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Month: April 2021

Spooner Medical Administrators, Inc. URAC Accredited

Spooner Medical Administrators, Inc. URAC Accredited

Posted By Spooner MAI
April 23, 2021 Category: Workers Compensation

URAC's case management accreditation standards require companies to establish the policies, procedures, and structure needed for optimal case management

Spooner Medical Administrators, Inc. Pharmacy Reports

Spooner Medical Administrators, Inc. Pharmacy Reports

Posted By Spooner MAI
April 23, 2021 Category: Workers Compensation

Our best practice of providing access to “pharmacy reports” helps lower workers’ compensation costs by ensuring prescription requests are medicinally appropriate for each

Spooner Medical Administrators, Inc. Web Access

Spooner Medical Administrators, Inc. Web Access

Posted By Spooner MAI
April 23, 2021 Category: Workers Compensation

Spooner MAI's best practice of "web access" helps to lower the costs of workers' compensation by ensuring that employers have access to all of the information that they need in a timely manner. All of our best practices help to ensure that every treatment and payment is medically appropriate for each claim.

Spooner Medical Administrators, Inc. Customized Claim Reports

Spooner Medical Administrators, Inc. Customized Claim Reports

Posted By Spooner MAI
April 23, 2021 Category: Workers Compensation

Spooner MAI’s best practice of “customized claim reports” helps lower workers’ compensation costs by ensuring that every treatment and payment is medically appropriate for each

Spooner Medical Administrators, Inc. Utilization of Experienced and Independent Nurses

Spooner Medical Administrators, Inc. Utilization of Experienced and Independent Nurses

Posted By Spooner MAI
April 23, 2021 Category: Workers Compensation

Spooner MAI's best practice of "utilization of experienced and independent nurses" helps lower workers' compensation costs by ensuring that every treatment and payment is medically appropriate for each

Spooner Medical Administrators, Inc. Bi-Weekly Management Contact

Spooner Medical Administrators, Inc. Bi Weekly Management Contact

Posted By Spooner MAI
April 23, 2021 Category: Workers Compensation

Spooner MAI's best practice of 'bi-weekly management contact" helps lower workers' compensation cost by ensuring that every treatment and payment is medically appropriate for each

Spooner Medical Administrators, Inc. One Point of Contact

Spooner Medical Administrators, Inc. One Point of Contact

Posted By Spooner MAI
April 22, 2021 Category: Workers Compensation

Spooner MAI's best practice of "one point of contact" helps lower the workers' compensation costs by ensuring that every treatment and payment is medically appropriate for each

Why You Need a TPA (and a Service Contract!) for Ohio Workers' Comp

Why You Need a TPA (and a Service Contract!) for Ohio Workers Comp

Posted By Mike Kowalski
April 21, 2021 Category: Workerscomp, Tpa, OhioBWC, Spoonerinc

If an Ohio employer wants to participate in a BWC sponsored discount program, they need to partner with a TPA (third-party administrator).  Failure to do so can cost employers thousands, if not tens of thousands, in additional premiums annually. In addition to getting employers discounts on their workers’ comp premiums, TPAs work for the employer – not for BWC.  Your TPA should be advocating on your behalf to manage all aspects of your workers’ comp claims and policy, including (but not limited to): Proper program placement Claims investigations Claims management Workplace safety programs Compliance and deadlines Attorney representation at Industrial Commission hearings   If you rely on your TPA to manage workers’ comp claims (and you should be – you’ve paid them to!), you need a service agreement in place to protect you and provide terms for your relationship. Have you read your contract with your TPA?  Do you even have one?    If your TPA doesn’t have a service contract that spells out what services they are providing, ask them why that is.  Often, we see that employers just get an invoice from their TPA with the amount due.  In the event of a claim, do you know if you’re paying your TPA for anything more than a discount? Due to TPAs holding the key to BWC sponsored discount programs –many Ohio employers don’t realize that their TPA’s main objective should

