July 29, 2022
The first phase of OnBoard, the Board's new business information system, replaces paper-based processes for faster delivery of benefits
The Workers' Compensation Board (Board) announced the successful implementation of the first phase of OnBoard, designed to move key processes for health care providers and payers from paper to online. This is the latest chapter in the modernization of the Board. The new system allows health care providers, payers and other stakeholders to request and review medication and treatment prior authorization and perform other key activities online, a significant improvement over longstanding, paper-based processes. The launch represents a major step forward for the Board in increasing efficiency, making the workers' compensation system easier to navigate, and improving health care for New York's injured workers.
"Hard-working New Yorkers are the backbone of this great State," Workers' Compensation Board Chair Clarissa Rodriguez said. "I could not be prouder of the Board's ability to implement such a crucial advance that streamlines the experience of stakeholders who are helping workers to recover, to get back to work, and to receive the medical treatment they're entitled to under the law." The first phase was the three-part rollout of "OnBoard: Limited Release" that began in March 2022 and was fully implemented in May. Right now, the user-friendly, intuitive system is accessed mainly by these three types of users:
- Payers (insurance carriers)
- Health care providers
- The Board's Medical Director's Office
These groups utilize OnBoard: Limited Release when:
- health care providers request prior authorization for certain medical treatments and medications, and
- health care providers petition the Board to resolve unpaid medical bills.
The move to OnBoard's paperless system is expected to eliminate:
- the manual creation of roughly 50,000 Orders of the Chair per year. OnBoard automatically creates these authorizations for treatment when a payer does not respond to a provider's authorization request within the specified timeframe;
- roughly 900,000 scanned documents per year, which equates to over $850,000 in annual savings;
- approximately 2,450 unnecessary reviews of variance requests by the Board's Medical Director's Office each year. OnBoard won't allow an unnecessary variance request (a health care provider's request for authorization to provide treatment that falls outside the New York Workers' Compensation medical treatment guidelines).
- the need for Board staff to follow up on improperly filed variance requests. That's an average of nearly 48,000 forms per year! With OnBoard, health care providers can't submit a variance request without all of the required information.
The Board plans to build on this initial release of OnBoard in the coming years, bringing additional processes and stakeholders into the system.
"I am so proud of the many individuals and teams who played a role in making OnBoard: Limited Release a reality," said Tim Purcell, Chief Innovation Officer at the Workers' Compensation Board. "Going forward, we'll continue our leadership in leveraging technology and innovation to make our system easier to navigate and speed delivery of benefits to injured workers, while ensuring a fair and efficient workers' compensation system that works for the people of New York State." For more information on OnBoard, please visit wcb.ny.gov/onboard.
About the Board
New York's first workers' compensation law was passed in 1910 but then struck down in 1911, one day before 146 people perished in the worst industrial disaster in New York in the 20th century: the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City. This spurred passage of a constitutional amendment; laws that "protect the lives, health and safety of workers;" and the creation in 1914 of what was then called the New York State Workmen's Compensation Commission.
Before the current workers' compensation law, an injured worker's only remedy was to sue their employer. Today's no-fault workers' compensation insurance system provides both medical care and cash benefits to people who are injured or made ill on the job; protects workers from discrimination when they file a claim (or attempt to); and monitors payers to ensure timely benefit payments. More information about the Board and its most recent initiatives can be found at wcb.ny.gov.