SIH Worker's Comp Symposium Attracts 150 Businesses

Mar 7, 2019

Southern Illinois Healthcare's WorkCare program is designed to help businesses deal with their occupational health needs.

150 businesses attended Thursday's SIH Worker's Compensation Symposium in Marion.

Michael Norris is safety director with Fricke Management Contracting-13-R-F and Samron Midwest Contracting in Murphysboro. He says WorkCare representatives understand companies like his.
"They understand the language I'm speaking. They understand that our goals are aligned. We want to help the employee. We want to keep the MOD rates low. We want to keep the injury/illness rates low and they do a great job of balancing those things."
Dena Kirk directs SIH's Occupational Medicine and Rehabilitation Services. She says worker's comp is a difficult issue for employers because Illinois is an employee-friendly state that pays for almost everything.
"Especially if you aggravate an existing condition, that's compensable. So, we want to be the experts to help companies on how to manage those work comp claims and how to keep people healthy and productive at work."

Kirk says companies want access to care, which is expanding.
"The companies, obviously, that are local around here, when they can access us, it makes it easier. However, when times are changing with telemedicine, we're able to really expand our market and work with a lot of companies just virtually through telemedicine."

Norris says he is interested in learning more about telemedicine, since he has contractors working on construction sites all over the region.
"Say we have a guy out in Missouri, I may not necessarily be able to get back to here, but if I could telecommunicate, they could give me direction, maybe coordinate with another out clinic in the area, it could be hugely beneficial."

Norris and Kirk both say the goal is to get injured workers treated and back on the job as quickly as possible.

Kirk says the symposium is a great way for companies to come together and share their best practices.