Spooner Medical Administrators, Inc. Best Practices

Spooner Medical Administrators, Inc. Best Practices

Posted By Spooner MAI
April 21, 2021 Category: Workers Compensation

At Spooner MAI, we have several best practices to help employers navigate through the complicated BWC system and help their employees get back to work as soon as

More OSHA Updates: New Administration, New Standards, HCS Updates and More

Posted By Brandy King
April 16, 2021 Category: OSHA, Safety, OSHA Updates, HAZCOM, HCS, Heat Illness, Occupational Safety, Violence In The Workplace, OSHA Citations, Secretary Of Labor

New Administration Former member of the Biden-Harris transition team Douglas L. Parker is the Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health, Department of Labor He currently serves as chief of California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), a position he has held since 2019. Prior to his appointment to Cal/OSHA, Parker was executive director of Worksafe, an Oakland, California-based legal services provider. Workplace safety enforcement will be more aggressive and robust under an OSHA governed by the Biden administration, and Parker will be tasked with overseeing those enforcement efforts. Employers should prepare for these more aggressive policies by ensuring that their safety and health programs are compliant with rules that are still in place and govern American workplaces. Employers should work to identify and eliminate workplace safety hazards. The new administration has made it clear they intend to double the number of OSHA investigators to enforce the law and existing standards and guidelines. “It will likely take around 18 months for new inspectors to be trained and begin conducting inspections. Once those new compliance officers are in the field, employers can expect more OSHA inspectors knocking on their doors.”1 Secretary of Labor Sworn In Marty J. Walsh was sworn in as the nation’s 29th Secretary of Labor on March 23, and immediately shared a public message about his commitment to America’s w

Preparing for True Up Following an Unprecedented Year

Posted By Brandy King
April 02, 2021 Category: Payroll, Ohio BWC, True Up, BWC Premiums, Reporting, Compliance

Starting July 1st, 2020, the BWC reduced every employer’s payroll by 20%. They did so under the assumption that all employers experienced slow-downs, lay-offs and closures during the initial impact of COVID-19 on Ohio businesses. However, they did not confirm these reductions with policyholders – and we know that not all businesses experienced a decrease.  This reduction might result in an unexpected True Up balance July. True Up is a process required by Ohio BWC at the end of each policy year, where your premiums based on projected payroll are balanced with premiums based on your actual payroll for the past year. Compliance with both the reporting and payment of any balances affects your company’s eligibility for most savings programs. If your actual payroll was higher than projected, you will be expected to pay that balance to Ohio BWC no later than August 15th. If you are unable to pay the lump sum at that time, please note that any future premium installments will first be applied to your delinquent True Up Balance before being applied to your premium installments. Payment plans for True Up balances are only available through the Ohio Attorney General’s office following an application process.  With the final installments for the 2020-2021 policy year being billed any day now, it is unlikely that you have time to make adjustments prior to the end of the policy year on 6/30/21.  However, you can run a mock True Up based on

Is There Room for Improvement With Your Payroll Provider?

Posted By Brandy King
April 02, 2021 Category: Human Resources, HR, Payroll, ACA Reporting, Finance, Administrative Support, PEO

If so, you should experience the Surety HR difference.  Spooner's sister company Surety HR offers a customized payroll service that caters to the client’s wants and needs.  The result is a payroll support team that knows your business and will excel at meeting your payroll needs.  Our payroll service includes: Payroll processing with a full service payroll specialist & customer service rep Payroll tax specialists offering compliance support with Federal, State, Local and other authorities Detailed reporting options General Ledger support and consultation ACA support, reporting and consultation Employee self-service for paystubs and W-2s   Please email Brian Davis if you have any questions. Brian can be reached at

BWC Withholds 2018 & 2019 Group Retro Refunds

Posted By Brandy King
April 02, 2021 Category: Ohio BWC, Group Retro, Group Retro Refunds Withheld, Ohio BWC Dividends, 2018 PY, 2019 PY

