For medications, it is useful to document the indication or…

Education - Sharing Knowledge to Achieve More

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Published on: Monday, July 21, 2014

by Eunhee Kim RN MSNCEO, EK Health Services, Inc. Our Workers compensation industry is seeing experienced well-seasoned nurses and claims adjusters leaving their positions either through retirement and relocation. Sadly, there has been not a lot of sustained effort and investment in educating and encouraging the new generation workforce to our industry. In workers’ compensation where the environment is always evolving,…

One of the First in California: EK Health Select MPN

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Published on: Monday, June 2, 2014

by Steve KlineGeneral Counsel, EK Health Services, Inc. On May 21, 2014, the DWC approved the EK Health Services, Inc. application for the EK Health Select MPN. Prior to the passage of SB 863, only insurance companies and employers could create a Medical Provider Network in California. With the 2012 reform legislation, entities that provide network services became eligible to own and create an MPN. We are proud that…

Less Than 30 Days to Go

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Published on: Monday, June 10, 2013

by Steve Kline, Esq.Legal CounselEK Health Services®, Inc. Close to 95% of the California reform, SB 863, will go in to effect on July 1, 2013—less than 30 days away.  The remaining items, mainly concerning Medical Provider Networks, will become effective on January 1, 2014. In one area of the system, specifically, the Independent Medical Review (IMR), the community has had some experience since the beginning of the…

Does Office Work Promote Sedentary Lifestyles?

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Published on: Friday, October 12, 2012

by Gloria Farley, RN, BSN, COHN-S Ergonomic Service SupervisorEK Health Services®, Inc.  Does office work promote sedentary lifestyles? - It doesn't have to! The increasing rate of obesity in America is typically associate with our sedentary lifestyles—defined as not physically active.  Individuals sit, on average, for 14 hours and 39 minutes per day, mostly at work.  When not sitting, individuals are also considered…

Ergonomic Summer Gardening Tips

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Published on: Friday, June 15, 2012

With summer upon us, many of you may be hitting the garden with new fervor planting bright beautiful flowers, fruits & veggies. Here are some "ergonomic" tips to keep you "feeling" your best as you garden. Always use gloves and use a pad for your knees when kneeling Gloves provide padding and to prevent cuts and scrapes Gloves should be form-fitting—thin gloves are preferred; too much padding will decrease hand…