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Workers' Compensation Board Press Releases Lower Cost, Faster Processing of Workers' Compensation Claims on Schedule for 2013

November 5, 2012

NYS Workers' Compensation Board Announces Milestone in Implementation of Electronic Claims Reporting

(Schenectady) The New York State Workers' Compensation Board has released the implementation requirements, supporting documentation and schedule for eClaims, completing the critical first phase of a transition from a paper claim process to an electronic system that will cut employers' costs for their workers' compensation claims while making it easier for injured workers to receive timely benefits.

eClaims, the electronic reporting of workers' injuries, is on schedule for a 2013 implementation. The Board expects New York to see faster, more accurate processing of workers' compensation claims, at less expense to employers, by mandating electronic reporting using a standard already employed by nearly 40 states.

"Electronic reporting will reduce the cost of workers' compensation and improve our data collection," Board Executive Director Jeffrey Fenster said. "Delays and inaccurate paper filings lead to unnecessary controversy, disorganization, and ultimately higher costs. eClaims, and our overall modernization effort, represents the most concerted effort the state has made to deal with these fundamental issues within the system."

The first milestone, announced today, includes defining all the events and data that must be reported by claim administrators when a worker is injured. The Board also released an implementation guide administrators will use to comply with the electronic filing standard. Five full-day training sessions – in New York City, Binghamton, Rochester, Syracuse and Schenectady – will also occur in November.

The Board is implementing the electronic claim standard created by the IAIABC (International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions), a nearly century old not-for-profit trade association representing the overwhelming majority of government entities in the US and Canada that administer workers' compensation systems.

While today the Board accepts paper claims from employers and insurance carriers, eClaims mandates submissions arrive electronically and match the IAIABC standard. The first adopters, largely national insurers, will implement eClaims next June – they already employ these standards in other states. Other users will be phased in through March, 2014. Smaller administrators may wish to meet eClaims requirements by submitting claims through a new web portal that is free, requires no system changes from users, and is among the first in the nation for workers' compensation to provide immediate acknowledgement (acceptance or rejection) upon submission.

Based on the experience of other states that use the IAIABC standard, the Board anticipates that its adoption in New York will yield significant benefits, including:

Gary Henning, assistant vice president of the American Insurance Association, said, "AIA endorses the New York Workers' Compensation Board's decision to adopt uniform EDI reporting standards for first report and second reports of injury. AIA was present at the creation of the IAIABC's EDI project initiative more than 20 years ago and has long-supported states' adoption of uniform reporting standards. These standards are helpful in eliminating disparate and ad hoc reporting mandates as well as capturing indicia important to improving policymakers' understanding of a state's system performance. AIA is pleased that an increasing number of states, including New York, are adopting IAIABC reporting standards."

IAIABC EDI Manager Faith Howe said, "With the publication of their EDI Claims Release 3 final requirement tables and implementation schedule, New York is on the brink of realizing the benefits of electronic reporting. As New York continues to modernize its workers' compensation system, it will reduce its operating costs, improve its data collection capabilities, and have better quality data available to analyze its system performance. The IAIABC congratulates the New York Workers' Compensation Board on this major milestone as it joins the growing ranks of jurisdictions who have benefitted by adopting the national EDI Claims Release 3 standard."

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