The BWC is not going to pay out 2018 & 2019 Group Retro refunds this fall.  They have decided the dividend rebates issued for these policy years will take the place of 2018 and 2019 Group Retro refunds.  We do not believe the dividend proposal passed by the Board of Directors gives the BWC the authority to eliminate Group Retro refunds.  Spooner Incorporated is appealing this decision with the BWC, but we may not be able to do it alone.  Please email Jennifer Kantorowski if you would like to join us in the fight to get the BWC to release the 2018 and 2019 Group Retro refunds this fall. Jennifer can be reached at

How Solid Is Your HR Foundation?

Posted By Brandy King
April 01, 2021 Category: HR, Human Resources, Consulting, Compliance, HR Compliance, FMLA, FLSA, Employee Handbooks, Ohio Employment Law, Employment Lawsuits, Termination Guidance, Negligent Hiring

Spooner's sister company, Surety HR has a staff of HR Professionals with the capabilities to provide a variety of solutions to any HR problem your company might be facing. While our PEO clients have these services embedded, they are available to all businesses. Some of the services we offer include: Handbook (policies and procedures) Compliance (I-9/EEOC/DOL/employee files) Disciplinary and termination guidance Harassment/bullying in workplace training Recruiting Job descriptions Employee performance evaluation Review hierarchy and comp structure Especially when it comes to issues of compliance, these are not things your company should leave to chance! A small investment now to get these things in place could potentially save you a fortune (and protect you from lawsuits) in the future.  Please contact Todd Kereszturi for a free consultation.  Todd can be reached at 440-249-5260 x132 or

Are You Losing Business Because of a High EMR?

Posted By Brandy King
April 01, 2021 Category: EMR, Mod, Safety, Ohio BWC, Safety Score, DART, OSHA, Construction, WPAFB

  If so, Surety HR’s Self-Insured Professional Employer Organization (PEO) may be able to reduce your EMR (Experience Modifier Rate).  Many industries require businesses to submit their EMR to bid on both private and public projects and contract renewals.  If your EMR is too high, you may not even be able to bid on a specific project.  This is predominant in construction, but also affects employers in manufacturing, logistics and several other industries. Typically any vendor on a federal site such as an Air Force Base will be required to submit their EMR as well.  If your company has an EMR over 1.00 and it's costing you jobs, let’s talk!   If you have concerns about your EMR, please email Brian Davis at

Now Offering CFO Services

Posted By Brandy King
April 01, 2021 Category: CFO Services, Outsourcing, Finanancial Services, Consulting, Ohio Business

  Surety HR is now offering CFO Services to companies who want to build a solid financial foundation for future health and growth.  We focus on helping small to medium sized businesses (annual revenues of $2-$30 million) that are experiencing growth along with cash flow management issues.  We have the following capabilities: Financial reporting, special projects, and internal audits Assist with cash flow, bank reports, budgeting, and forecasting models Monthly/Quarterly/Semi-annual close out execution Individual financial projects Collaboration with your CPA   Please contact Matt Lawrence with further questions.  Matt can be reached at 440-249-5260 x104 or

Changes in Reserve Calculations

Posted By Brandy King
April 01, 2021 Category: Ohio BWC, Reserves, Claims Costs, Group Retro

