Workmans Comp – The working mans welfare

Every pharmacist has had to deal with Workman’s Compensation prescriptions at some point in their careers.  They usually involve paper billing (although now Express Scripts, RESTAT and others have made them electronic) and a lot of begging/paperwork to get paid.

Pharmacists see this all the time, but its a little known fact that work-comp has become the “richs mans Medicaid”.  It has spiraled so out of control, and gotten so outrageous that now I view it as just another form of welfare.

How its supposed to work:

You get injured on the job via some fault other than you being an idiot.  Equipment fails, your employer had something go wrong, some freak accident happens.  Work comp then pays  for your doctors visit and medications.  If you cannot perform that job any longer, you find another job doing something that doesn’t require a bad back or missing fingers, etc.  You continue to work, your (former) employer’s work comp insurance premiums go up, and life goes on.

How pharmacists see it work (ie: how it really works):

You were at work and get injured because you’re a fucking lazy idiot (with your head firmly planted up ass) and go to the ER for a smashed pinky finger.  They give you an Rx for 40 vicodin and some ibuprofen and keep you off work for 3 weeks.  You (and your work comp lawyer) then sue your former employer giving you full paid time off.  You relax and go on vacation and do other fun stuff with your wife and kids while receiving a fat work-comp check (and free medications).  You OBVIOUSLY cannot work any longer because of the MENTAL ANGUISH of having a mangled up pinky finger.  It is SO HORRIBLE that you then obtain full disability and never have to work again.

Yeah, its really like that.  I’ve seen people get a few medications (like ibuprofen and like 20 vicodin every other month) and continue to work.  All the work comp pays for is just a few doctors visits a year, and 2 measly prescriptions that are filled once every 45 to 50 days (and they are 20 day supplies at that).  I’ve also seen people who have basically nothing happen to them, go off work fully, get medicare prematurely because they are “disabled”, then have me try to get vacation overrides for their cruise to the Bahamas.

It all comes down to how well you can play up your “injury” and how good of a scumbag work-comp lawyer you can hire.  Work comp is raped to the point where the premiums are outrageous for employers, and more and more people (read: police officers; that’s right, I’m calling your ass out) are comping out just before retirement so they can collect their fat retirement check along with their work-comp check.  Their reason? MENTAL ANGUISH.  Yeah, try to work as a pharmacist for 30 years and see what kind of mental anguish you get from dealing with the same ghetto public without a bulletproof vest, a gun, backup, and a radio to call for help.  Another reason why hanging your head in the public trough of state-worker is the way to go.

If dealing with the scamming-free loading work-comp abusers wasn’t enough (as they brag to you about their next vacation, knowing that you’re working hard and they are just freeloading from a system that cant say ‘no’); processing a work-comp prescription is a nightmare all in itself.  Some companies make you call a 800 number EVERY TIME YOU FILL AN RX so the processor can get approval from the comp adjuster (the person who decides if your drugs are needed for your comp condition, a position that is filled by an idiot with zero medical knowledge what so ever).  Now I admit that it was better then the old days where the pharmacist had to track the adjuster down, but you also got paid a whole lot more for those paper billings vs electronic billings.

Personally, if I was king of the work-comp world, unless your injury left you permanently handicapped or mentally disabled (ie: a vegetable), all of you leeching fucks would be at a desk job, a greeter at Walmart, or any of the 100 million jobs out there that does NOT INVOLVE THE PART OF YOU THAT WAS INJURED.  Just because you are a lazy fuck who got hurt because you had your head up your ass, it doesn’t mean that us HARD WORKING PEOPLE (including those who are on comp yet find another job) HAVE TO PAY FOR YOUR FREELOADING LAZY ASS.

Maybe your injury wasn’t your fault, but sure as shit it wasn’t mine, so why should my premiums go up because of your fuckup?  Sounds more and more like the welfare system to me.