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Extra: Oil Rig Survivor Part 5 (60 Minutes)
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Extra: Oil Rig Survivor Part 6 (60 Minutes)
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What Is A Functional Capacity Evaluation (“FCE”)?

Workers, after suffering on-the-job injuries, may be obligated to undergo a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) before returning to work. The stated purpose of the FCE is to ensure that a worker can return to his job of injury in good physical health, and safely perform his duties. The FCE can also be used to determine what type of work an employee is capable of returning to should he not be capable of returning to his job of injury. The American Physical Therapy Association defines a FCE as a “comprehensive battery of performance based tests that is used commonly to determine ability for work, activities of daily living, or leisure activities.” The tests are designed to simulate the physical aspects of an eight hour work day and typically take one to two days to complete in blocks of several hours. Tasks such as balancing, carrying, stooping and climbing are administered, and the worker is subsequently evaluated. The physical intensity of the employee’s pre-injury position is also taken into account; the FCE has a number of job categories, ranging from “sedentary” to “very heavy.” If a worker’s performance in “lifting,” for example, is lacking, this will be less detrimental to a worker whose job is categorized as “sedentary.” An FCE cannot be administered without the employee’s consent. If a worker refuses to participate in the evaluation, and doesn’t meet the criteria for his job category, he may be restricted in his return to the workforce. Reasons for falling short of the FCE’s […]

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Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Premium Fraud

The scenario that is usually associated with the phrase “workers’ compensation fraud” involves an unscrupulous employee who schemes to collect insurance money. He does this by fabricating an injury, falsely reporting that he cannot return to any work while taking employment on the side, or other deceptive methods. The most insidious and costly form of workers’ compensation fraud, however, is “premium fraud,” which occurs when an employer attempts to cut costs by reporting inaccurate employee records. In 2009, the owners of a drywall company in Lafayette, Louisiana were arrested on such charges. The employers avoided paying full insurance premiums by reporting that they had nearly 300 fewer workers on their books than were actually employed. Cases such as this are strong indicators as to why insurance premiums become exponentially more expensive, particularly for employers who are honest about their employment records. Premium fraud is more large-scale and costly for insurance companies to handle than simple claimant fraud. Financially, it makes sense that premiums would rise to cover the monetary loss that premium fraud creates. Reporting an inaccurate number of employees is not the only way that some employers attempt to save money. Workers who are engaged in physically demanding or hazardous activities are more expensive to insure. The employee who spends more time sitting in front of a computer than operating a forklift is less expensive. In some cases of premium fraud, an employer may report that his employees are occupied crunching numbers in the office, when in reality they […]

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