HR CORNER: Tennessee adopts new worker’s compensation injury claim reporting guidelines

By Iliana Ricelli, Associate Vice President for Human Resources

Tennessee Treasury Department Division of Claims and Risk Management has adopted a new incentive program to encourage state agencies to report in a more timely manner employee injuries that may give rise to a workers’ compensation claim. The new policy requires all state agencies to report work-related injuries that occur on the job within three working days or face a fine of $500 for each late or unreported claim.

African American Read-In coordinator Michael Rounds addresses the diverse crowd of students, faculty and staff

Employees who sustain an injury that is not life threatening or considered a serious bodily injury will be required to call a 24-hour nurse triage hotline at 866-245-8588 within three days of the injury to report the injury and before seeking any kind of medical attention. Supervisors also are permitted to call the nursing hotline on behalf of an injured employee. The College will be fined $500 each time an employee fails to call the triage hotline in case of injury.

A serious bodily injury is defined as one where there is a substantial risk of death, protracted unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, disfigurement, or loss or substantial impairment of a body function, organ, or mental faculty. A life threatening injury or illness is one where immediate death to the person is a strong possibility.

The policy takes effect July 1, 2019. Agencies failing to report claims in a timely manner or who fail to call the 24/7 hotline will be fined based on the number of claims.

Delays in reporting claims to adjustors can negatively impact the treatment received as well as the ultimate cost of the claim. The State first adopted the policy in 2015 and already has reduced the time between injury and reporting and lowered the amount of disability benefits paid out from $3.6 million to $1.3 million.

For more information about this new program, contact Human Resources at (901) 333-5340.