Effective July 1, 2020, Ohio BWC implemented a new reserve system called ACES.  Based on a large sampling of claims, we’ve found that this system can drastically increase reserves for future claims costs - which will then impact premiums and Group Retro performance. A reserve is a dollar amount placed on every claim, in which the insurer (BWC) “reserves” assumed future costs within the claim. The concept of a reserve is considered standard practice in workers’ compensation insurance, even for self-insured employers. Once a reserve is set, it will not leave the claim until the claimant has ceased medical treatment for at least six (6) months. The only other way to eliminate a reserve is through the process of a settlement. If a claim has a reserve when Ohio BWC’s September “snapshot” is taken - those reserves will be treated as dollars already spent on the claim, impacting premiums for the coming policy year. Lost time claims will see the largest impact, as medical reserves for 2019 were roughly four (4) times paid compensation and are now 19 times paid compensation.  This does not necessarily mean your company should consider salary continuation to soften the blow, as all claims have reserves. That should be discussed with your TPA on a case-by-case basis and not used as a remedy to avoid a lost-time claim with BWC. We are expecting these changes to have an impact on Group Retro refunds for the 2020 policy year a

OSHA and the New Administration

Posted By Jon Carpenter, CSM
April 01, 2021 Category: OSHA, Safety, Training, Health And Safety, Compliance

As a follow-up to our New Year safety advice from the last spotlight, there is already evidence that the new Administration is taking a more active role in Occupation Health and Safety. With new leadership at OSHA, there is already a new rule to update the Hazard Communication Standard, as well as updates to COVID-19 guidance for workplaces.  We are encouraging all of our clients to review their OSHA Compliance, which should include all your written programs, sub-elements under those programs, and facility.   When is the last time you updated your written Health and Safety programs? When was the last time you checked that all training is up to date and documented? When was the last time you completed all the requirements for LO/TO, Forklift, HazCom? When is the last time you completed a safety walk-through of your facility, with corrective action taken? Spooner's Safety professionals are available to conduct these program reviews for you, including facility compliance via "Mock OSHA" inspections. Our team can provide a full suite of training and a wide variety of occupational safety consulting services to help you comply with OSHA General Industry and Construction Regulations. Please email Jon Carpenter if you have any questions.  Jon can be reached at

MCO Open Enrollment Scheduled for May

MCO Open Enrollment Scheduled for May

Posted By Brandy King
April 01, 2021 Category: MCO, MCO Open Enrollment, Managed Care Organization, Ohio BWC, Spooner Medical Administrators,

2021 Open Enrollment for Managed Care Organizations (MCO) MCO Open Enrollment will take place beginning Monday, May 3rd, and end on Friday, May 28th.  While we’re used to seeing MCO Open Enrollment scheduled in May of every even-numbered year – the enrollment period was canceled in May 2020 due to COVID-19.  This enrollment comes only every two years, so employers have not had an opportunity to choose an MCO since May 2018, and will not have the opportunity again until 2023.  Don’t miss out if you want to make a change! Please email Brian Davis if you have any questions. Brian can be reached at

How the American Rescue Plan Act Could Impact Your Business

Posted By Todd Kereszturi
April 01, 2021 Category: ARPA, COVID 19, American Rescue Plan ACT, FFCRA, FMLA, EPSL, COBRA, EFMLA,

  The American Rescue Plan Act is Signed Into Law The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which is the latest bill to address the ongoing economic impacts of COVID-19, has been signed into law. Most aspects of the law do not directly affect the HR function, but those that do—optional extension of sick and family leave and establishment of COBRA subsidies—are outlined below. OPTIONAL EXTENSION OF SICK AND FAMILY LEAVES Part of ARPA is an extension of the current tax credit scheme for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave (EFMLA) under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FFCRA required many employers to provide EPSL and EFMLA in 2020, but became optional when it was previously extended to cover January 1 through March 31, 2021. The new extension under ARPA takes effect April 1, 2021, and lasts through September 30, 2021. Like the current version, it remains optional. In addition, tax credits are available but only to employers with fewer than 500 employees and up to certain caps. To receive the tax credit, employers are required to follow the original provisions of the FFCRA. For example, they can’t deny EPSL or EFMLA to an employee if they’re otherwise eligible, can’t terminate them for taking EPSL or EFMLA, and have to continue their health insurance during these leaves. Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) Changes Here are the key changes to EPSL, in effect from April 1 through September 3

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(4)
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